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Spain is an outstanding country to pursue a degree for international students. In fact, it is an ideal destination for students who value century-old educational expertise, a beautiful climate, and golden beaches. Spain is an interesting and UNESCO-rich country, with plenty of opportunities to learn, advance, and socialize. Its higher education sector comprises 76 universities, out of which 45 are public, and 31 are private. Spain has its share of American universities; however, Spanish universities also provide a wide range of advantages for international students (with many offering English-taught degree programs). The following sections list some of the top universities in Spain, as ranked by QS World University Rankings 2021.

Here are the top universities in Spain: 

1. Universitat de Barcelona

The University of Barcelona offers training that emphasizes quality and innovation above all. Students can choose from various study fields, including health sciences, social sciences, humanities, engineering, and experimental sciences. It has 16 faculties with over 64,000 students in its student population. More than 12,000 students at the University of Barcelona are of other nationalities, contributing to a diverse and multicultural study and social environment. 

2. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

The Autonomous University of Madrid is among the top universities in Spain due to its comprehensive student training and international recognition. It offers training in various study fields, including science, philosophy, psychology, business, law, medicine, and teacher training. UAM provides a wide range of courses in English for international students who do not speak Spanish, which is the general language of instruction. The cultural activities and sports facilities are a great asset of the university.

3. Complutense University of Madrid

The Complutense University of Madrid has 26 faculties across different study areas, including fine arts, biological sciences, medicine, psychology, veterinary, statistical studies, teacher training, etc. The general medium of instruction is Spanish; however, there are exceptions to some programs which are offered in English. Over 80 nationalities are currently studying at this university, pursuing qualifications in all study levels, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate.

4. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Autonomous University of Barcelona is among the top public universities in Spain to pursue a degree. It offers study choices in different areas such as arts and humanities, sciences, biosciences, health sciences, social and legal sciences, and engineering. These study areas are available at all study levels, from bachelor to doctorate. Moreover, many master’s and postgraduate degrees are offered either in English or online. The total number of students is over 34,000, out of which 37.7% are international students in masters and doctoral programs.

5. Universidad de Navarra

The University of Navarra is a private university located on the southeast border of Pamplona, Spain. It offers study degrees across numerous disciplines, including architecture, communication, humanities and social sciences, medicine, theology, etc. This university has a mission to contribute to its students’ education at the academic, cultural, and personal level. The University of Navarra emphasizes the importance of academic research across different fields of knowledge to promote innovation and development within society.

6. Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Pompeu Fabra University is a well-known university and one of Spain’s top universities. This public university is located in the city of Barcelona, and it offers degrees across different faculties. Students are likely to find their preferred field of interest here, whether it belongs to the health and life sciences or translation and linguistics all the way to engineering. This university also offers the option of blended learning, which is a mix between online classes and traditional classroom methods.

7. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)

University Carlos III de Madrid is a public university located in the Community of Madrid. Due to high demand, this university has decided to offer English-taught groups in some of the most requested degree programs. UC3M provides most of its undergraduate studies in English or bilingual. The former include groups of students who will learn the degree entirely in English, while in the latter groups, half of the subjects within the curriculum will be taught in English. UC3M wants to contribute to society’s betterment through its teaching and research. 

8. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

As the largest engineering university in Catalonia, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia excels in its teaching and research expertise. As one of the top universities in Spain, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia has 28,208 students across its degree programs. Among its 75 master’s degree programs, 29 have English as their instruction language, while 27 are double degrees. This higher education institution specializes in architecture, engineering, science, and technology, providing world-class education and expertise.

9. Universitat Politècnica de València

The Polytechnic University of Valencia specializes in the field of science and technology. It offers degree programs across different schools, including architecture, engineering (civil, design, industrial, telecommunications, etc.), business administration, and fine arts. This university ranks among the top Spanish technological universities. It has study groups in three different languages, including Spanish, English, and Valencian, with more than 400 subjects being offered in English. The cutting-edge computer equipment is a great asset to the university.

10. IE University

IE University is a private higher education institution with degrees available across numerous fields of study, from applied mathematics, computer science and AI, to the study of law. 75% of the student population at IE University represents around 130 countries, meaning students get an international experience and learn from some of the world-leaders in the academic and business world. With campuses in Madrid and Segovia, this university is among the top international universities in Spain. 

11. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

The Polytechnic University of Madrid, also known as the Technical University of Madrid, is located in Madrid and was founded in 1971. However, although this is a relatively young university, most of its schools have more than a century teaching tradition. These schools merged into what became the Polytechnic University of Madrid. The oldest school in this university is The School of Architecture, founded in 1752. Students at this university receive a great deal of excellence and career opportunities.

12. Universidad de Alcalá

This public university also belongs to the top universities in Spain due to its teaching excellence and tradition. The University of Alcalá is located 35 km northeast of Madrid, in Alcalá de Henares. This university boasts more than 29,000 students across its degree programs and over 1,600 professors and researchers. Students can find study programs in different study areas, including humanities, social science studies, engineering, etc. International relations, state-of-the-art facilities, and excellence give the University of Alcalá its extra edge.  

13. Universidad de Granada

The University of Granada is among the largest universities in Spain, with over 80,000 students across its programs. It is also among the top universities in Spain for its quality. Founded in 1531, this public university in Granada is committed to transferring knowledge and skills, so students graduate with the necessary expertise to enter the job market and succeed in their careers. The University of Granada emphasizes the importance of research, internationalization, and equal opportunities for all. 

14. Universidad de Zaragoza

The University of Zaragoza was founded centuries ago, in 1542, and is one of Spain’s oldest universities. Degrees and double degrees at all levels of study are available at the University of Zaragoza in business administration, fine arts, biotechnology, architecture, English, philosophy, engineering, mathematics, journalism, medicine, etc. This university has over 30,000 students enrolled in its programs, and it attracts thousands of international students every year due to its teaching tradition and historic location.

15. Universidad de Sevilla

As the name suggests, this university is located in Seville, Spain, and it is one of the best universities in Spain. This university has around 87 undergraduate degrees, about 93 master’s degrees, and 32 doctoral programs to choose from. It also offers more than 50 international undergraduate and graduate degrees. The University of Seville has over five hundred years of teaching experience since it was founded under the name of Colegio Santa María de Jesús in 1505. It now has a student population of over 50,000 in its degree programs.

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