About Spain

Name of the country: Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España)
Climate : Madrid: Highland climate, dry, cold winters, hot summers
Coast: Mediterranenan or Atlantic climate
Location: Between 36 and 43.5 degrees latitude north; between 9 and 3 degrees longitude east (Iberian Peninsula, without the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla).
Neighbouring countries: Andorra, France, Portugal
Area: 505,990 square km
Capital: Madrid 3.2 million inhabitants
Population: 46.2 million inhabitants
Official language: Spanish (castillian), also Galician, Catalan and Basque
Religion: the vast majority are Roman-Catholic, there are also Serbian Orthodox, Jews, Protestant, Muslims.

Culture and Education Policy

After the fall of the dictatorship in 1975, the opening up of Spain led to an internationalisation of culture. Due to the finance crisis and the consequent austerity measures, art and culture in Spain are supported mainly by private foundations and public budget. In 1991, the Spanish government founded the Instituto Cervantes, a public institution which promotes the Spanish language and culture abroad. Culture policy in Spain is extremely decentralised. The task of cultural associations and foundations is to define an independent culture sector.

Since the ‘80s there have been strong reforms in the Spanish education system. Nowadays, most Spanish universities have introduced the Bologna system, and the degrees are internationally recognised.

Spanish-German cooperation

In 1954 an agreement was signed between Germany and Spain in order to support and protect cultural cooperation in both countries. It was established that the higher education degrees would be recognised in the other country. In Germany there is a great interest in Spanish culture: not only flamenco, but Spanish films are becoming increasingly popular.

The German-Spanish cooperation is also reflected in tourism and immigration. Political relations between Germany and Spain are very close. After France, Germany is Spain’s second largest trade partner, and many subsidiaries of German companies establish themselves in Spain. There are many cooperation agreements between higher education institutions in both countries. In Madrid and Barcelona there are many branches of the Goethe Institute and numerous common research projects.