Education is one of the government’s strategic priorities and considered to be essential to the region's economic and social development. So it is not surprising that there are 12 universities, offering over 1,270 different degrees and masters, and more than 208,000 univsersity students.
Furthermore, Barcelona is the only European city with 2 business schools - ESADE and IESE- ranked among the top 10, according to the Global MBA Ranking by the Financial Times. IESE is also ranked 1st in the world for executive education.
Students from abroad
The Catalan university system stands out for its ability to attract talent from all over the world. A sign of the educational excellence found here is the number of international students (12,564 in 2019) who come to Catalonia to pursue their studies in a wide variety of disciplines.
International students in Catalan universities have experienced a growth of 37,9% over the last eight years, and now Catalonia has a greater percentage of foreign students than countries such as Germany, Denmark, or Holland.
The Catalan government promotes a high level of university research related activity as well as exchange programmes for researchers on a European and global level.
Proof of the good research results is the fact that Catalonia represents 5.4% of the European Research Area and concentrates 70% of the financial aid given by the ERC (European Research Council) to Spain (2020).
Therefore, Catalonia is ranked third among countries in the European research area in number of Advanced Grants awarded per million inhabitants, surpassing countries like the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France (Biocat, 2020).