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Joint degrees between UK and Spanish universities have doubled in the last three years

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Joint degrees between Spanish and British universities have grown by 96 percent in the last three years. This is one of the data emerging from the first report on cooperation in education produced by the British Council, the British organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and the Spanish Service for the Internationalization of Education (SEPIE).

This document looks at the new educational context since the UK left the European Union and includes specific proposals put forward by the sector in both countries.

The report underlines the obvious interest of the institutions of both countries in the development of educational cooperation. Among the data that draws attention are the transnational academic collaborations (joint programmes) in higher education, which grew by 96% between the 2018-19 and 2020-21 academic years. In addition, the survey conducted by SEPIE shows that 64% of Spanish educational institutions express “great interest” in maintaining or creating new partnerships with universities in the UK.

The work also highlights some of the challenges educational institutions face in order to further foster collaboration post-Brexit. These include regulatory challenges, bureaucratic issues or financing issues. In addition, it reflects the need to find clear sources of information that give institutions confidence in developing collaborations.

Faced with the challenges, the British Council and SEPIE text proposes a number of initiatives to improve the current environment, including the signing of a bilateral framework agreement for mobility,

that would give security to educational institutions. In addition, the creation of networks of common interest is proposed to improve the knowledge and promotion of the educational strengths of each system in the neighboring country. It is also advisable to create a knowledge hub that makes it possible to create clarity and eliminate the existing confusion in some processes by providing truthful information.

Another element suggested in the report is the articulation of

Dual degree programs using the UK ‘top-ups’ – which would allow students to earn two bachelor’s degrees in four years, combining the UK and Spanish systems – joint doctorates and the creation of integrated higher professional education programmes.

In relation to the challenges of expanding and strengthening academic collaboration and mobility between the UK and Spain, the British Council and SEPIE believe there are reasons that invite us to think of a ‘promising future’. The strengths of existing relationships and the interest of institutions, students and agencies in the sector “are enough to rebuild new forms of mutual collaboration that will allow opportunities to be maximized”.

Source europapress.es

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