University Rankings: Spain
El Mundo “50 Carreras”
The Madrid-based daily newspaper, El Mundo, compiles Spain’s only commercially produced comprehensive ranking of universities. Over the last six years, El Mundo has ranked the top public and private Spanish universities as well as the best schools in 50 individual courses of study ranging from architecture to social work. Each set of rankings includes a small description of each university concerning its history and position in the ranking along with vital statistics on either the institution in general or the specific course of study being covered. The complete compilation of subject rankings can be accessed from the drop-down menu on the ranking home page.
El Mundo’s ranking system utilizes information obtained from college and university instructors and compares it with statistical data available for all the nation’s institutions of higher education. The newspaper also takes into account information provided by outside bodies that evaluate university quality for a small portion of their final rankings. The criteria for ranking each university breaks down as follows:
A. Professor Survey
Accounts for 40% of the final evaluation. A random, anonymous and voluntary survey designed to elicit information from professors as to which universities they think are the most prestigious to be employed by, what are strong and weak points of their particular university, and to review the principle research of the university department they teach in.
B. University Information
Accounts for 50% of the final evaluation. Based on information provided by universities and their faculties. This information is generally analyzed and compared with historical information from each institution. The information is organized into the following categories:
- Total number of students in each department and course.
- Total number of students rejected each year compared to the number of university places available.
- Proportion of students in relation to the number of professors in each department.
- University funds allocated for each student.
- Classroom capacity in relation to the number of students.
- Lab capacity in relation to number of students.
- Library capacity in relation to number of students.
- Computer Lab capacity in relation to number of students.
Course of Study
- Number of credits required for each major, structure, and curriculum.
- Number of practical theory credits required for each degree.
- Number of elective credits available in each major, academic flexibility.
- Number of practical credits required in the field.
- Drop-out rate.
- Graduation rate.
- Average degree duration.
- Rate of professor participation in research projects.
- Number of doctoral degrees administered.
- Number of research projects in each course of study.
- Number of required languages.
- International alliances, study abroad opportunities.
- Price per credit.
C. Other Indicators
Accounts for 10% of the final evaluation
- El Mundo takes into account other factors such as external studies, other international rankings, info from accreditation and evaluation groups in Spain, archived self-evaluations of the institution, etc.
|Top 10 Public Universities (2006/2007)|
|Politécnica de Madrid||1|
|Autónoma de Madrid||2|
|Autónoma de Barcelona||3|
|Complutense de Madrid||4|
|Politécnica de Catalunya||6|
|Politécnica de Valéncia||9|
|Top 5 Private Universities (2006/2007)|
|Ceu San Pablo||5|
Faculty results are available from a drop-down menu on the ranking home page:
Conducted by a team of Spanish researchers based in the United States and Spain, Ranking 2005 builds on research originally published in 20002 and offers an elaborate measure of institutional quality at Spanish universities using 71 sub-indicators, a reduction of almost 30 indicators from the 2000 initiative. Ranking 2005 assesses quality standards at Spain’s 47 public universities, representing 92 percent of Spanish tertiary enrollments, and 16 private universities. In the final ranking, only public universities are compared; however, data results are summarized for all institutions in the research paper. Data is derived mainly from official sources such as the Spanish National Institute of Statistics.
The Ranking 2005 researchers use four different criteria, measured by 11 main indicators, as proxies for quality at Spanish institutions of higher education. The four categories are as follows:
- Context (in order to relate the institution fairly to its situation):
- GDP of the region
- Age of the institution in years (average is 109 years – 138 public, 23 private)
- Public or private (47 to 16)
- Number of schools as an indirect measure of the range of studies (average is 15)
- Faculty/student ratio (average is 6:100)
- Non-academic personnel/student ratio (average is 2.5:100)
- Number of books per student (average is 17 per student)
- Ratio of students enrolled in long versus short undergraduate programs (average is 64 percent)
- Percentage of women on faculty (average is 34 percent)
- Graduation rate of students within prescribed number of years (average is 64 percent)
- Doctoral dissertations awarded per year relative to overall size (average is 3.8 per 1000 students of all levels)
Weightings are assigned approximately as follows:
- Context 7 percent
- Resources 37 percent
- Organization 22 percent
- Performance 33 percent
Universities received an overall score on a scale of 1 to 10.
- General findings from the study are as follows:
- Not surprisingly, public universities are considerably older than private ones.
- Private universities are smaller, with fewer schools, yet have 48 percent more faculty members per student and more than double the number of books per student. The difference in non-academic staff between public and private institutions is negligible.
- Private universities graduate more students on time than public (89:63 percent).
- Private universities have more female faculty members.
- Private universities award fewer doctoral degrees.
- There are no negligible differences between public and private institutions as to long/short program ratios.
- Economic development of the region does not have a strong impact on the resources of the university. This factor does, however, greatly affect the student/teacher ratio and the number of female faculty members. This is largely because regions with higher average GDPs tend to host more private universities.
- Older universities are crowded, but they maintain high academic standards and are usually true research institutions, awarding more doctoral degrees and graduating undergraduate students faster.
|Ranking 2005 of public universities in Spain|
|1||Complutense de Madrid||9.6|
|2||Autónoma de Madrid||9.5|
|5||Autónoma de Barcelona||8.9|
|7||Alcalá de Henares||7.9|
|10||Rey Juan Carlos||7.8|
|13||Miguel Hernández de Elche||7.4|
|20||Politécnica de Cataluña||6.8|
Source: De Miguel, J.M et al. “Spanish Universities and the Ranking 2005 Initiative,” Higher Education in Europe 30 2 (2005): 199-215.
** Schools are sorted by second and third decimal points where they are equal after one decimal point.