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University access for foreign students

marzo 31, 2021

If you’re foreign student and you want to access a Spanish university, you have to comply with the access requirements to the university and do the admission process to university studies. This process and the documentation to provide will be different depending on whether you are a student from an EU member state or with an International Agreement or not. Below you will find information on how to access the university.

Access for students from Member States of the European Union and with International Agreements

This access modality is for all those students who have one of the following qualifications:

  • European Baccalaureate Title.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma.
  • Title, diploma or studies equivalent to the Baccalaureate title of the Spanish Educational System and come from an Educational System of a Member State of the European Union or with International Agreements.

If you have one of these degrees, you can participate in the pre-registration process for access to the university. To do this, you will have to obtain the accreditation for access to the university issued by the National University of Distance Education (UNED).

This accreditation will provide you with the qualification for admission, namely, the grade of the studies or proof of origin transferred to the Spanish system (a grade between 5 and 10 points). It is equivalent to the mark obtained in the general phase of the selectivity.

To get it, the university offers the service UNEDasiss that will allow you to apply for admission to the Degree study. The student can request different services that will allow him to participate in the admission process to the university.

This accreditation is valid for access to most Spanish universities, but there may be some university that does not admit it. Therefore, before applying for accreditation, you have to consult the information about admission to the university you are interested in studying to verify the process.

The main requirements that universities may demand are:

  • Qualification for admission. Score between 5 and 10 points, this is calculated according to the equivalences of qualifications for educational systems. These can be consulted in the annex to the UNEDasiss Regulation.
  • Evaluation of the Baccalaureate for access to university. There are two options:
    • Realization of Specific Competences Tests (PCE): exams offered by UNEDasiss of certain subjects. These tests are necessary if you want to improve your university admission grade up to a maximum of 4 points.
    • Examine the subjects of the specific phase of selectivity in any university in the State taking into account the weightings.
  • Accredit the baccalaureate modality. A relationship is established between the subjects taken or the tests carried out and the branch of undergraduate studies to be started.

To access university studies, you will need to accredit the qualification of access to the university, and depending on the university and the studies that interest you, you may have to take Specific Competences Tests, accredit the baccalaureate modality or present yourself to the phase specific of the Baccalaureate Assessment for University Access (EBAU) to improve your grade.

Access for students with approved or equivalent high school studies completed in an educational system outside the EU

This access modality is for those students with one of the following qualifications:

  • Approved studies or equivalent to the baccalaureate taken in a system outside the EU.
  • Studies equivalent to the baccalaureate degree completed in an EU education system but which do not meet the university access requirements in the country of origin.

If you are in this group of students and want to access the university, you have to complete the following procedures:

Some universities allow access to these students having only made the homologation of the baccalaureate. In these cases, a specific access priority is established, such as, for example, that they can only access the university in the September call, to studies in which there are free places and after students who have passed the EBAU.

At the university where you are interested in studying, you can find all the detailed information on how to access. Depending on the university and the studies that interest you, access requirements may vary.

What are the Specific Competency Tests (PCE)?

They are exams of different subjects whose objective is to assess the student’s competences in them. These tests serve to improve your college admission grade.

A maximum of six subjects can be taken. For the students from Member States of the European Union or with International Agreements, it is recommended to test at least two subjects, provided that the required admission grade is not 5 points. For other students, it is recommended to do at least four subjects.

If the host university requires it, you must take six subjects of the Specific Competences Tests.

exist two calls of the tests, a first between the months of May and June, and a second during the month of September.

How to calculate the qualification for admission?

In the event that you should homologate your studies to the Spanish baccalaureate, the qualification for admission is obtained by applying the following formula:

Qualification for admission = (0.2 x NMB + 4) + 0.1 x M1 + 0.1 x M2 + 0.1 x M3 + 0.1 x M4

NMB: high school grade average.
M1-4: best grade obtained in up to four specific competency tests (PCE) carried out in the calendar year of the call, provided that they are different subjects and obtain at least a grade of 5 out of 10. In no case will they be taken into account for the calculation of the grade admission, grades obtained in tests from previous years or more than 4 PCE.

This grade is a grade between 5 and 10 points, in which the high school grade counts 60% and the PCE grades the remaining 40%.

If you’re student from the EU or countries with a reciprocity agreement with studies of origin equivalent to the baccalaureate, the grade is obtained from rating scales of each educational system and according to the criteria and requirements specified in Annex II of the UNEDAsiss Regulation.

You can also improve your qualification for admission through the marks of the exams that you have taken from the PCE. In that case the formula will be the following:

Qualification for admission = Access credential note + M1x0.1 / 0.2 + M2x0.1 / 0.2

Access credential note: access note of the studies of provenance.
M1, M2: the two subjects in which the best mark was obtained in the exam.
0.1 / 0.2: weighting parameters set by the universities. Each university establishes some weighting parameters for the different subjects for access to the different university studies.

If your studies of origin are different from the Baccalaureate or FP in Spain, but you meet the requirements for access to the university in the country of origin. The qualification for admission is obtained with the following formula:

Qualification for admission = (5) + 0.1 x M1 + 0.1 x M2 + 0.1 x M3 + 0.1 x M4

What other tests to do to improve the admission grade?

The access mark to Spanish universities is a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 14. If you want to improve your mark, some universities allow you the option of applying to the specific phase of the EBAU.

In this phase you can take a maximum of 4 subjects related to the studies you want to take, of which the two with the best grade are taken into account.

For the students from the EU or with International Agreements, in some universities they take into account the subjects passed in the entrance test carried out in the country of origin or the final high school exam that gives access to the university, and that are included in the UNED accreditation. The weighting parameters are applied to these subjects and they serve to improve the grade by applying the same formula as in the specific phase of the EBAU.

Before performing any test, consult the weighting parameters of the different universities, their specific access requirements and the Cutting notes from the previous year to find out whether or not you need to take a test to improve your grade and gain access.

Find out about the entire offer of university studies and find out at the university you want to study all the specific criteria for the admission of foreign students.