UK – Spain Education Agreement Set To Come Into Force

This week the UK and Spain completed the signing of a bilateral agreement on cooperation in matters of education and access to university and other higher education institutions for citizens of both countries.

The agreement replaces previous EU protocols and agreements following the UK withdrawal from the block in 2020.

This follows the close collaboration between Spain’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and Ministry of Universities in Spain and the UK Department for Education and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.  

The agreement was signed by the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, on behalf of the UK, and the Spanish Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, and the Spanish Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats, on behalf of Spain, and will enter into force on 2 August 2023.  

The agreement enables students with UK qualifications (including A-levels and equivalents) to access universities in Spain without the need for the Spanish general university entrance exam. Additional entry requirements will only be necessary for certain competitive courses, as was the case prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. 

Spanish Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats and British Ambassador, Hugh Elliott

According to a press release by the British Council in Spain the agreement ” is particularly important for the success of pre-university British education in Spain (currently around 65,000 students of different nationalities, 50 per cent of whom are Spanish).”

It goes on to say the many families were “concerned that students could no longer access Spanish universities. As a result, many of these schools were moving towards the IB. This agreement has brought much needed clarity for schools and families, and British Schools in Spain will continue to be an important source of students for UK universities as they have been up to now”.

Students from the Spanish education system are able to continue to access UK universities and other higher education institutions with additional legal certainty.    

 The agreement also establishes a framework to increase cooperation between the UK and Spain in the field of education and is symbolic of our desire to build on our strong education links.

Hugh Elliot said that he and his team was ” grateful for the support of its Spanish partners in reaching this agreement and looks forward to continue expanding the UK-Spain bilateral relationship”.  


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