Press Release 21/07/2014


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The number of graduates in the Basque country increased by 6% in the academic year 2012/13

Three consecutive years in which the number of students enrolling in university increased, after 15 years of decreases

In the 2012/13 academic year, 67,551 young people enrolled in universities in the Basque Country, 2% more than the previous year, and nearly 13,000 people graduated, an increase of 6%, according to data provided by Eustat.

With regards to enrolment, the number of students enrolling on university courses increased for three consecutive years, following 15 years of decreases. Regarding distribution between provinces, 57% studied in Bizkaia, 30% in Gipuzkoa and Álava accounted for the remaining 13% of enrollments.

Higher education primarily took place in public universities, where eight out of ten students studied. This proportion was similar in all types of studies, except in official masters, where the proportion of enrollments in public centres was lower, standing at 69%.

The number of degrees offered increased considerably (+42%) as a consequence of the progressive consolidation of the new structure for university studies in the Bologna plan, which, furthermore, resulted in the decrease of first and second cycle degrees (-44%). If both types of studies are taken into account, which currently coexist, and if post graduate studies are not considered, there was a total of 59,889 students in the academic year 2012/13, a similar number to the previous year (+1%).

Students enrolled by type of studies. 2012-13 academic year
Source: Eustat. University Statistics of The Basque Country

A higher proportion of women in university classes

The distribution by gender in university classrooms reflected the difference in favour of women in terms of access to university, standing at 6 percentage points: in the academic year 2012/2013, 53% were women, compared to 47% men. This higher proportion of women occurred in all types of studies: first and second cycle (51%), undergraduate degrees (54%), official masters (55%) and doctorates (54%).

Overall, 44,067 students did undergraduate degrees, 15,822 did first and second cycle studies, 4,390 studied official masters and 3,272 did doctorate studies.

With regards to undergraduate degrees, those that were most in demand were: Business Management and Administration (4,584), Primary Education (2,985), Law (2,559), Psychology (2,244), Mechanical Engineering (2,174), Infant Education (1,749), Nursing (1,337), Business Management (1,276), Social Education (1,028), Social Work (1,023) and Medicine (1,001), representing half of enrollments.

Regarding first and second cycle studies the most in-demand were: Business Management and Administration (1,870), Industrial and Technical Engineering with 1,283 and 962 enrollments respectively, Architecture (887), Medicine (847), Industrial Organisation Engineering (795), Law (791), Teacher Training (529) and Psychology (508).

The majority of students graduated in Social and Legal Sciences and Engineering-Architecture

In the 2012/13 academic year, a total of 12,950 young people graduated, which was an increase of 6% with regards to the previous academic year. Of these, 56% were women.

As regards the type of studies, 6,661 graduated from first or second cycle, 3,333 from undergraduate degrees, 2,456 from official masters and 500 successfully completed their thesis.


Half of university students in the Basque Country specialised in the Social and Legal Sciences branch, followed by 28% in the Engineering and Architecture branch. A smaller number of students specialised in Arts and Humanities and Health Sciences, at 9%, and Sciences at 5%.

In terms of gender, traditional differences remained regarding the specialisation of studies, with a majority of women (57%) showing a preference for subjects belonging to the Social and Legal Sciences. On the other hand, 84% of men studied either Engineering-Architecture (45%) or Social and Legal Sciences (39%).

The preference of girls for studies in Health Sciences (13%) compared to boys (4%) is significant and even greater than the previous academic year. It is also worth mentioning the lesser inclination of both genders for studies in Science, which was chosen by 4% of boys and 7% of girls this academic year.

98% of young people passed the university entrance exams in 2013

The province of Álava saw the greatest percentage of students passing the entrance exams, at 99.6%, followed by Bizkaia at 98.9% and lastly Gipuzkoa at 97.1%. The average grade was B, and similar in all three provinces.

It was still the case that more women passed, at 98.5%, nearly one percentage point higher than the percentage for men (97.6%).

With regards to the centre of origin, more students coming from private schools passed (98.5%) than students from public schools (97.6%), nearly one percentage point more.

Out of those who passed the university entrance exams, the studies most frequently chosen by boys were: Business Management and Administration, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and Technological Engineering, Primary Education and Medicine. On the other hand, the girls tended towards: Business Management and Administration, Medicine, Primary Education, Infant Education and Nursing. In both cases, these studies represented 35% of enrollments.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tlf: 945 01 75 62 Further press releases on University Statistics of the Basque Country Database on University Statistics of the Basque Country

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The number of graduates in the Basque country increased by 6% in the academic year 2012/13

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