KITE Invest interviews Mr. Álvaro Escribano, the Vice Chancellor of the Carlos III (UC3M), in order to discuss the relevant issues about education in Spain. Higher education in Spain, after adapting to the Bologna Plan and thanks to a total of 81 public, private and online universities, Spain has the ability to offer Spanish and international students a wide range of reputable bachelors, Masters and PhD programs.
KITE: How would you assess the evolution of the Spanish higher education system in recent years?
Mr. Álvaro Escribano: The higher education system in Spain has taken an impressive jump, especially in terms related to teaching. In research, we have also continued to improve and have maintained a good quality in all departments.
With the introduction of the Bologna Plan, all universities have reached a similar joint plan, universities are required to implement teaching quality controls and as a result, there is now the ability to compare institutions, making for remarkable improvements.
There has also been a good evolution for public universities. Spain is number one in terms of European mobility, more than 36,000 Spanish students move annually and is also at the top of the list for receiving students. Mobility helps to build networks, which then has benefits and a significant impact in the labor market.
KITE: Keeping in mind that Spanish is considered one of the three major world languages, along with English and Chinese, what strategy should University Carlos III follow in order to facilitate and promote the study of Spanish, especially as language that can Latin American to foreign students?
AE: Without a doubt bilingualism of Spanish and English is strategic. University Carlos III offers both Spanish and English, as they are both so important to the world, which makes our institution more competitive. There is also the ability to instruct in English as to further support and encourage students, as normally students do not reach a high enough level of Spanish suitable for the college level.
KITE: University Carlos III of Madrid has the vocation of being an innovative public university, whose activities are guided by the values of merit, ability, efficiency, transparency, fairness, equality and respect for the environment. Please explain how the University tries to implement such values at the university and in the workplace?
AE: Our University, from the beginning wanted to be an internationally competitive institution and this implied the need for clear rules of internal promotion. Our values are goals aim to achieve bilingualism. Promotion comes by merit and ability and these are the basic operating principles of our institution.
KITE: What plan or international program could you highlight in terms of the 400 agreements with 54 countries that host the Carlos III institution?
AE: Certainly the Erasmus program in Europe, which has further improved through the launch of Erasmus Plus that allows for the mobility with third countries.
In addition we also have Erasmus Placement, which offers the possibility of internships in European companies and institutions. It is a fantastic situation because the students have a great learning experience, the companies sometimes admit the students to join their institutions, and both can end up very happy.
KITE: The Universidad Carlos III is included in the QS ranking of the top 50 universities in the world with less than 50 years existence. Why do you think that the Carlos III University is an interesting destination for foreign students and for British in particular?
AE: Because the quality of the University Carlos III is on par with the best in the world. Its relative cost is low, its value is very good, and the quality control and demand is strong. Bilingualism also is a major attraction.
KITE: How do you assess the cohesion between Spain and the UK in terms of education?
AE: There is a good Erasmus mobility with UK, but it is unbalanced. From Spain, we send many more students to the UK, and this is something that creates problems because universities want to establish equilibrium.
British academic institutions should be aware of the importance of mobility and to promote this, especially if they want to attain the target of 20% proposed by the European Union.
Spanish students are keen to go because the British university system is one of the best in the world, and would improve even further if they promoted greater mobility.
KITE: To end the interview, could you end by delivering a message to encourage British students to study at the University Carlos III, and also to the business elite as a means to reinforce the ties that bind both countries (Research and Development, Innovation, Agreements with companies for students internships)
AE: For future employability students need to master two languages and here you can find that bilingual education. Also students will have the opportunity to become opened to Asia and North America. This type of training and exposure is essential and we provide it.