European Universities and the Challenge of the Market

European Universities and the Challenge of the Market

A Comparative Analysis

Marino Regini

This major volume sheds light on the changing relationship between higher education and the economy in the major European nations. It is the outcome of extensive comparative research on higher education institutions and the economy in six European regions that were specifically chosen due to their similarities in terms of economic development: the English North West, Hesse in Germany, Rhone-Alpes in France, Lombardy in Italy, Catalunyia in Spain and the Netherlands. This unique comparative nature allows the authors to draw out the variations between regions and identify institutional differences.

Chapter 11: Spain: Major Reforms and Mixed Performance

Loris Perotti

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, economics of education, education, economics of education, management and universities


Loris Perotti 11.1 THE SPANISH SYSTEM OF HE AND ITS CHANGES Spain’s HE system is divided between a university track (which predominates in tertiary education, with around 1 400 000 enrolments) and a branch consisting of higher-level vocational training (Formación profesional de grado superior), which in 2009/10 had around 235 000 enrolments.1 The vocational courses, generally delivered at the same institutes as the medium-level courses, have a modular structure and a duration of between 1300 and 2000 hours. They comprise (on the pattern of the German dual system) both classroom teaching and on the job training (for up to 25 per cent of the hours). However, the distribution by age of students enrolled in these courses suggests that they are intended for dropouts from the university system, or for individuals with intermittent educational careers, given that the largest age group is 23 years and over (33 per cent), while the typical age of entry to these schools is fixed at 18.2 Despite the co-presence at tertiary level of university and vocational tracks, the number and profile of students enrolled in the vocational branch mean that the Spanish model cannot be equated with other binary systems (the German or Dutch ones, for instance), in which the prestige of the vocational training institutions is generally not much lower than that of the universities. The academic education represented by the Spanish universities has been profoundly reformed in recent years. Between 2005 and 2007 Spain adopted, though rather belatedly, the European model defined...

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