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New registrations at UC3M

Nuevas matriculaciones de la UC3M

The demand for the degrees offered at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid  (UC3M) has been very high: for every 100 admissions, there were 137 applications. Moreover, the average admissions score for all the undergraduate degrees for the coming academic year was 10.479 out of a maximum of 14 points. This represents an increase of two tenths of a point with respect to the previous year, and is due to the fact that 64% of the degree programs have raised their required admissions score.

UC3M has achieved the highest admissions score of all of the universities in Madrid in almost twenty undergraduate programs. This shows that the students who come to this university are better prepared each year. In fact, 68 percent of the students who were accepted have been admitted to the program that was their first choice. In addition, the growing appeal of this university to students from other Autonomous Communities has led to UC3M having 33 percent of the students who were admitted coming from outside of Madrid.

In this interview, the Undergraduate Vice-chancellor, Luis Raúl Sánchez, breaks down some of the notable numbers that have come out of this registration period. In the cover photo, he poses with some of the students who will begin studies in one of the degree programs with the highest required admission grade: (11.782) for Aerospace Engineering. Jaime Calero (on the left) and Alejandro Cano (right) comment that they chose this degree because it is taught in English, because of the great growth taking place in this sector, and because this is one of the universities with the greatest number of contacts with large companies. Meanwhile, Eva María Cancela points out that she hopes to obtain the training necessary to move into the working world, “full of challenges, but also full of new possibilities.”

P. How was “selectividad” (the entrance exam for public universities) this year?

Luis Raúl Sánchez. Selectividad went very well.  More than 26,000 participated; 3,500 of them were at Carlos III, 94% of them passing the exam. This does not mean that this exam is too easy, as is sometimes heard in the media. If the majority of the students failed the exam it would just mean that the level they have when they finish their senior year is not adequate, and this would be of no use either. Really, selectividad is not an exam that is meant to cause students to fail, but rather it is meant to organize the students according to their abilities for their admission to the university.

A large number of students have applied to UC3M. What do you think makes our university interesting to them?

The polls tell us that the majority come due to our university’s prestige as an institution. Also they have the possibility of studying certain degrees in English. And because our methodology is based on teaching in smaller groups.

What would you highlight about the required admission grade?

The admission grades are a measure of the demand for and interest in a specific degree. They also tell us if one institution is more prestigious than others that offer similar degrees. However, it is important to be careful to look at whether the number of spaces offered is similar or not. It is easy to make the cut-off grades higher by offering very few spots. This year we have had the highest cut-off grade in the Community of Madrid for 17 of the 42 different degree programs that we offer, and we are very proud of that.

Which degrees have produced the best results for us?

At UC3M the dual degrees always produce very good results, especially the Law and Business Administration (with a required grade of 11.896), Law and Economics (11.777) and Journalism with Audiovisual Communication (11.375). But we are particularly proud of the results of one degree that we are offering this year for the first time, International Studies, with a cut-off grade of 11.402. Also, in the Engineering School (Escuela Politécnica Superior - EPS), the Biomedical Engineering degree (12.168) and Aerospace Engineering degree (11.782).

The new degrees offered are a success then, aren’t they?

The only new degree we’ve offered this year, International Studies, has been very successful. We received nearly three applications as first choices for every spot available and the cut-off grade for admission was really high: 11.402. Another of our newer degrees, in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics, which we are offering jointly with the Pompeu Fabra (University) and the Autónoma of Madrid was also very successful, reaching the highest required admission grade in the university (12. 300), although in this case the number of available places is small. In the Engineering School, the degree in Energy Engineering, which started last year, continues to work very well, with the number of students indicating it as their first choice growing and with the cut-off grade getting higher each year (9.958). Finally, the dual degree in Journalism and the Humanities, also offered for the first time last year, has seen a growth of over 50% and its required grade for admission has risen by over one and a half points compared to last year.

This year saw a new method of admission for foreign students. What is UC3M’s interest in this population?

UC3M has always been known for its strong push toward internationalization and for looking outside our borders as mush as it looks inside. Having more foreign students increases our visibility and gives us prestige in the international marketplace. At the same time, it allows our Spanish students to enjoy a campus that is richer in experiences and opportunities, which will be a huge benefit with they access the labor market in a world that is as globalized as the one we live in. That is why we have decided to open this path to admission for students from outside of Europe.

What have the results been?

This is the first year we have done this, because the legislation that allows it was not completed until the beginning of this summer. Thus only a modest number of students have applied. In all, there are between sixty and seventy applications, from places as varied as Latin America, the USA, Southeast Asia and North Africa. Actually, there are more applications than we expected, given how late it was when we were able open the procedure and taking into account that families plan far in advance where their children are going to study. So, we are very optimistic with regard to the results of this initiative in the coming academic years.