In the 2019-2020 academic year, 13.2% of undergraduate degrees in Spanish public universities have had 50% or less of the occupation and an additional 11.4% have had a rate between 51% and 75 %; in other words, one in four degrees fails to cover 25% or more of the places offered with newly enrolled pre-enrollment .

This is highlighted by the CYD Foundation, which this Thursday presented the CYD 2019 Report , the 16th edition of its annual report on the contribution of Spanish universities to development.

The event, transmitted by streaming, had the participation of the president of the CYD Foundation, Ana Botín; the president of the CRUE, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos; the president of the Executive Committee of the CYD Foundation, Javier Monzón; and the president of the Conference of Social Councils, Antonio Abril.

As the report shows, in the 2019-2020 academic year there were 87 active universities in Spain (50 public and 37 private). Since 1998, the year the last public university was created, the private ones have increased in number, creating just over 50% of those currently existing, as well as the participation rate in all enrolled students.

After six consecutive years with negative annual variations in the number of undergraduate students for the entire Spanish university system, in the 2018-2019 academic year it has risen slightly (about 3,000 students) to 1,290,455 students.

However, it contrasts the negative evolution (for the seventh consecutive year) of undergraduate students in public universities against the positive variation in private ones.

In the case of the official master’s degree, also for the seventh consecutive year, although there is an increase in students in both types of universities, the growth of the public ones is lower than that of the private ones.

Another piece of information provided by the report is that, according to information from the universities that participate in U-Multirank (which provides an international classification of higher education institutions and of which Fundación CYD is part of its Consortium), the programs offered completely online at Spanish universities (before the pandemic) accounted for only 2.76% of the total offer and 1.29% in European universities.

The data collected in the CYD 2019 Report indicates that the trend of overqualification continues, that is, a high level of graduates occupying jobs that do not require said qualification (overqualification) and a high level of higher graduates with a reduced level of skills compared to the rest of the OECD countries (overtitling).

Overqualification is expressed, according to Eurostat, by the fact that 36.9% of employed senior graduates are employed in low-skilled occupations, the highest percentage of all EU countries.

All this takes place in a context in which, from a European perspective, 38.6% of the Spanish population aged 25 to 64 has a higher level qualification, more than 5 percentage points above the figure for the EU-28.

However, it is also detected that 38.7% of Spaniards only have, at most, compulsory studies , which places the country in 26th place in the EU-28. Furthermore, only 22.7% have post-compulsory non-tertiary secondary education, the lowest percentage in the EU-28.

If these data are related to the indicators of labor insertion of higher graduates, in 2019 Spain was the third country in the EU with the lowest employment rate, the second with the highest unemployment rate, more than double the European rate (8 , 1% compared to 3.7%) and the fourteenth, of the 34 OECD countries with data, according to the salary premium of higher graduates in relation to those employed with non-tertiary post-compulsory studies (Baccalaureate and higher-level training cycles ).

On the other hand, total annual spending on higher education per full-time student in Spain in 2016 was 19% lower than the OECD average . In addition, spending on higher education per student decreased in Spain from 2010 to 2016 by almost 15% compared to the continuous rise experienced by the OECD.

The Spanish indicator of public spending on higher education over total public spending was the eleventh lowest in the OECD.

Taking into account, specifically, the liquidated budgets of the 47 face-to-face Spanish public universities, total revenues (9,363 million euros in 2018) are still 9.9% lower than the 2009 data, which gives an idea of ​​the loss of resources of the public university system.

On the other hand, between the 2007-2008 and 2017-2018 academic years, Spain has been one of the countries (according to OECD data published in Education at a Glance 2019) that most increased the prices of tuition at public universities .

This increase was carried out in a good part of the autonomous communities, although in a very unequal way, with a great regional disparity in university public prices in the Spanish territory, as a consequence of the decentralization of the competences for setting and varying prices in higher education.

In terms of the presence of international students with ordinary enrollment in the Spanish university system, only 1.2% of those enrolled in Bachelor’s degrees were foreigners in 2017, while the average for OECD countries stood at 4.4% . In the master’s degree, Spain’s figure of 10.3% was closer to the OECD average (12.7%), surpassing 9 of the 29 countries considered.

In addition, according to the results of U-Multirank in 2020, in the international orientation dimension the student mobility indicator stands out, with a presence of Spanish universities in very good and good performance groups, 49.1% higher than that of world and European higher education institutions.

However, the results obtained in the rest of the indicators (bachelor’s and master’s degrees in foreign language, foreign teachers and publications in collaboration with foreign institutions) show that the degree of internationalization of Spanish universities is below that of other institutions of higher education analyzed by the U-Multirank of Europe and the world.

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