Barcelona, the world’s 18 best city for higher education

Barcelona has three institutions in the World University Rankings top 400, according the Times Higher Education (THE). Catalonia has 12 universities in total, with a student population of around 235,000. Of these, eight are situated in Barcelona, with three making the top 250 of the latest World University

  • University de Barcelona (UB)
  • University Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • University Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)
  • University Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
  • University Ramon Llull (URL)
  • University Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
  • University Internacional de Catalunya (UIC)
  • University Abat Oliba (UAO-CEU)

And other four in catalan provinces:

  • University de Vic (UVIC)
  • University de Lleida (UdL)
  • University de Girona (UdG)
  • University Rovira i Virgili (URV)

The THE are the only global university performance tables to judge world-class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook

Look at the european cities that host the most universities that appear in the latest THE:

London. With nine institutions placed in our World University Rankings top 400, four of which place in the top 40 (Imperial College of London, University College of London, London School of Economics and Political Science, King’s College of London). London is a formidable hub of higher education. A quarter of the city’s 400,000 university students come from outside the UK.

Vienna. Today the city has a thriving higher education sector, with three institutions in this year’s World University Rankings top 400, with the University of Vienna the pick of the crop (ranked 170th).

Milan. This city boasts three universities in the top 300 of this ranking. The University of Milan – Bicocca reached the 226-250 bracket.

Stockholm. It’s also one of Europe’s leading centres for higher education, with three institutions ranking in the top 200. Karolinska Institute also registers in the top 50 of this year’s World University Rankings

París It is a global centre for science and business, and boasts six of the world’s top 400 universities. Of these, the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, École Polytechnique and École Normale Supérieure all make the prestigious top 100.

Outside of Europe are: Istanbul, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Boston (Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the second and fifth place, respectively), Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong.

In addition, according to a study done last year by ESADE, Barcelona is the 5th city in the world and 2nd in Europe in attracting international talent to study an MBA (Master in Business Administration), which means that, as a city​​, this raise about 60 billion euros annually due to host nearly a thousand participants from these masters.

However these data contrast with the preference of Erasmus students. According to the European Commission, two universities of Valencia and two of Catalonia are in the top twenty European universities that host Erasmus students: the University of Valencia in fifth place, the Polytechnic University of Valencia in sixth position, the University of Barcelona in sixteenth position and the Technical University of Catalonia in seventeenth position. However, UAB and UB are well positioned in the ranking THE, but the two Valencian universities occupy the last positions (397 and 398 respectively).

Elena Escubedo (Universitat de Barcelona)


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