The systems of education in different countries around the world share many similarities. For example, most include the following levels of education: primary school, secondary school (after which the students take preparation courses or exams in order to be admitted to universities), higher education (universities), and post-graduate levels of education. The term, “college,” in Spain can stand both for a level of secondary school and a university department.
In the colleges of Great Britain one can obtain higher education as well. In this case, colleges are independent educational institutions and the schools that comprise large universities. Some old English schools are also called “colleges” in order to place an emphasis on their prestige. In the USA, colleges are higher education institutions that focus on undergraduate university students; they offer the first four years of university studies and the corresponding bachelor’s degrees. By way of comparison, universities are usually larger and offer undergraduate programs and graduate programs, such as those leading to the master’s and doctoral degrees. In Russia, college is an intermediate vocational training institution. In other words, it is an equivalent of a community college that offers more in-depth preparation. In the Spanish system of education, “college” can stand for both a school and a higher education institution. Let’s discuss this issue in more details.
Colleges in Spain – school education
Many English schools in Spain are called “colleges,” such as King´s college in Madrid, Aloha College in Marbella or Caxton College in Valencia. However, the usage of the word “college” in the title is a nominal factor and does not indicate any qualitative difference when compared to other English schools, such as British School of Barcelona or Kensington School in Barcelona, which are among the best English schools in Spain. Children up to the age of 18 years may study in these schools.
College in Spain – higher education
When we use the term “college” to refer to higher education institutions, we can talk about business school or about university. In spite of the fact that the names of these educational institutions do not directly contain the word, “college,” the level of academic preparation they impart can be compared to the colleges in the USA or the university colleges in Great Britain. For this reason, when using the word, “college,” people from these countries mean “university,” not “school.” In Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia, the branches of the large business schools offer interesting programs, with the MBA programs among the most popular choices. University schools and higher technical schools also have demonstrated rapid development lately, mainly in the field of technical science.
Some examples of such rapidly developing institutions include the Higher Technical School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, Higher Technical School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. These educational institutions are not considered to be the preliminary stage before entering a university in Spain, but enable their graduates to obtain a university degree. It’s worth mentioning that business schools are private educational institutions, while university schools mainly function in affiliation with the public universities, although, among them, one can also see autonomous schools. Please, be informed that some higher schools are not entitled to issue the Bachelor’s diploma that comprises the first stage of higher education, especially in the field of arts. This issue must be clarified on an individual basis.
You can find the list of colleges in Barcelona by following this link.
Should you need any help in choosing a college in Spain or gaining admission to a university, the specialists of «INEEDSpain» can surely help you. We will gladly assist you in selecting a college and preparing the documents needed for admission; we will also give you a consultation concerning how to pass the entrance exams and help you apply for the student visa. Call us on the phone numbers indicated on our webpage!