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Top Young Universities in Spain

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The QS Top 50 Under 50 2018, a ranking of the top universities in the world under 50 years old, is here and six top young universities in Spain are included this year. Age may seem an unusual crtieria by which to judge universities, but it’s worth remembering that there are more places to study than the traditional, hallowed halls of the world’s oldest universities.

Although younger institutions may get looked down upon by some, this year’s Top 50 is full of universities which have achieved remarkable strong reputations for academic excellence in a very short period of time and they would all make for a fantastic study destination. So, if you’re interested in studying in the Spanish sun and learning how to properly pronounce chorizo, these top young universities in Spain could be the perfect fit for you.

1. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM)

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

The highest-ranked of young Spanish universities, UAM is ranked 10th in the QS Top 50 Under 50 in 2018 and joint 187th in the  QS World University Rankings® 2018, up 23 places from last year. Located about 15 kilometers north of Madrid, UAM was established in 1968 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in June 2018 – part of the celebrations includes a commemorative degree program which will include activities open to the whole of society. 

2. Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Ranked 12th in the Top 50 Under 50 and joint 195th overall in the world, UAB was also established in 1968 and is located in Cerdanyola del Vallès, around 18km north of Barcelona. The university was recognized as a Campus of International Excellence in 2009, with a quarter of its master’s degrees offered in English, and a third of its PhD students coming from outside Spain.

3. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

Established in 1971, UPC is ranked 25th in the Top 50 Under 50 and 275th in the world this year, up an impressive 46 places from last year. The largest engineering university in Catalonia with 31,224 students at 31 schools in seven cities, UPC is a member of 12 international networks, including the Top Industrial Managers for Europe (T.I.M.E), a network which allows for student exchanges between leading European engineering schools.

4. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Based in Madrid, UC3M is ranked 27th in the Top 50 Under 50 and 281st in the world overall. UC3M was founded in 1989 by an act of the Spanish parliament and today has around 19,872 students, of which around 18% are international. More than 21% of UC3M’s students receive funding grants from the Ministry of Education, the Community of Madrid or the university’s own funding programs.

5. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

UPF, located in Barcelona, is ranked 30th in the Top 50 Under 50 and also features at joint 296th in the World University Rankings. Established in 1990 and named after the prominent linguist Pompeu Fabra, an expert on the Catalan language, UPF now has around 12,400 students. 44% of its masters and PhD students are international and the university has the largest percentage of international faculty members in the QS World University Rankings.

6. Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV)

 Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV)

UPV is ranked 45th in the Top 50 Under 50 this year and is also ranked joint 373rd in the world. Originally founded in 1968 as the Higher Polytechnic School of Valencia, UPV became a university in 1971 and now has nearly 37,800 students in 10 schools. The university is focused on science and technology and appears in the global top 100 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject for agriculture.

And in the Next 100 Under 50…

Our look at the top young universities in Spain doesn’t end there, as two more institutions feature in the Next 100 Under 50:

7. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Ranked 71-80 in the Next 100 Under 50 and 491-500 in the world, UPM was founded in 1971 through a merger of various technical schools of engineering and architecture from as far back as the eighteenth century. Today the university has just under 41,000 students and is ranked within the global top 50 for architecture.

8. Universidad de Alcalá (UAH)

Universidad de Alcalá

The final of our list of this year’s top young Spanish universities is UAH, which is ranked 81-90 in the Next 100 Under 50 and 551-600 in the world. UAH was established in 1977 and today has around 28,000 students, 6,300 of which are international. UAH receives five stars in the QS Stars opt-in rating system, gaining five stars for six out of the eight categories.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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