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Two thirds of universities are public, meaning that the Spanish university system is predominately a public one. During the last academic year, almost 89% of students registered in public universities, which also monopolize investigative work, and 109,500 of the approximately 124,700 university professors taught their lessons and carried out investigative work in public centres.

The current reality is that there are enormous differences between centres, public as well as private, which are reflected in the ratio of students to teachers, matriculation prices, ratio of students to computers, number of researchers, and number of contracts signed with businesses, etc.

With regards to the student-teacher ratio, the private universities are generally more personalized. The average is 12 students per teacher in public universities, and 10 students in private universities.

In terms of matriculation prices, the first year on the same degree can cost from 720€ up to more than 18,000 €. These differences can be even greater for technical and experimental degrees.

To achieve an Undergraduate degree title, at least 240 credits must be gained over the course of 3 or 4 years. Even the same subjects can vary in cost depending on each Autonomous Region, meaning that one credit in a public university may cost around 12€ in Andalucía, but 17€ in Navarra or Madrid. In private universities the cost is normally double or sometimes even three times this, but there are a huge variety of options, and it would be extremely difficult to establish more approximate parameters.

The same applies to official Master and Doctorate programs, which also vary in price, although not quite as noticeably as with Undergraduate degrees. The average price for a Masters course is around 2600€ for the first enrollment. In public universities the price can vary between 2000€ and 3000€, occasionally reaching 5000€. In private universities or professional schools, there are masters degrees which can reach up to 18,000€, but in this case it would be a two-year program with practical training included and many opportunities for entering the work market after the program had finished.

The doctorate credits also have very different prices, which can vary from 67€ for a Research credit in Cataluña, to 29€ in the Canaries or Castile La Mancha for the same credit.


In Spain there are currently 75 universities, both public and private, which between them offer more than 3,550 undergraduate courses and some 1,930 official master's courses. The majority of degree courses are already adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).