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Catalan higher education system

The universities

The Catalan higher education system consists of twelve universities, seven of which are public, four private and one of a mixed nature. Four of the public universities have their campuses in Barcelona and the city's metropolitan area: the Universitat de Barcelona (UB, 1837), the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, 1968), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, 1971) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF, 1990). The remaining three public universities have their area of influence in the three other provincial capitals in Catalonia: the Universitat de Girona (UdG, 1990), the Universitat de Lleida (UdL, 1990) and, in Tarragona, the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV, 1990).

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC, 1995), which offers distance learning courses, is a private university governed by a foundation, the main stakeholder of which is the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya). The other universities that make up the higher education system in Catalonia are the Universitat Ramon Llull (URL, 1991), the Universitat de Vic (UVic, 1997), the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC, 1997) and the Universitat Abat Oliba (UAO, 2003), all four of which are private, with three located in Barcelona and one in Vic.

Size and scope of the system

In the 2010-2011 academic year there were 246,655 students enrolled in Catalan universities, with 70% in public higher education institutions (HEIs), and 18,572 teachers. There was a total number of 1,191 programmes: 445 Bachelor's, 483 Master's and 263 Doctoral degrees.

Universitat de Barcelona (UB)  45.499  3.880  62  125  69
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)  31.162  2.712  87   98  74
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)     23.434   2.544  67   47  43
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)  10.186   808  27   34   9
Universitat de Girona (UdG)  11.064  1.052  42   26   5
Universitat de Lleida (UdL)   7.602   759  24   32   8
Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)  11.347  1.119*  44   42  26
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)   8.822   225  14    8   1
Universitat Ramon Llull (URL)  11.347   579*  33   43  13
Universitat de Vic (UVic)   4.567   248  23   13   6
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC)   3.405   119*  14   13   7
Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO-CEU)   1.039   33**   8    2   2
Total  169.418  14.078  445  483  263

Source: The UNEIX information system for the data on students and teachers and the Official Register of Catalonia for the number of degrees..

To find out more

UNIDATA, statistics website of the Commission for Universities and Research with the trend of academic outcomes at the seven public universities (UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, UdG, UdL and URV) and the University of Vic

UNPORTAL, information portal on university studies in Catalonia, set up by a group of journalists who specialise in university information

Survey of the indicators showing the trends in higher education between 2000 and 2005. Includes an analysis of indicators on supply, demand and registration; access; academic staff; the graduate population; progress and the duration of studies, and the drop-out rate

Structure of university studies in Catalonia