Here we examine in more detail the IESE Business School (which in Spain alone boasts campuses in both Madrid and Barcelona), the Universidad Complutense De Madrid, and the Universitat De Barcelona. Here is what the students of these institutions have to say about their alma mater.
Since the list is extensive, we will be reviewing three institutions in this article. You can go back to the first article and soon we will have the third part.
For more information on studying in Spain, including information on tuition fees and student visas, then you can visit our dedicated Spain page.
Today we will be talking about IESE Business School, Universidad Complutense De Madrid (UCM) and Universitat de Barcelona (UB) we hope this article and the interesting reviews from students can help you decide whether these institutions are a good fit for you or you should wait for the upcoming ones.
With campuses located in both Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, and Munich and New York internationally (as well as bases in other locations), the IESE Business School proves a strong rival amongst Spain’s top tier institutes of education solely with its international presence.
There are several comments throughout IESE’s EDUopinions comment section where students have referred to the institute as one of the best business schools they know of; that it is ‘a first class business’ school, and that IESE is an example of how business schools should be run. To read the comment section is extremely impressive indeed.
Also mentioned in numerous IESE EDUopinions comments is praise for the case method used by the professors at the university. Like many universities and business schools alike, IESE too uses real-world examples and solutions in its teaching today, therefore producing students who possess superior knowledge when they enter the world of employment after graduation. IESE has its roots firmly set in the real world.
Many IESE EDUopinions commenters compliment their teachers at the business school. Aside from being excellent educators who use the case method, are experts in their respective fields, and can effectively convey information to students in interesting and engaging ways, many have mentioned the faculty’s kindness towards the students. One student describes how the professors teach with ‘humility and empathy,’ and indeed another commenter outlines their time at IESE as a ‘fantastic academic and personal experience.’
Additional IESE positives appearing on EDUopinions include the time off during the academic year at the university, the facilities available, the locations in fantastic cities (Barcelona, Madrid, etc.), and the diverse student body where one can connect with people from all over the world and from many different cultures.
Some points to note, while not being negatives, are that for one, IESE is a graduate business school and thus offers no courses of study at undergraduate level, and also that studying there can be intensive – you must be committed to working hard, but you will be rewarded with a first-class education as a result of your efforts.
IESE Business School, in its own words, ‘grants and manages up to 16.5 million euro in financial aid and scholarships to students.’ Some come with conditions (for example, a scholarship being offered after completing a minimum amount of time serving in the military). Here is where you can read up on IESE’s scholarship and financial aid offers.
Boasting an impressively high number of EDUopinions comments at 117 is the Universidad Complutense De Madrid. Unsurprisingly, there is a wide range of mixed opinions to be found in the comments on the EDUopinions site, so let’s take a look at what students think of the university.
Making up the positives comments are the reasonable price paid to study at UCM, according to one student, the amazing Italian department according to another, the opportunities available to study abroad while studying languages at the institute, and, in general, the good facilities on offer at UCM – though this is a mixed point. The general consensus about this, for the most part, seems to be that UCM has many facilities, and many are good, but could also use upgrades and a dose of modernisation. A student who studied at UCM while on Erasmus notes how she found the university to be in general ‘well-organised.’
Many UCM students also praise the teachers at the institute who are for the most part genuinely interested in their chosen subjects, although it must be added here that this, too, is a mixed point, with many other students disappointed in the overly-theoretical teaching approach by professors at the university.
Indeed this is a commonly appearing theme in UCM’s EDUopinions comment section. Students seem to crave more practical work in their studies and less theoretical knowledge which they find to have no use in their careers after university. This leads us back to the need for UCM to update much of its infrastructure, particularly mentioned is the IT department – both for its technology and its professors, who are described basically as being good but needing to modernise so as to keep up with trends in IT outside of the academic world.
A selection of other areas in which students believe UCM could improve include the level of some masters programmes not being high enough in some students’ opinions, the French department, which is, as one student describes, awfully organised with a handful of patronising and unhelpful teachers, another UCM student tells EDUopinions that many at the university communicate only through Spanish which may be a problem for international visitors (although one must admit here, the university is in Spain, so this is not an abnormal situation), and exams being worth 100% of the marks for a subject, creating a lot of pressure for a very short time frame when it comes to the students.
Finally, an often recurring complaint made by UCM students is the lack of help and support they felt they received from the university in their search for jobs after graduating or indeed for placement positions during their studies.
So, UCM, it seems, is a university steeped in prestige, and has in the past built up a magnificent reputation to be proud of. The task, for now, is to work on maintaining that reputation so the institute can compete on the modern stage of Spanish third level education.
Here is the part of UCM’s website where they offer a link to information on their scholarships at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, and for Spanish and international students.
Students’ opinions on Universitat De Barcelona present themes similar to those of UCM. Many state that there is too heavy an emphasis placed on theory and not an adequate amount of practical examples and cases, leaving students feeling underprepared for the workplace after university.
There are many points made about UB which are mixed. Some students describe their experience of the teachers there as not very good, disorganised, tardy, disinterested in conveying information to students, and lacking in giving feedback about students’ work, while others rave about their good and ‘very available,’ and ‘very qualified’ teachers.
The topic of equipment is varied, too. A psychology student at UB tells EDUopinions that the IT on offer is undesirable and easily crashes, while on the other hand, a different student compliments the library and cafeteria services available, with other students complimenting the nice-looking campus at UB.
A final subject creating mixed reviews is the level of English on campus. UB’s EDUopinions comment section features contributions from many who attended the institute during their Erasmus or exchange programme, and these students portray high opinions about how accommodating both administrative services and teachers were in communicating and dealing with them through English. In fact, Erasmus students, in general, seem to have lots of positive things to say about their time at UB.
Alternatively, there are comments on EDUopinions about the improvement needed by some UB professors regarding their level of English, especially as they may not always be understood when lecturing through the language.
Another point relating to Universitat De Barcelona is, according to students, the high quality of the language courses available.
And again the advantage that is the location of Barcelona plays a positive and enlightening part for students attending this university.
UB offers courses in many different disciplines ranging from languages to law to pharmacy, to name a few. While there are countless points on the UB ‘pros’ list, the areas which need improvement are just as valid, and must not be ignored.
Universitat de Barcelona offers scholarships with different requirements, many involving an element of being connected at least in some way to Spain. Here is where you can learn more about these opportunities.
There is no doubt that these institutions can provide students with an excellent level of education and will continue to grow their reputation.
This brings us to the end of our piece on these three prominent Spanish educational institutes. Did you find the views of other students with experiences at these schools helpful? Please let us at EDUopinions know your thoughts on this!
If you have studied at any of these two institutions feel free to leave your comments as well!