Spain

As Spain has a federal system of government it should be noted that on university matters the situation may differ considerably between Spain’s autonomous communities, particularly in relation to financial matters. The evaluation on autonomy is nevertheless for Spain as a whole.

Recent developments:

  • Public deficit reduction measures since 2011 have affected universities, for example some universities experiencing greater difficulties in accessing borrowing

Organisational autonomy: medium low

The election of the executive head must be validated by an external authority and their selection criteria are stated in the law. The dismissal of the executive head must follow a procedure stated in the law and must be confirmed by an external authority. The main governing body, a board/council-type body, includes a small minority of external members. Universities can decide on their academic structures and can create both for-profit and non-profit legal entities.

Financial autonomy: medium low

Universities receive funding on an annual block grant basis with no restrictions on the allocation of funding. They can keep surpluses and own buildings. They can borrow money with the approval of an external authority. Tuition fees for all students at all levels are set by the regional governments within limits established at the federal level.

Academic autonomy: medium low

Universities negotiate overall student numbers with public authorities. Admission to Bachelor programmes is co-regulated, while at Master level universities can set admission criteria. All new degree programmes at Bachelor and Master levels must be submitted for prior accreditation to be funded, and doctoral programmes can only be introduced after accreditation. Universities are not able to choose either quality assurance mechanisms or providers.

Staffing autonomy: medium low

Universities can only recruit senior staff among candidates already accredited by an external authority following a procedure stated in law. Salaries for all senior academic staff and a majority of senior administrative staff are set externally in line with civil servant status. Dismissals are strictly regulated due to the civil servant status of senior academic staff and most senior administrative staff. Universities can decide on promotions but must follow a procedure stated in law.

Organisational weighted 55% unweighted 60%

0

0% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is validated by an external authority

50

50% Selection criteria for the executive head

The law states that the executive head must hold an academic position

This applies to 13 other countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Flanders, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden

The law states that the executive head must come from within the university

This applies to 3 other countries: Flanders, Poland, Serbia,

40

40% Dismissal of the executive head

The dismissal is confirmed by an external authority and the procedure is stated in the law

This applies to 5 other countries: Brandenburg, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Slovakia,

100

100% Term of office of the executive head

The length of the term of office is not stated in the law

This applies to 5 other countries: Denmark, Wallonia, The Netherlands, Slovenia, United Kingdom

29

29% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

The appointment is completely controlled by an external authority

This applies to 5 other countries: Hungary, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Serbia, Switzerland

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 55% unweighted 40%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

100

100% Type of public funding

Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding

80

80% Ability to borrow money

Universities can borrow money with the approval of an external authority

This applies to 4 other countries: Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Slovenia,

100

100% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept without restrictions

100

100% Ability to own buildings

Universities can sell their buildings without restrictions

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 6 other countries: Croatia, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Ireland, The Netherlands,

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 5 other countries: Croatia, Flanders, France, Wallonia, The Netherlands,

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 3 other countries: Flanders, France, Wallonia,

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: Austria, France,

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: Austria, France,

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

Only an external authority is allowed to set the level of tuition fees

This applies to 2 other countries: Austria, France,

Staffing weighted 48% unweighted 47%

58

58% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Other restrictions

58

58% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Other restrictions

This applies to 4 other countries: Hungary, Ireland, Serbia, Slovenia,

0

0% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 5 other countries: Croatia, Wallonia, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia,

58

58% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salaries are set by an external authority/civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 3 other countries: Austria, Italy, Portugal,

0

0% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia,

60

60% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Portugal,

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

The law states who has to be included in the selection committee

This applies to 3 other countries: Norway, Portugal, Serbia,

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

The law states who has to be included in the selection committee

This applies to one other country: Croatia

Academic weighted 57% unweighted 58%

60

60% Overall student numbers

Universities negotiate with an external authority

60

60% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

100

100% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are set by the university

40

40% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be funded

This applies to 3 other countries: Croatia, France, The Netherlands,

40

40% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be funded

This applies to 3 other countries: Croatia, France, The Netherlands,

0

0% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

0

0% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

0

0% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities cannot choose the quality assurance agency

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)