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Spain:Higher Education Funding

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Overview Spain

Contents

Spain:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Spain:Historical Development

Spain:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Spain:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Spain:Political and Economic Situation

Spain:Organisation and Governance

Spain:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Spain:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Spain:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Spain:Organisation of Private Education

Spain:National Qualifications Framework

Spain:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Spain:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Spain:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Spain:Funding in Education

Spain:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Spain:Higher Education Funding

Spain:Adult Education and Training Funding

Spain:Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Primary Education

Spain:Organisation of Primary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Spain:Assessment in Primary Education

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Spain:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Vocational Lower Secondary Education: Basic Vocational Training cycles

Spain:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Higher Education

Spain:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Spain:First Cycle Programmes

Spain:Bachelor

Spain:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Spain:Second Cycle Programmes

Spain:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Spain:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Spain:Adult Education and Training

Spain:Distribution of Responsibilities

Spain:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Spain:Main Providers

Spain:Main Types of Provision

Spain:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Spain:Teachers and Education Staff

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Management and Other Education Staff

Spain:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Spain:Management Staff for Higher Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Quality Assurance

Spain:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Educational Support and Guidance

Spain:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Spain:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Spain:Mobility and Internationalisation

Spain:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Mobility in Higher Education

Spain:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Spain:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Spain:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:National Reforms in School Education

Spain:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Spain:National Reforms in Higher Education

Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Spain:European Perspective

Spain:Legislation

Spain:Institutions

Spain:Bibliography

Spain:Glossary

Funding

Higher education comprises both university and non-university education.

Non-university higher education

It comprises:

It has the same characteristics as the rest of non-university educational levels regarding:

  • financing system
  • degree of financial autonomy and mechanisms for control
  • fees in public and private institutions
  • financial support for families and students

For more information, see Early childhood and school education funding.

Funding

Advanced vocational training cycles have some specificities: 

  • the total amount of public funds allocated to publicly-funded private schools is established in the budgets of the relevant education authorities. The minimum amount of funding to be provided for each school unit (group of students being collectively and simultaneously taught by a teacher on an ordinary basis) is annually set by the State in its Budget. In 2016, the minimum amount ranged from EUR 61 735.63 to EUR 69 688.42. This amount varies depending on the group the specific training cycle belongs to, as the State Budget divides them depending on the number of hours and the expenditure they imply. The interval refers to the 1st year, as funding varies and may be lowered or increased in the 2nd year
  • the amount of fees students have to pay in publicly-funded private schools depends on the specific Autonomous Community. As a general rule, fees cannot exceed the limits annually established in the State Budget. In 2016, the amount ranged from EUR 18 to 36 per student per month, ten months a year. However, these amounts may be increased in some cases which are recognised by legislation
  • students may receive ’salary grants’ and be eligible for the Excellence Awards, given by the Autonomous Communities, and the National Awards, organised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in order to recognise students who show excellent performance.

Financial support for students

Changes in the system of grants and financial support for students in non-university post-compulsory education for the 2012/13 academic year, by which students were obliged to assume the same responsibility as university students, were regulated in August 2012:

  • advanced vocational training students have to enroll for a year or in, at least, half of the modules of the cycle
  • the grant is not awarded to students who repeat part or all of a year, and they must have passed all the subjects or modules of the previous year
  • advanced vocational training students may receive a grant in the 2nd year provided they have passed 80% of the modules in which they were enrolled in 2011/12, which is equivalent to 500 hours.

For the 2013/14 academic year, the following academic requirements were established in order to be eligible for a grant:

  • students in the 1st year of advanced vocational training have to prove they have obtained a 5.5 in the 2nd year of Bachillerato, in either the entrance examination or course
  • students in the second or subsequent years of non-university post-compulsory education organised into modules have to prove they have passed, at least, a number of modules which represent 85% of the total number of hours of the relevant year.

Regarding economic requirements, in August 2013, the thresholds of family income and assets and the size of grants and financial support for students in post-compulsory and higher education, as well as for students with special educational needs, without establishing a specific number of beneficiaries, were approved. In addition, the 2007 regulation laying down the system of personalised grants and financial support was modified.

The changes approved were the following:

  1. last year’s thresholds of family income and assets above which students are not eligible for a grant or financial support are kept, but the five thresholds then in force are grouped into three
  2. the academic requirements along the lines of taking greater account of students' academic performance were included: the academic requirements announced in 2012, for applicants to know in advance the future scenarios of the new system, and those established for the 2013/14 academic year are the requirements to be met by new grant holders
  3. the awarding system consists now of two parts:

Basic core: An amount that guarantees the right to education for those who have the lowest incomes, assistance to cover the cost of accommodation for those who have to travel and exemption from payment of public prices.

Varying amount: It is calculated, depending on the specific call and beneficiary, through a formula taking into account family income and academic performance: the lower the income and the better the performance, the bigger the amount. For the same income, better performances will lead to greater amounts; for the same performance, those on lower incomes will be entitled to bigger amounts.

Amounts corresponding to non-university education students

THRESHOLD 1

a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 depending on income; a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 to cover accommodation costs, where appropriate; and a varying amount depending on student performance and family income of at least EUR 60

THRESHOLD 2

basic grant of EUR 200; a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 to cover accommodation costs, where appropriate; and a varying amount depending on student performance and family income of at least EUR 60

THRESHOLD 3

basic grant of EUR 200.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the Reference from the Cabinet meeting held on 2 August 2013.

The new awarding system also establishes that:

  • non-university students taking access courses and examinations for advanced vocational training are awarded the basic grant and receive the minimum varying amount, provided they are within Threshold 2
  • the following additional support is maintained: for students living in the Canary Islands, in the Balearic Islands, or in Ceuta and Melilla; the previous year’s subsidies and assistance for students with special educational needs related to a disability or serious conduct disorder, which may reach up to 50% more in the case of students with a degree of motor disability higher than 65%; and financial aid for highly gifted students
  • all students whose family income falls within Threshold 3 are entitled to a grant, at least exemption from registration fees or the basic grant.

University higher education

Its funding is established in the State Budget, whose priorities for 2016 are the following:

General objectives
  • participate in the financing of the National University of Distance Education and the Menéndez Pelayo International University
  • finance university institutions and colleges in Ceuta and Melilla
  • provide the means for the running of the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation, whose work enables to analyse the efficiency of university services, providing information about their quality.
National objectives
  • consolidation of the adaptation of the European Higher Education Area
  • internationalisation and excellence of the Spanish university system
  • social dimension of education: maintenance and reinforcement of the equity of the system (grants)
  • reform of the Spanish university system – Commission of Experts
  • promotion of the mobility and training of university teaching and research staff
  • design of a system of indicators and progress towards the implementation of an analytical accounting model for Spanish public universities
  • improvement of the employability of university students.
European objectives
  • coordinated management of the actions of the Action Programme in the Field of Lifelong Learning and the Erasmus+ Programme
  • take the necessary measures for the wide dissemination of the new Erasmus+ Programme
  • ensure a transparent and efficient management of European funds
  • maintain relations with the European Commission for the proper management of the Erasmus+ Programme and address the relations that might be established
  • collaborate with the Autonomous Communities and universities and higher education institutions to ensure compliance with the objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme
  • participate in the activities organised at European level in order to develop and maintain relations with the national agencies of the other countries of the European Union
  • facilitate the participation of all the education sectors involved through networks, seminars, etc.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain–Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the State Budget for 2016.

Bodies responsible for public funding

Sources of income of public universities

  • fees paid by students
  • public funds provided by the Autonomous Communities and the State:
    • State: it establishes the funds for universities which are directly dependent on it, the National University of Distance Education and the Menéndez Pelayo International University. The amounts allocated to each institution are annually established in the State Budget
    • Autonomous Communities: they establish in their annual budgets the funds for universities located in their territories. Such funds come from:
      • the taxes they collect and other revenues
      • State transfers: the amounts established for each Autonomous Community are determined by different parameters, especially population ones.

Funding model of public universities

Each Autonomous Community establishes it within its own territory.

These models, which are multi-annual, set out the criteria for the allocation of resources to the different universities on the basis of their:

  • teaching activity
  • research activity
  • technology transfer and innovation activity.

Public funding depends, to a large extent, on the number of students.

General system of grants and financial support

The State regulates and finances it from the State Budget. It is financed in two ways: 

  • the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport regulates, finances and manages grants for students to pursue university education in an institution outside their region, as well as for students enrolled in the National University of Distance Education
  • the State regulates and finances grants which are managed by the Autonomous Communities and universities themselves:
    • Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport: it decides on the different categories, the amounts to be awarded, the academic and economic requirements that candidates must meet and the situations leading to incompatibility
    • Autonomous Communities in collaboration with universities: they are in charge of the development, implementation and control of these financial support policies, so as to facilitate decentralised management of resources and cater for territorial diversity.

The Autonomous Communities and universities also have their own grants.

Other sources of income of public universities

  • the prices of studies leading to the award of their own diplomas and certificates, especially postgraduate Master, Expert or Specialist programmes, which are not official, and lifelong learning studies, such as language courses and others
  • transfers from public and private entities, as well as bequests, legacies and donations
  • patrimony and any other economic activity they may develop
  • credit operations
  • contracts for people, or public and private universities or entities, to carry out scientific, technical or artistic work, as well as to develop specialised courses or specific training activities.

Policies to encourage public-private partnerships in university education have been implemented over the past few years.

University education financing system

RTENOTITLE

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain–Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport).

Financial autonomy and control

State regulations grant public universities economic and financial autonomy and establish accountability over the functions assigned to these institutions.

Autonomy of public universities

Public universities are entitled to:

  • draw up their own statutes
  • prepare, approve and manage their budgets
  • administer their goods.

Budgets

The Autonomous Communities establish the regulations and procedures for their development and implementation.

Budgets specify total income and expenses and are annually approved by the university’s Social Council, which is the body in charge of supervising all economic activities and promoting the participation of society in university funding.

Expenses

Budgets include, together with current spending, a detailed list of the different job categories established within university staff, as well as total expenditure on personnel.

The salaries of teaching and research staff, as well as of administration and service personnel, must be authorised by the relevant Autonomous Community, or the State in the cases of the National University of Distance Education and the Menéndez Pelayo International University.

Remuneration of staff

Teaching and research staff: their remuneration complies with what is established by the education authorities: 

  • State: it determines the system of remuneration of the staff with civil servant status
  • Autonomous Communities: they regulate the system of remuneration of the staff who are employed on a contractual basis.

Administration and service staff: they are paid from university budgets.

In the case of civil servants, salaries cannot exceed the maximum limits defined by the relevant Autonomous Community, in accordance with the rules established by the State.

Control in public universities

The Autonomous Communities establish the regulations and procedures for the control of their investments, income and expenses, by means of audit services under the supervision of the Social Councils.

Universities submit a budget settlement to the Governing Council of each regional government, together with all the documents related to their annual accountancy. Once the regional government has received the books, they are sent to the relevant body in charge of the supervision of the accountancy, or, failing that, to the Court of Auditors.

Analytical accounting model for public universities

This model was approved in 2011 by the Council of Universities and the General Assembly for University Policy in order to determine the real costs of the different services provided by universities in a more efficient way, as well as their relationship with private and public funding. By doing so, accountability levels and efficiency in management are expected to increase.

The latest available data on its implementation are data from the beginning of the 2012/13 academic year. According to this information, 50% of participating universities had already implemented the analytical accounting model, 37.5% had not yet and the rest did not answer. Of those that had not implemented it yet, 77.8% planned implementation in 2013 (’The usefulness of time sheets as an instrument for measuring the promotional efficiency of the Spanish public university system’, communication presented by Alvarado and De Vicente in the Conference on the Implementation of Analytical Accounting in Spanish Universities (Practical Experiences), organised by the Department of Accounting of the Universidad de Valencia in November 2012).

Fees within public higher education

Cost of education

Students pay for a series of fees which cover part of the cost of education.

Official university studies

The public prices of official university studies are fixed by each Autonomous Community, within the limits established by the General Assembly for University Policy.  The fees student pay are also different depending on:

  • the number of credits in which they are enrolled
  • whether the programme is highly experimental
  • the extra charges involved in registration for second or subsequent times in one or more subjects:
Minimum and maximum public prices of credits for new students of official Bachelor and Master programmes in Spain. 2015/16 academic year
Lowest fee per credit  Highest fee per credit 
Bachelor programme1 9.85 29.70
Official Master programme2 which entitles the holder to perform a professional activity that is regulated in Spain 13.68
75.70
Official Master programme2 which does not entitle the holder to perform a professional activity that is regulated in Spain
21.61 65.873

1 Official Bachelor programmes generally have 240 credits
2 Official Master programmes comprise 60 to 120 credits
3 in Catalonia, in the case of Master degrees whose programmes are not a prerequisite to performing professional activities that are regulated, the Social Councils may establish a discount in the price of the credit of up to a 30%, in accordance with the criteria they may set. They may also establish a specific discount in the case of the Erasmus Mundus Master programmes.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain–Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the 2015/16 Statistics on University Public Prices (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport).

Non-official university studies

Registration fees are determined by the Social Council of each university.

PhD programmes

There is a significant variability in public prices:

  • training credit: between EUR 28.33 and EUR 156.93, in the case of teaching credits, or EUR 179.20, in the case of research credits
  • academic tutorship for the preparation of the doctoral thesis: between EUR 36.06 and EUR 421.95 per year depending on the services offered to doctoral candidates.

Fees only new students have to pay

The total cost of registration for a student includes registration fees (depending on the number of credits), together with:

  • school insurance fees (for students under 28)
  • student record
  • ID fee.

Fees for other services

  • the issuing of the relevant certificate or the Diploma Supplement
  • the doctoral thesis examination, whose price ranges from EUR 117.09 to EUR 259.97.

Financial support for learners’ families

University students' families do not receive direct financial support; it is directly awarded to students, although their family situation is taken into account.

Grants and financial support

In order to be eligible, in terms of household income and capital, for national grants and financial support, the following is taken into account:

  • number of members of the family who live in the family home
  • if it is a large family (except in special cases, those with three or more children)
  • if the applicant or a family member (brother/sister or son/daughter) are disabled
  • if the applicant or any of his brothers/sisters lives away from the family home while pursuing university studies
  • if the applicant is an orphan and is under 25 years of age.

Full or partial fee waivers

They are established in accordance with national and regional regulations.

They are both aimed at students coming from certain family situations, including the following:  

  • members of large families
  • dependent or disabled people
  • high-performing students
  • victims and relatives of victims of terrorist attacks
  • victims of gender violence
  • orphans of civil servants and military personnel who have died in the line of duty
  • students with dependent family members. 

Financial support for learners

There are some mechanisms which allow coordination between the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the Autonomous Communities in order to ensure that the general system of grants and financial support guarantees access to higher levels of education according to students’ aptitudes and inclinations, regardless of their financial circumstances, social status or place of residence.

Changes in the system of grants and financial support for university students

Changes in the system of grants and financial support, by which university students were obliged to assume a responsibility, were introduced in the 2012/13 and 2013/14 academic years.

The cost was determined by the following parameters: ‘number of grant holders’ (which depended on the economic and academic requirements they have to meet) and ‘amount of grants and financial support’.

The academic requirements new students have to meet are the following:

  • in order to be eligible for a grant in the 1st year of university education: students must have obtained a 5.5 in the university entrance examination, excluding the specific part; or a 6.5 in the examination or in the university access course. If they are only applying for the enrolment grant, the mark required is 5.5
  • in order to renew the grant in the 2nd and subsequent years of a Bachelor programme: they must have passed a percentage of the credits of the previous year:
    • 85% in Architecture and Engineering
    • 100% in Arts, Humanities, Social and Legal Sciences, Sciences and Health Sciences
    • the percentages decrease by 10-35%, depending on the branch of knowledge, if the average mark of the subjects passed is 6-6.5 or if they are only applying for the enrolment grant.
  • in order to be eligible for a grant in the 1st year of a Master’s degree: students must have obtained a 6.5 in the previous studies from which they gained access. In order to have access to a Master’s degree whose programme is not a prerequisite to performing a professional activity that is regulated, the average mark is 7. For students to renew the grant in both cases, they will have to obtain the same average mark
  • students enrolled for a second or subsequent time are not eligible
  • in order to obtain a ‘salary grant’/additional aid, university students must obtain a 6 and, if they want to renew it, they must pass 100%, or 85% in the case of Engineering and Architecture, of the credits.

Regarding economic requirements, in August 2013, the thresholds of family income and assets and the size of grants and financial support for students in post-compulsory and higher education, as well as for students with special educational needs, without establishing a specific number of beneficiaries, were approved. In addition, the 2007 regulation laying down the system of personalised grants and financial support was modified. The changes approved were the following:

  1. last year’s thresholds of family income and assets above which students are not eligible for a grant or financial support are kept, but the five thresholds then in force are grouped into three
  2. the awarding system consists now of two parts:

Basic core: An amount that guarantees the right to education for those who have the lowest incomes, assistance to cover the cost of accommodation for those who have to travel and exemption from payment of public prices.

Varying amount: It is calculated, depending on the specific call and beneficiary, through a formula taking into account family income and academic performance: the lower the income and the better the performance, the bigger the amount. For the same income, better performances will lead to greater amounts; for the same performance, those on lower incomes will be entitled to bigger amounts.

Amounts corresponding to university students

THRESHOLD 1

enrolment grant, a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 depending on income, a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 to cover accommodation costs, where appropriate, and a varying amount depending on student performance and family income of at least EUR 60

THRESHOLD 2

enrolment grant, a fixed amount of EUR 1 500 to cover accommodation costs, where appropriate, and a varying amount depending on student performance and family income of at least EUR 60

THRESHOLD 3

enrolment grant: official public prices of university academic services corresponding to credits for which students have enrolled for the first time. Credits exceeding the minimum number required to obtain the degree are not included.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of the Reference from the Cabinet meeting held on 2 August 2013.

The new awarding system also establishes:

  • non-university students taking access courses and examinations for advanced vocational training or completing their final project will be awarded the basic grant and receive the minimum varying amount, provided they are within Threshold 2
  • university students taking a university entrance course for people over 25, completing their final project, in distance education or partially enrolled will be awarded the enrolment grant and the minimum varying amount, if they are within Threshold 2
  • additional support is maintained: students living in the Canary Islands, in the Balearic Islands, or in Ceuta and Melilla; the previous year’s subsidies and assistance for students with special educational needs related to a disability or serious conduct disorder, which may reach up to 50% more in the case of students with a degree of motor disability higher than 65%; and financial aid for highly gifted students
  • all students whose family income falls within Threshold 3 will be entitled to a grant, at least exemption from registration fees or the basic grant.

In 2014/15, a total of 504 058 students of Bachelor and Master programmes in public universities received some sort of grant or financial support, which represents 39.2% of the total number of students enrolled  in public universities. The total amount was EUR 925.4 million.

Number of grant holders and percentage they represent in Bachelor and Master programmes. Public universities. 2014/15 academic year


Grant holders1
Percentage
Bachelor programmes2
481 126
40.50%
Master programmes
22 932
23.70%

1 These figures can be slightly overestimated for some Autonomous Communities, because they have made the number of students receiving financial help equivalent to the number of grants awarded

2 First and second cycle university education is included.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain–Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of Statistics on Grants and Financial Support, 2014/15 academic year. Subdirectorate General for Statistics and Studies, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Grants and financial support for students of Bachelor and Master programmes and of programmes prior to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

Mobility grants

Covering residence costs or not, to pursue non-distance university education in an institution outside the student’s region.

General grants

To enrol in a university within the student’s region.

They may cover residence, material, transport and tuition costs.

They include:

  • grants based on academic performance: starting from the second year of Bachelor programmes and university programmes prior to the EHEA, as well as in Master programmes
  • ‘salary grants’ (Bachelor programmes) or additional aid (Master programmes and university programmes prior to the EHEA): to compensate for lack of working income due to enrolment in education programmes
  • grants for end-of-degree projects for students enrolled in technical degrees which require submission of such projects to complete the programme of studies: students must meet a series of economic (insufficient family income to afford educational costs) and academic requirements (enrolment in a specific amount of credits and number of credits earned during the previous academic year). The amount received, with the exception of registration fee waivers, may reach up to 50% more in the case of students with a degree of disability equal to or higher than 65%.

Assistantships

They are awarded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport to Bachelor students enrolled in the last year of a degree or Master students in their first year, so that they can collaborate in different university departments. 

Excellence Graduation Awards

They are awarded by universities to the students with the best academic record in each university degree. 

National Graduation Awards

They are awarded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport to the students with the best academic record and outstanding academic and scientific merits.

Grants and financial suport for PhD students under the State Programme for the Promotion of Talent and its Employability

The objectives of this Programme are to finance and encourage, on the basis of competitive calls: 

  • training and specialisation of human resources in R&D&I
  • promote of their employability, both in the public and private sector
  • access to international mobility and mobility within the public sector –universities and research bodies–, and between the latter and companies.

It is comprised of three State subprogrammes:

  1. State Subprogramme for Training:

Assistance for pre-doctoral contracts for the training of doctors 2016 (in 2015 it has merged with Severo Ochoa assistance for pre-doctoral contracts for the training of doctors)

Objective: increase the quantity and quality of new doctors through the preparation of their doctoral theses.

  • they are signed between the institutions of origin (universities, public research bodies and other research institutions) and research staff in training
  • doctoral theses are part of the best projects of research groups of scientific and academic standing
  • they generally have a duration of 4 years.

Assistance for enrolment in PhD programmes for research staff in training 2014 

Objective: pay for the tuition fees of research staff in training in PhD programmes in public or private Spanish universities.

  • only first and second enrolments, corresponding to the academic year when assistance has been awarded, are financed
  • assistance cannot exceed the maximum amounts established for public prices for the provision of academic services, set by the relevant Autonomous Community for the corresponding courses in public universities
  • training or additional training credits of the corresponding PhD programme are also financed, provided it is a first enrolment and up to a maximum of 60 credits
  • beneficiaries are research staff in training who, at the time of submitting the application, have already been awarded some assistance for the training of research staff under the former Research Staff Training Subprogramme (FPI), and who are or have been enrolled in a PhD or Master programme.

Juan de la Cierva-Training assistance for contracts 2016

Objective: complete post-doctoral research training in R&D institutions different from the ones where pre-doctoral training took place.

Through the recruitment of young doctors by Spanish research bodies or R&D institutions, for a 2-year period.

Assistance for contracts for the training of researchers in companies 2016 (Industrial Doctorates)

Objectives:

  • promote the recruitment of researchers in companies since the early stages of their careers
  • contribute to the employability of these researchers
  • encourage the integration of talent into the productive fabric in order to enhance its competitiveness

Through the co-financing of the employment contracts of research staff in training participating in an industrial research or experimental development programme developed in the company, where their doctoral thesis will be framed.

  1. State Subprogramme for Incorporation:

Ramón y Cajal assistance for contracts (RYC) 2016

Objective: promote the integration of national and foreign researchers with an outstanding record into R&D institutions.

Through this assistance for their recruitment or the creation of permanent positions, researchers subsequently integrate into the different actors of the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System. Candidates are recruited on the basis of competitive calls, assessing:

  • their merits
  • capacity to lead a research line
  • scientific and professional experience
  • independence in their career.

Assistance for contracts for technical support staff (PTA) 2016

Objective: support the use of R&D&I equipment, facilities and other infrastructures in order to improve them.

Through the recruitment of technical support staff in research bodies. Candidates must hold a Bachelor, Engineer, Architect, Graduated, Technical Engineer or Technical Architect, or Advanced Technician certificate.

Torres Quevedo assistance for contracts (PTQ) 2016

Objectives:

  • promote the professional career of researchers
  • stimulate the demand for staff trained to undertake R&D projects in the private sector
  • help consolidate newly established technology-based companies.

Through the recruitment of doctors who develop industrial research or experimental development projects, or preliminary feasibility studies. It consists of 3-year assistance to companies, technological institutions and institutions supporting technological innovation at State level, business associations, and science and technology parks.

Juan de la Cierva-Incorporation assistance for contracts 2016

Objective: consolidate the abilities acquired during a first stage of post-doctoral training.

Through the promotion of the recruitment of young doctors by Spanish research bodies or R&D institutions, for a 2-year period.

EMPLEA 2016: Aid for the recruitment of technologists to carry out R&D&I activities in small and medium-sized companies

Objective: gather together a group of university graduates specially trained to manage R&D&I activities.

  • the creation of high quality employment and the development of R&D&I activities in companies are encouraged, by providing them with the appropriate training
  • the beneficiaries of aid for the training linked to the recruitment are the technologists hired by the organisations, who must be university graduates.

Assistance for the Promotion of Young Employment and the Implementation of Youth Guarantee in R&D&I 2014

Objectives: 

  • improve the training and employability of R&D technical and management staff
  • strengthen their research activities and the performance of insfrastructures, scientific-technical equipment, laboratories or any other general or common facility or service of the organisation, whether scientific-technical or research management.

Through their recruitment in public universities, bodies and organisations for 2 years.

Assistance to stimulate the recruitment of doctors (IED) 2016

Objective: promote the recruitment of researchers with an outstanding scientific-technological career on permanent posts in universities and non-profit R&D institutions.

  1. State Subprogramme for Mobility:

Pre-doctoral mobility assistance for short stays in R&D institutions 2015

Objective: improve the training of research staff in training in R&D institutions.

Through the financing of stays of research staff in training in R&D institutions different from the ones they are attached to, so that they can carry out activities to improve their training and develop their doctoral theses. For more information, see State Subprogramme for Mobility.

Private education

Private universities draw up and pass their own organisational and operational rules.Among other aspects, they contain internal regulations concerning administrative and financial principles. All universities are entitled to prepare, approve and manage their budgets and administer their goods.

Funding of private universities comes mainly from students’ contributions. The cost of fees for the provision of training services is established by each university and represents about 80% of the funding.

In some private universities, although most funding comes from teaching activities, students make considerably lower contributions, since these institutions receive subsidies from public regional and local bodies which make up for users’ contributions.

Official grants and financial support for students enrolled in private universities is the same as the one offered to public university students. In the case of registration fee waivers, the amount awarded must not exceed the official price established for the same degree and study programme in public institutions within the same region.

In 2014/15, a total of 30 346 students of Bachelor and Master programmes in private universities received some sort of grant or financial assistance from the education authorities, which represents 9.19% of the total number of students of those programmes in private universities. The total amount was EUR 39.2 million.

Number of grant holders and percentage they represent in Bachelor and Master programmes. Private universities. 2014/15 academic year


Grant holders1
Percentage
Bachelor programmes2
17 993
10.22%
Master programmes
2 353
5.18%

1These figures can be slightly overestimated for some Autonomous Communities, because they have made the number of students receiving financial help equivalent to the number of grants awarded

2 First and second cycle university education is included.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain–Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of Statistics on Grants and Financial Support, 2014/15 academic year. Subdirectorate General for Statistics and Studies, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Many private universities offer grants and financial support which are financed from their own resources. They also grant some benefits to their students provided they fulfil a series of academic requirements. In addition, in some private universities, students who have suffered violence caused by terrorism or members of large families may also receive a reduction in academic fees.