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Recent far-reaching changes have resulted in greater autonomy for universities, and greater compatibility with other institutions in Europe.

Country Overview

Modern Spanish history is defined by the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco until his death in 1975. The period since then has been marked by a peaceful transition to democracy and dynamic economic growth. A former world power whose extensive overseas empire had dwindled by the early 1800s, Spain is now divided into 17 regions with varying degrees of autonomy; tension in the northern Basque region, over which separatists have killed hundreds, is ever present. The art, music, and dance of the Spanish part of the Iberian Peninsula – where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, where Europe meets Africa – are known the world over.

Climate

The climate in Spain is incredibly diverse. It is largely affected by its altitude and the surrounding sea. Spain is one of the most mountainous counties in Europe and has two oceans (the Mediterranean and Atlantic) on both sides of it. There is also a huge difference between the northern and southern climate.

Summer
Spanish summers can get very hot, especially inland. The average temperatures are at least 30°C. Coastal areas enjoy cool breezes that bring temperatures down to a more bearable level. During the summer there's an average 11/12 hours of sunshine per day and it hardly rains at all.

Autumn
Autumn is a great time to visit Spain; the landscape gets green again, the sea stays warm and average air temperatures can still reach up to 28 °C. It's only in November that temperatures drop to around 20 °C. Heading towards the winter, as the hour changes, daily sunshine reduces substantially.

Winter
During the winter, coastal temperatures hover at about 17 °C. Although sunny and warm during the day, it can feel very cold at night. Inland, it gets much colder, especially in mountainous areas like Granada.

Spring
Late spring, in anticipation of summer, is a magical time in Spain. As the days get longer, we get warm settled weather, with average temperatures rising to about 21 °C inland and about 24 °C on the Southern coast. There's an average of 11 hours sun per day.

GDP

$1,403,000,000,000

Population

40,525,002

Overview of Higher Education

The system of higher education in Spain has recently undergone far-reaching changes that have resulted in greater autonomy for universities and greater compatibility with other institutions in Europe. The country has 67 universities in all, 49 of which are public, 14 of which are private, and four of which are Roman Catholic.

The country, in accordance with the Bologna Process, has introduced a credit-based system of study. University degrees are divided into three so-called cycles. The first cycle, roughly equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, encompasses three years of study that results in a diplomado or diplomatura. The second cycle, study for which lasts between three and five additional years, results in degrees (licenciado, licenciatura) tantamount to a master’s. The third cycle, or doctorate, requires another three years of research.

Some 1.4 million students were attending postsecondary institutions in 2006.
 
(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning, Spainedu.org)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 218

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled:  1,789,000

Number of international students enrolled: 18,206

Contact Information

Ministry of Education

C / Alcalá, 36, 28071, Madrid 28071 Madrid, Spain

Web site: http://www.educacion.es/portada.html

Phone: 902 21 85 00

E-mail: http://www.educacion.es/mecd/jsp/plantilla.jsp?id=21&area=atencion

Contact: Ángel Gabilondo Pujol, Minister of Education