Press Release 12/09/2019


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In the 2017/18 academic year student numbers at Basque universities increased for the first time in three years

73% of students attended public universities, which have seen a drop of 8 percentage points over the last seven years.

In the 2017/18 academic year, universities with centres located in the Basque Country took in 66,757 students, which was 0.7% up on the previous year, after three years of decreasing student numbers, according to Eustat data.

Undergraduate students represented 85% of the total and saw an increase of 0.7% in respect of the previous academic year. The remaining 15% enrolled in postgraduate studies (official masters degrees and doctorates), with a 2.4% increase in official masters degrees and a 1.2% drop in the case of doctorates.

73% of students attended public universities, which have seen a drop of 8 percentage points over the last seven years. For undergraduate studies the percentage is the same (73%), whereas it reduces to 61% for masters degrees and rises to 90% for doctorates undertaken in the Basque Country.

In terms of where students studied, 59% studied at universities in Bizkaia, 29% in Gipuzkoa and 12% in Álava.


The proportion of women undergraduate students stood at 54%

There were higher numbers of women undergraduate students, exceeding men by 9 percentage points. There was a notable difference at the ages of 18-21, between 14 and 10 percentage points in favour of women, although the proportion of both sexes subsequently evens out.

With regards to doctorates, the gap in favour of women was less (4 points) and there is parity between both sexes in masters degrees.


In the Basque Country 44% of the population aged 18 studied at university, making it the Autonomous Region with the second highest schooling rate

Comparing the schooling rate in university studies between the Autonomous Regions, in the Basque Country 44% of 18 years old are enrolled at university, occupying second position in the list, behind Madrid (52%) and with a difference of 11 percentage points compared to the Spanish average.

For 22-year-olds the proportion was 35%, making it the Autonomous Region with the third highest schooling rate, behind Madrid (52%) and Castilla-León (39%). In contrast, the proportion of 24-year-olds was 17.5%, placing the Basque Country slightly below the Spanish average.


Gender determines choice of university degree

Of the 56,558 young people enrolled in undergraduate studies at a Basque University, half of them enrolled in one of the following: Business Management and Administration (5,680), Primary Education (3,927), Law (3,569), Psychology (2,740), Mechanical Engineering (2,209), Early Childhood Education (2,120), Medicine (1,802), Nursing (1,524), Social Education (1,475), Industrial and Technological Engineering (1,431), and Social Work(1,315) and Industrial Electronics and Automation Engineering (1,198).


Gender continues to be decisive when choosing university studies; in fact, there was a majority of women in 37% of degrees and in another 37% there is a majority of men; only 25% of degrees have an equal proportion of men and women.

It is worth mentioning ten degree courses with a very high percentage of women, between 89% and 76%, the majority of a social nature: Early Childhood Education, Nursing, Modern Languages and Management, Pedagogy, Translation and Interpreting, English Studies, Psychology, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Social Work and Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Assets.

As regards men, there are degrees with a strong male presence, between 95% and 84%, all related to engineering.

Finally, the degrees with a more equal proportion of men and women were: Industrial design and product development engineering, Marketing, Sociology, Environmental Engineering, Technical Architecture, Environmental Sciences, Geomatics and topography engineering, Mathematics and Industrial Organisation Engineering.

In the 2017/18 academic year, a total of 12,820 young people completed their studies. 57% of them were women.

Of the 12,820 young people who finished their studies in 2018, 9,209 received an undergraduate degree qualification, 3,244 completed an official masters degree qualification and 367 obtained a doctorate. The average age on graduation was 23.6, rising to 26 for masters degrees and 34.5 for obtaining a doctorate, without significant differences between men and women.

For further information:

Euskal Estatistika-Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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In the 2017/18 academic year student numbers at Basque universities increased for the first time in three years

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