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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've tried researching this myself but seem to be going around in circles so maybe the forum can help.


My son is hoping to carry on his education in Spain after Bachi. He had planned to go to University in Valencia but now his tutors have 'thrown the spanner in the works' by asking him to consider a polytechnic.

Being old school (no pun intended) and from England, I had always been of the opinion that Universities were simply better but my research seems to show that this is NOT the case in Spain.

So my questions - 'what are the differences between a Spanish University and a Polytechnic?' and 'which is best?'

Then he's been asked to consider Alcoy as well as Valencia - anyone have knowledge or views on this?

Thanks. :confused:
 

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I've tried researching this myself but seem to be going around in circles so maybe the forum can help.


My son is hoping to carry on his education in Spain after Bachi. He had planned to go to University in Valencia but now his tutors have 'thrown the spanner in the works' by asking him to consider a polytechnic.

Being old school (no pun intended) and from England, I had always been of the opinion that Universities were simply better but my research seems to show that this is NOT the case in Spain.

So my questions - 'what are the differences between a Spanish University and a Polytechnic?' and 'which is best?'

Then he's been asked to consider Alcoy as well as Valencia - anyone have knowledge or views on this?

Thanks. :confused:
we've talked a bit about this - now my daughter has thrown a spanner in the works too & is looking at Madrid - so staying with her best friend's aunt in Valencia won't happen.....


I don't know the answer to your question, but hopefully Pesky will reply - her daughter is at uni :)
 

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we've talked a bit about this - now my daughter has thrown a spanner in the works too & is looking at Madrid - so staying with her best friend's aunt in Valencia won't happen.....


I don't know the answer to your question, but hopefully Pesky will reply - her daughter is at uni :)
No idea, but are you talking about formacion profesional?

OH is off work, another incredibly painful lumbago attack, so I'll ask him when he can put 2 words together.

Personally, I would seriously consider all alternatives to university which are riddled with old school teachers and new method implementation crashing together and getting nowhere in a lot of cases. I have dealings with two universities, Carlos III where I've worked and Juan Carlos I where my daughter goes.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by a polytechnic. Are you referring to a 'ciclo formativo de grado superior'? (also known as Formacion Profesional or FP) I've always roughly translated that as a post-secondary vo-tech course. Polytechnic...vo-tech... are we talking about the same thing?

Anyway, my son did a 'ciclo formativo de grado superior' in environmental health. He finished in June. Since he didn't get a job out of it (surprise) he decided to go to univerisity to do the corresponding degree in environmental science. He's just started now.

It's hard to say which is better. It depends on what your goals are, and also on where your interests and abilities lie. There are so many university degrees that lead absolutely nowhere (except maybe teaching), but then again not everyone wants to or can do engineering, medicine, nursing... On the other hand, unfortunately at the moment there are no jobs for those who do vo-tech courses either.

I would say that you should have an open mind and consider all the options. And remember that the decision to go to university or to a polytechnic is not written in stone. Your son can always change after a year, or he could do both - one after the other - as my son is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by a polytechnic. Are you referring to a 'ciclo formativo de grado superior'? (also known as Formacion Profesional or FP) I've always roughly translated that as a post-secondary vo-tech course. Polytechnic...vo-tech... are we talking about the same thing?

Anyway, my son did a 'ciclo formativo de grado superior' in environmental health. He finished in June. Since he didn't get a job out of it (surprise) he decided to go to univerisity to do the corresponding degree in environmental science. He's just started now.

It's hard to say which is better. It depends on what your goals are, and also on where your interests and abilities lie. There are so many university degrees that lead absolutely nowhere (except maybe teaching), but then again not everyone wants to or can do engineering, medicine, nursing... On the other hand, unfortunately at the moment there are no jobs for those who do vo-tech courses either.

I would say that you should have an open mind and consider all the options. And remember that the decision to go to university or to a polytechnic is not written in stone. Your son can always change after a year, or he could do both - one after the other - as my son is doing.

No, it's definitely a Polytechnic ( Link to - Polytechnic in Alcoy ) - he would come out with a Bachelor's degree or a masters.

I agree about it not being written in stone, but we want to give him as many options as possible and a degree will help in this.

My other son, however, may not go this route but may take some kind of diploma.
 

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No, it's definitely a Polytechnic ( Link to - Polytechnic in Alcoy ) - he would come out with a Bachelor's degree or a masters.

I agree about it not being written in stone, but we want to give him as many options as possible and a degree will help in this.

My other son, however, may not go this route but may take some kind of diploma.
As far as I can see they can lead to the same type of qualifications but they maybe concentrate on different areas.
As far as I am concerned a qualification is a qualification no matter where it comes from. It's the person that makes the difference between a good professional or not, but it seems that people still look at where the qualification is from. In my world if you study English in the British Council it carries a lot of caché, but I know that the local academy can be doing an amazing job too and should not be ruled out as a worthy place of study.
Do you know why your son is interested in this place as opposed to another?
 

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As far as I can see they can lead to the same type of qualifications but they maybe concentrate on different areas.
As far as I am concerned a qualification is a qualification no matter where it comes from. It's the person that makes the difference between a good professional or not, but it seems that people still look at where the qualification is from. In my world if you study English in the British Council it carries a lot of caché, but I know that the local academy can be doing an amazing job too and should not be ruled out as a worthy place of study.
Do you know why your son is interested in this place as opposed to another?
Thanks Pesky. I think my son has been very much guided by me - I went to University and eventually got my doctorate so I'm very keen on this type of further education. We've stressed from an early age that good qualifications will help get a job - not necessarily true but it's still my belief.

As to University versus Polytechnic, both he and I don't understand the differences well enough to decide. As you say, you end up with the same qualification and they both (in this case) do the same course. One of his tutors said that it's tougher at a Polytechnic and less academic. So we're undecided.

As to Valencia versus Alcoy, this is really down to costs - it's much cheaper to live in Alcoy. The establishments both seem to be very good with Valencia having more of a 'snob' value (like Oxford and Cambridge?).

At the moment we can't decide and just wondered if, for example, Universities were more academic with Polytechnics being more 'practical'.

.....??
 

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Thanks Pesky. I think my son has been very much guided by me - I went to University and eventually got my doctorate so I'm very keen on this type of further education. We've stressed from an early age that good qualifications will help get a job - not necessarily true but it's still my belief.

As to University versus Polytechnic, both he and I don't understand the differences well enough to decide. As you say, you end up with the same qualification and they both (in this case) do the same course. One of his tutors said that it's tougher at a Polytechnic and less academic. So we're undecided.

As to Valencia versus Alcoy, this is really down to costs - it's much cheaper to live in Alcoy. The establishments both seem to be very good with Valencia having more of a 'snob' value (like Oxford and Cambridge?).

At the moment we can't decide and just wondered if, for example, Universities were more academic with Polytechnics being more 'practical'.

.....??
OH thinks it's just a name, but logic tells me there must be a reason behind it.
However, is education inSpain logical?:)
He did say, as I think either you or I said, that it may be that one focuses more or one type of degree than another, but we're not clear on it.
Two more things.
I did find this on a forum which although isn't exactly what you're talking about is interesting, especially the reply from RachBourne
¿Carlos III o UPM (Universidad Politecnica) para ingenieria mecanica? | Y Ahora Que
And the politécnicos are called Universidad Politécnico de ..., so they are a type of university.
 

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As I have always understood it, a polytechnic is completely and totally a university. But it only offers degrees in technical fields, such as engineering, architecture and science. What you are calling the 'university' offers degrees in all fields - sciences, humanities, etc. A degree from one should be just as valid as a degree from the other.

I would expect each of these places to run things in their own way since they are separate institutions. Rather than comparing all polytechnics to all universities I think you should compare the specific polytechnic you're interested in with the specific university you're considering. How are the degree programs different? What advantages do each of them offer? What do their students have to say about them? And I would listen to your son's teachers, because they have probably been sending their students to both universities for years and know what they're talking about.
 

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This from UPM - Universidad Politécnica de Madrid:

"The Technical University of Madrid offers courses that cover all areas of architecture and engineering necessary for today’s society, in which more and more scientific and engineering responsibility is acquired."

Politécnicas are not second rate universities, as we may think of them in Britain, but top-rate universities that specialise in technical subjects, such as chemical engineering and architecture.
 
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