As was the case in the 2022 ranking, and in previous ones, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) repeats once again as the best Spanish university according to the CYD ranking, which this year celebrates its tenth edition. This classification analyzes 80 universities (93%) of the 86 active ones that offer bachelor's degrees, examining 29 areas of knowledge and 3,266 qualifications. The University of Navarra and the Carlos III of Madrid accompany the UAB on the podium.
The 10 Spanish universities that stand out for having a higher number of indicators belonging to the group with the highest performance are: the UAB, the University of Navarra, the Carlos III of Madrid, the Autonomous University of Madrid, the University of Barcelona (UB), the Pontificia Comillas, Deusto, Pompeu Fabra, Rovira i Virgili and Ramon Llull. There are five Catalan universities in this top ten.
Regarding last year's ranking, the rise of Carlos III stands out, which has entered the podium of the top three (in 2022 it was in eighth place). The first two positions have not changed, with the UAB and the University of Navarra leading the way. They also occupied this privileged position, and in that order, in the 2021 ranking. Not so in 2020, which was also led by the UAB, but with the UB occupying second place and the University of Navarra third. Also noteworthy in this 2023 list is the entry among the 10 best of the Rovira i Virgili University, to the detriment of the International University of Catalonia.
Of the 80 universities analysed, 48 are public (which means 100% representativeness) and 32 private (89% of the total).
Public and private universities are coexisting "in prominent positions, for example in teaching or international orientation", but in the research field the public system stands out, highlighted the director of the ranking, Ángela Mediavilla, in the presentation of the 2023 results.
The ranking has 36 institutional indicators that are grouped into different dimensions. The universities that stand out in the top 3 positions in each of the dimensions, according to the number of high performance indicators, are:
In teaching and learning: Pontificia Comillas, CUNEF, Navarra, Autónoma de Madrid, Francisco de Vitoria and Pontificia de Salamanca; in Research: Valencia - General Studies, UAB, UB, Cantabria, Pompeu Fabra and Navarra; in knowledge transfer: Polytechnic of Catalonia, Polytechnic of Madrid, Rovira i Virgili, Carlos III, UAB, UB and Polytechnic of Valencia; in international orientation: Navarra, Ramon Llull, Carlos III, UAB, Politècnica de Catalunya, Rovira Virgili, UB and Pompeu Fabra; and in contribution to regional development: Politècnica de Catalunya, UAB, La Laguna, UB, Girona, Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Deusto, País Vasco, Málaga, Valencia - General Studies, Rovira i Virgili, Internacional de Catalunya and Lleida.
The autonomous communities that obtain the highest number of indicators of best performance are Navarra, Catalonia and the Basque Country. In the case of Madrid, which is in fourth or fifth place despite having one of the most powerful systems in terms of number of institutions, Mediavilla has explained that the report does not stop at finding out the causes, but it is a question that remains " constant" in recent years.
In the analysis by dimensions, the communities that occupy the first 3 positions according to the number of indicators with the highest performance are: in teaching and learning, Navarra, the Basque Country and Castilla y León; in research: Navarra, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Valencian Community; in knowledge transfer: Catalonia, Galicia, Navarra, the Basque Country and the Valencian Community; in international orientation: Navarra, Catalonia and the Basque Country; and in contribution to regional development: the Canary Islands, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Aragon.
The classification prepared by CYD analyzes 29 fields of knowledge: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, agriculture, architecture, nursing, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, psychology, social work, veterinary medicine, and engineering: chemistry, materials, computing, civil, electrical, mechanical and industrial. As a novelty, this edition presents updated data on ADE, economics, political science, sociology, history, education, earth sciences/geology and law, and journalism and communication are incorporated for the first time.
The ranking also highlights that 99% of Spanish universities have a committee, office or person responsible for diversity and equality and 99% have implemented a policy against discrimination and sexual harassment or for reasons of sex, disability, sexual orientation, beliefs or work.
Likewise, 1% of students enrolled in the university in bachelor's, master's or doctoral studies and 2% of the Research Teaching Staff (PDI) and Administration and Services Staff (PAS) have some kind of disability. 86% of the centers establish measures to promote the enrollment of students with disabilities with initiatives such as fee exemption, reservation of places, academic adaptations, technical resources and personal support.
The ranking also reflects that 93% of the universities offer some type of scholarship (apart from the state and/or regional ones) to low-income students: the most frequent are those to help with urban transport, for dining, and aimed at students with unfavorable socioeconomic situations or those caused by some special situation, as well as those for students with special needs due to disabilities.
Regarding the care of the natural environment, 97% of the universities have waste recycling programs, 93% implement measures to reduce the use of paper and plastic, 96% carry out a special treatment of toxic waste and 86% use renewable energy sources.
“The vast majority of Spanish universities are sensitive to the support needs of the physical and emotional health of the students and state that they have services and measures that help students in situations of vulnerability. Also, a vast majority of institutions have implemented environmental sustainability measures to promote recycling and reduce the use of natural resources”, concluded Mediavilla.