UNED (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)
UNED is a large provider of online and blended-learning university programmes. UNED also has a department that co-ordinates accreditations of international qualifications for university admission purposes, even if the students applying with such qualifications are Spanish nationals. In this capacity, UNED collects the applicants’ documents, checks their qualifications and the fulfillment of the access requirements, and translates their grades into a Spanish-system score. This process is called accreditation. UNED runs a platform for these purposes called UNEDasiss.
Most Spanish public universities as well as some private universities use the UNEDassis system and recognise UNED’s accreditations. UNED has no decision power of its own, but solely applies the legislation in issuing the accreditations.
The Ministry of Education (central government)
The Ministry of Education sets the minimum requirements for access to higher education and the recognition of foreign / international school qualifications in Spain, in particular the Royal Decree 412/2014.
The regional government
Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities. The regional government may set further, more specific requirements, adding to those laid down by the central Ministry, which may be related to the application process and to various options made available for applicants in that region.
For example, in Cataluña, Cambridge International A Levels cannot be used to improve the Access Score for admission to competitive courses (see below) as an equivalent to the Pruebas de Competencias Específicas (PCE). Also, Andalusian universities do not recognise UNED’s accreditations and use a platform called Distrito Único de Andalucía to manage applications.
To get an understanding of the regional variations it is important to contact the university directly.
If you wish to study in Spain, you apply directly to the university. Universities in Spain, both public and especially the private ones, set their own specific requirements for admission purposes. Such as:
- a higher number of Cambridge International A Level subjects, or a specific combination thereof, or a higher minimum grade, than the minimum access requirements.
- Additional admission procedures including entrance tests, interviews etc.
- language requirements: these generally apply to university courses that are taken in another language, such as an Economics course taught in English.
When applying to study at a public or a private university in Spain it is always important to contact the university directly to find out about the admission criteria for students coming from an international educational system.
It is particularly important to find out the following information from the university:
- Does the university recognise UNEDasiss accreditations?
- Does the university use UNEDasiss admission scores, or other calculation schemes?
- Are you expected to provide evidence of the Specific Competency Tests / Pruebas de Competencias Especificas / PCE? If yes, what is the minimum number of PCE subjects that you must take or pass?
- (if applicable) What language requirements are in place?
- What are the registration deadlines?
Also, it may be a good idea to check: