Universitat Pompeu Fabra Review 10737 | EDUopinions

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - UPF Review

Barcelona, Spain
Political Philosophy
Only really worth it if you speak Catalan

I did my MA here in 2016. The experience itself was ok, and I do feel like it was worth studying here. However, as others have highlighted, UPF accepts people with pretty much any background into their MAs which obviously brings the level of specialised discussions one can have down. The professors, while themselves usually quite renowned, were aware of this and hence designed their classes to be less demanding (multiple professors have actually said this to me, so I’m not just making this up). This was frustrating to me and others who did have a background in the area of the MA as we felt that we could have learned a lot more. The real issue I have with UPF, however, is their supposed internationality. UPF advertises itself as a tri-lingual university, providing courses and support in Catalan, Spanish, and English. Consequently, one would expect that speaking one of the three languages is sufficient to have a good overall experience at UPF. This is not the case at all: A lot of information is really only available in Catalan – this goes from trivial but useful stuff such as the language of printers to more important stuff such as campus elections, course feedback forms, and most, if not all, information distributed (even in personal emails) by any of the secretaries. In my programme, all of the courses that were advertised to be in English did actually take place in English but I have heard of other programmes where this was not the case (and where students were indeed harassed for not speaking Catalan or Spanish). Finally, it has now been almost two years since I have graduated and not only have I still not received my diploma (which I found out AFTER my graduation that I would need to pay 218EUR for) but I am expected to come to Barcelona to pick it up once it is ready for collection – they don’t send it and will only let another person pick it up if you are able to notarise them. None of this was made clear to me or any other student (at least in my programme) until after graduation. Again, if UPF would be a truly international university, they would be able to accommodate people who move away from Barcelona or even Spain better in this regard. Overall, I wouldn’t say that UPF is necessarily a bad university, but they do just need to work on their expectation management and make some of their policies (especially those concerning internationality and the distribution of diplomas) a lot clearer.

Programme: Political Philosophy
Degree: Master's
Graduation: 2017
Campus: Barcelona, Spain
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