“Spain has scrapped its university entrance exam for foreign students in a move to establish the country as a major destination for overseas study.
The Selectividad exam, which has been removed with immediate effect, has long been viewed as a barrier to increasing Spain’s relatively low number of international students.
Only about 74,000 foreign students were enrolled at Spanish universities last year, compared with 425,000 studying in Britain and 300,000 in Germany, official figures show.
But the removal of the test may now allow the country to exploit the growing demand for higher education in Latin America and the Middle East, experts said.
‘The exam was in Spanish and based on the Spanish educational system, with parts of it on Spanish literature, so it was very hard for overseas students to pass.’
The exam’s removal, which was announced in a royal decree in June, was a ‘revolutionary decision’ because it signaled a new era of academic openness in Spain.
“Students are only paying about 10 to 20 percent of the cost of tuition, so there is a real cost to universities to take on extra overseas students,” he said.
Although public Spanish universities were unlikely to compete with Britain or Germany in terms of quality, many students, particularly Spanish speakers, would be attracted to the benefits of living and studying in Spain.
Higher fee income from overseas students could provide a massive boost to Spain’s under-pressure economy, whose travails have resulted in significant cuts to higher education funding in recent years.”
Read more @ http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/31/spain-seeks-attract-more-foreign-students
Languages do matter