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How can refugees and immigrants access the education system?

marzo 31, 2021
sistemaeducativoespanol How can refugees and immigrants access the education system?

How to access the Spanish educational system?

If you are a refugee or migrant, you have the full right to access the different levels of the Spanish educational system. The academic access requirements are the same as for other students, but in addition, in post-compulsory education studies you will have to prove a minimum level of Spanish (or the language in which the teaching is taught, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Euskadi and Galicia have their own languages).

Access education system

In this section you can find the law that regulates the right to education, the steps to study in Spain, the requirements to access the different studies and information on how to homologate or validate the degree you have in your country of origin.

Education rights

Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, contemplates the right to education of foreigners, specifically, in article 9 the following points are defined:

Article 9. Right to education.

1. Foreigners under the age of sixteen have the right and duty to education, which includes access to basic, free and compulsory education. Foreigners under the age of eighteen also have the right to post-compulsory education.
This right includes obtaining the corresponding academic qualification and access to the public system of scholarships and grants under the same conditions as Spaniards.
If they reach the age of eighteen during the school year, they will retain that right until its completion.

2. Foreigners over eighteen years of age who are in Spain have the right to education in accordance with the provisions of educational legislation. In any case, resident foreigners over eighteen years of age have the right to access the other post-compulsory educational stages, to obtain the corresponding degrees, and to the public scholarship system under the same conditions as Spaniards.

3. The public authorities will promote that foreigners can receive lessons for their better social integration.

4. Foreign residents who have minors in their care in Spain of compulsory school age must prove said schooling, by means of a report issued by the competent autonomous authorities, in the requests for renewal of their authorization or in their application for long-term residence. .

How to study in Spain?

If you wish to continue your studies in the Spanish educational system, the steps you have to follow are the following:

1. Inform you of the different educational levels that exist and of their equivalence with your educational system.
2. Know the training offer, the specific access requirements for each degree, the officiality of the studies, the degree you obtain at the end and the professional opportunities of the degree.
3. Have a level of Spanish (or co-official language of the autonomous community) that allows you to successfully continue your studies.
4. If necessary, carry out the homologation or Recognition from your previous studies.
5. Inform you about the admission schedule to studies and documentation that you must contribute.
6. Inform you of the characteristics of the center that imparts the studies (facilities, if it is public or private, specific access requirements …).
7. Perform the evidence (if necessary) to access the studies.
8. Perform the Admission process within the established schedule.

All this information can be provided to you in the Ministry of Education of the Autonomous Community where you are. You must bear in mind that the admission processes to the different studies are coordinated by each autonomous community and that there may be differences from one community to another. Therefore, it is important that you inform yourself directly in the community you want to study and if necessary, go to an orientation service to help you clarify your doubts.

Access requirements to the Spanish educational system

If you are an immigrant or refugee, you can access any level of the Spanish educational system, as long as you meet the academic access requirements:

  • In the case of Obligatory education (which includes Primary Education and Compulsory Secondary Education) access is direct.
  • In the case of post-compulsory studies, you will have to comply with the specific academic requirements for access, in addition to having a sufficient level of Spanish (or co-official language of the autonomous community) to be able to follow the course without difficulties. Access requirements can consist of:
1. Specific tests or be in possession of a specific title, such as the School Graduate or the Baccalaureate.
2. Homologate or validate the studies of your country of origin. The process of homologation and validation of previous studies it is carried out through the educational administrations. It is a process in which you must provide different documents that accredit and certify the studies that you want to homologate or validate. This procedure is important to do both if you want to continue with your studies towards higher education, and if you want to access a job according to your training.

What is the difference between homologate and validate?

If you have completed compulsory secondary studies or high school and have an official qualification, you can homologate it to continue studying in Spain.

Instead, the Recognition It is done from some studies, even if you do not have the title. For example, if you have taken the first year of high school but do not have the degree, you can validate the subjects in order to directly access the second year of high school.

The formalities of approval and validation can be slow, for this reason, educational centers can admit you conditionally if you have started this process and still do not have the resolution. To be able to enroll, you must present the conditional enrollment flyer.

You can request the conditional registration flyer at the time of submitting all the documentation for the approval or validation process, in the same education department. This flyer is used so that you can enroll in educational centers to study while you wait for the resolution of the homologation or validation process, in the event that the result of this process is negative, the studies will not have official validity.

The homologation and validation processes can be carried out both for non-university studies and for university studies. The Enic-Naric network of the European Commission offers information on the processes of homologation, equivalence and professional recognition in Spain and in other countries, in the field of Higher Education.

Homologation and validation of non-university foreign studies

You can homologate or validate all those degrees that have a official validity in the educational system of the corresponding country, that they have been passed and that there is sufficient equivalence of academic level, duration and content with the studies that you want to carry out the homologation or validation.

To do so, you will have to submit the application for homologation or validation along with the required documents. These documents must be official, duly legalized (the form of legalization varies depending on the country of origin) and accompanied by an official translation into Spanish.

The main documents that you must present are:

  • Certified photocopy of the identity document (NIF / Passport / NIE / other document).
  • Certified photocopy of the official title or diploma whose homologation you request.
  • Certified photocopy of the accrediting certification of the courses taken (with the subjects, grades and years in which you have done it).

In addition, depending on the degree you want to validate or validate, more documents may be required.

You will also have to prove the payment of the corresponding fee, except if you want to homologate the Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education.

This process can be carried out through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training or in the corresponding ministries of the different autonomous communities.

Homologation of foreign university degrees

This process is used to homologate higher education degrees with official university degrees and Master’s degrees from Spanish universities that give access to a regulated profession in Spain.

In the case of professions and degrees that do not exist in Spain, the homologation process cannot be carried out.

To request the homologation of a university degree, you must submit the corresponding application accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Certified copy of the identity and nationality document of the applicant.
  • Certified copy of the title whose homologation you request.
  • Certified copy of the academic certification of the studies carried out (with the duration, the study plan and the subjects with their workload expressed in hours or ECTS credits).
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fee.
  • Accreditation of the linguistic competence necessary for the exercise of the regulated profession in Spain.

During the approval process, they may request additional documentation.

All documents have to be official and issued by the competent authorities, and when required, duly legalized.

This process can be carried out through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training or in the corresponding ministries of the different autonomous communities.

Find the courses you have at your fingertips and contact the centers to find out the specific access requirements.