Accés al contingut Accés al menú de la secció
Serra Húnter Programme
Home  > The Catalan University System

The Catalan University System

The Catalan university system comprises 12 universities—seven public, one online and four private—that offer a wide range of degrees in areas of renowned excellence, such as Architecture, Design, Biomedicine, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics, amongst others. In addition to their dedication to education and teaching, the Catalan universities are internationally renowned for their research activity and play a prominent role in innovation and knowledge transfer.

Catalan universities are leaders among Spain's universities in the Shanghai ranking (ARWU 2016), the absolute ranking of Times Higher Education (THE 2016-17) and the  Times Higher Education 150 under 50 ranking (2017). In ARWU 2016, 5 Catalan public universities rank among the world's 500 top universities. In THE 2016-17, 5 Catalan public universities rank among the world's top 500. In THE 2017 150 under 50, 4 Catalan public universities rank among the world's top 150 universities under 50 years of age.  

The Catalan university system has the quality to compete and cooperate at the international level with the ambition of Catalonia becoming the main higher education pole in Southern Europe, thus contributing to make the country a first-rate knowledge hub (with 0.1% of the world's population, Catalonia already produces 1% of the world's scientific publications). There are several ongoing initiatives aimed to foster internationalisation and to attract international projects to the Catalan universities. All this can only be understood if the important internationalisation process that is already underway in the system is taken into account:  50% of indexed scientific publications by the Catalan public universities are produced with international collaboration; 35% of master’s degree students come from foreign countries and more than 33 master’s degree courses are offered in collaboration with foreign universities, amongst other indicators.

In terms of faculty members, the Catalan universities have 10 students per faculty member, slightly better than the OECD average (1 to 15).

Work is currently being carried out to set the bases of sustainability for the Catalan university system, and to guarantee a harmonic growth, in which quality is a priority. For this reason, decisive actions have been taken towards a new faculty model. The Serra Húnter Programme is one of the instruments to bring about profound changes that will ensure the improved academic quality of the universities.

The Catalan public university system in figures


The Catalan public university system in figures


Situation as of 1/1/2015

Civil service teaching and research staff (PDI)


Permanent contracted teaching and research staff (PDI)




Other temporary full time staff (assistant, visiting...)


Teaching associates (individual)


Emeritus professors


Total  full time staff +  Teaching associates



Catalonia Universities

Updated date: 28.06.2017