Uni entrance exams no longer requested for foreign students

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STARTING in the 2017-2018 school year Spanish students will not have to take the feared university entrance exams anymore.

Education Minister Jose Ignacio Wert called them in 2013 “an absolute anomaly” and “the biggest obstacle keeping Spanish universities from expanding their frontiers and accepting students from all over the world.”

Three years from now and following the education reform, no longer will hundreds of thousands of young Spaniards be required to sit university entrance exams.

 

However, foreign students can already benefit from this decision. The Education Ministry has decided that foreign high-school graduates wishing to pursue higher education in Spain are no longer obligated to sit the exams, starting this year.

Spanish universities hope the decision will increase the number of students from South America and Northern Africa who apply for graduate and undergraduate studies in the country.

According to UNESCO, more than 55,000 foreigners already study in Spanish universities.

The Official State Bulletin (BOE) published on June 7 the Royal Decree establishing the university admission procedures and eliminating the university entrance exams “for all students coming from foreign education systems.”

Alberto Cortes, a Mexican national studying architecture in Madrid, says it would have been easier for him to study in Spain if the decision had been made before. He sat the Spanish university entrance exams four years ago in Mexico. He studied for two months, even preparing for subjects he had never taken before, including philosophy and technical drawing. His grade point average suffered a little since he was unfamiliar with most of the exams’ content.

At the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, 10 per cent of registered graduate students come from abroad. The university hopes now that percentage will increase.

More students mean more money, especially if they come from abroad. Foreign students’ expenses, including tuition fees, are not covered by Spain and they often pay four times more what a Spanish student pays. 

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