Private and Public Universities in Spain: Pros and Cons

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There are a total of seventy-six universities in Spain.

Forty-five of these are public universities, funded and run by the Spanish state and the other thirty-one are private universities or run by the Catholic Church.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of private and public universities in Spain.

First off, it is important to be clear that all private and public universities in Spain are obliged to maintain the same high standards of education.

The most common reasons for choosing a private university over a public university in Spain are smaller class sizes and wider choices of subjects and extra-curricular activities.

The main reason for choosing a Spanish public university is that it will be state-funded and therefore free.

Differences between the Private and Public Universities in Spain

Class sizes of Spanish Universities

Everything comes down to personal preference.

Smaller class size is not necessarily preferable.

Some people like the idea of bigger classes because they see them as more interesting and you have the opportunity to get to know more people.

Other people place greater value on increased teacher attention and a quieter environment and find it easier to get to know people in smaller groups.

Private and Public Universities in Spain

Private vs Public Universities in Spain: Subjects and higher quality teaching

Private universities compete with public universities to attract students to pay their fees.

One of the best strategies for achieving this is by offering better quality teaching and a wider range of subjects than the public universities.

If you are hoping to study something more specialist, it is most likely that you will find your course in a private university.

Extracurricular activities at the Universities in Spain

Private Spanish universities, in general, offer much more extensive extracurricular activities such as sports, art, drama, and music.

Of course, this is not always the case.

Some public universities have lots of clubs and activities and some private universities have fewer.

But in general, you tend to find private universities almost always offer a great range of activities. 

Fees of Spanish universities

To attend a private university in Spain you will have to pay significant tuition fees.

For some courses, these can be as much as 30,000 EUR per year but usually, they do not exceed 20,000 EUR per year.

Learning in English at the private or public universities in Spain

Be careful not to assume that a private university will automatically be a safer bet for learning in English.

Most Spanish private universities teach in Spanish, so you will need to check which courses are available in English in which universities if you wish to study in your mother tongue.

It’s up to you

The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for every student with regards to choosing between private and public universities in Spain.

However, Go Go España is here to help you make your decision by providing information and guidance.

Please get in touch if you require any assistance with anything related to living, working, and studying in Spain.

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