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Education System

Infant, primary and compulsory secondary education

In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country there is free schooling available from 3 to 16 years old and education is compulsory from 6 years old. It consists of:

  • Infant Education: from 3 to 6 years old
  • Primary Education: from 6 to 12 years old
  • Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO): from 12 to 16 years old

Types of school
There are state schools, "concertado" schools (private education subsidised by the Department of Education, Universities and Research at the Basque Government) and international schools.Apart from the international schools in the Basque Country, teaching is in two languages: Basque and Spanish. These are the two official languages in this Community.List of non-university education centres (schools and institutes in the Basque Country): http://www.hezkuntza.ejgv.euskadi.net/r43-5532/es/

Post-Compulsory Secondary Education

Students can choose whether or not to stay on at school from 16 to 18 years old.
Students who pass the Compulsory Secondary Education qualification obtain the "Graduate of Compulsory Secondary Education" qualification which allows them to study for a High School Diploma (bachillerato) or intermediate vocational training (ciclos formativos de grado medio).

Vocational Training

Vocational Training refers to the set of studies strongly linked to occupations and the labor market, and today is interpreted as a process throughout the active life of the person, encompassing both formal training of school-age young people, and job training aimed at employed workers or professional competence recognition.
Vocational Training offers around 170 different titles aimed at people to achieve professional competence and be prepared for skilled jobs. The different titles are grouped into professional families and consist of courses called "modules" with theoretical and practical content, including a work placement stage.

University Education

The Basque university system is part of the European Higher Education Area, also known as the Bologna process.

The Bologna Plan is based on a flexible system of easily readable and comparable degrees, in order to promote the employment opportunities for students and encourage their mobility, while also aiding the international competitiveness of the European Higher Education System. The qualifications which can be obtained are:

  • Approved qualifications: Officially valid across Spain.
  • Own qualifications: only recognised by the universities providing those courses.

New system of university qualifications:
This is based on Graduate and Post-Graduate, which together are structured into three cycles:

  • First Cycle or Graduate: basic teaching and general training aimed at preparing students for professional activities. Passing this Cycle will give the student the right to obtain the corresponding qualification in accordance with that agreed by the Government.
  • Second Cycle or Post-graduate: advanced education, of a specialist or multi-disciplinary nature, designed for an academic or professional specialisation or to begin research activities. Passing this Cycle will give the student the right to the Master's qualification.
  • Third Cycle: advanced training in the techniques for creating and presenting a PhD thesis. Passing this Cycle will give the student the right to obtain the Doctoral qualification (the highest academic qualification in higher education and one which prepares the student for teaching and research)