The A4U is a strategic partnership between four top teaching and research universities: UAM, UAB, UC3M and UPF. Each has been designated a Campus of International Excellence by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and all are excellently positioned in the most important international rankings.

Listed below are just some of the projects and indicators that bear witness to the quality of the Alliance’s teaching and research.

Quality teaching with an international profile

  • A broad and varied academic offer, including 10 Erasmus Mundus programmes, as well as a growing selection of undergraduate, master’s degree and doctoral programmes taught in English.
  • A highly internationalized community: 35% of postgraduate candidates are international students.
  • A firm commitment to equal opportunity, embodied in each university’s own scholarships and grants, as well as the joint mobility grants for the joint bachelor’s degree programme.
  • Close collaboration with the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) to raise and enhance the partner universities’ international profiles.
  • Increasing number of agreements with top universities around the world, with special emphasis on emerging countries.

Highly competitive research in Europe

  • ­Promotion of strategic collaboration between Madrid and Barcelona, the two most competitive R&D regions in Spain.
  • ­Excellent results in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme: 325 projects entailing a total of €131.5 million in funding, accounting for 25% of all funding awarded under the programme to Spain.
  • Intense research activity, leading to a 358% increase in the funding obtained in Europe between the 5th and 7th Framework Programmes. Funding per project has also grown, by 200%.

Benchmark joint projects

  • ­Promotion of research in Europe through the Brussels-based OPERA, a permanent joint office tasked with promoting the participation of Alliance researchers in European projects and seeking to influence European research policy.
  • ­Launching of IUNE, a database to enable evaluation of the research conducted at Spanish universities, recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education.
  • ­Offer of an interuniversity bachelor’s degree programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, launched in 2013 and including study periods in both Barcelona and Madrid. An interdisciplinary programme with a strong international component, it is one of the system’s most popular undergraduate programmes.
  • ­Implementation of a joint internationalization strategy. Attention should be called to the Alliance’s institutional missions in emerging countries (India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf countries), which seek to sign new mobility and academic cooperation agreements in regions considered strategic priorities and to boost the Alliance’s participation in European international mobility programmes.

Position in the main international rankings

QS 2024WW ranking: 149
Spanish ranking: 1
WW Under 50 2018: 12
WW ranking: 199
Spanish ranking: 4
WW Under 50 2018: 10
WW ranking: 319
Spanish ranking: 7
WW Under 50 2018: 27
WW ranking: 310
Spanish ranking: 6
WW Under 50 2018: 30
ARWU 2022 WW ranking: 201-300
Spanish ranking: 2-5
WW ranking: 301-400
Spanish ranking: 6-8
WW ranking: 901-1000
Spanish ranking: 35-40
WW ranking: 301-400
Spanish ranking: 6-8
THE 2023WW ranking: 183
Spanish Ranking: 2
Young University Ranking: 18
WW ranking: 301-350
Spanish Ranking: 5
Young University Ranking: 66
WW ranking: 801-1000
Spanish Ranking: 20
Young University Ranking: 151-200
WW ranking: 156
Spanish Ranking: 1
Young University Ranking: 17
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