Questioning. Advancing. Transforming.
Founded in 1990, UPF is a public university based in Barcelona that is highly competitive in research and aims to transform education to respond to future challenges.
In a context of major global challenges, UPF has undertaken an imperative commitment as a university institution: to help find solutions for the main challenges facing humanity and the planet, which are set out in the Planetary Wellbeing initiative.Mission, vision and values at UPF Rankings
To improve the world we live in…
As a public university, UPF fulfils its commitment to tackling the major challenges of the 21st century by creating, transmitting and transferring new multidisciplinary knowledge to guide the implementation of discerning policies and inspiring leadership.
The University carries out this activity in eight disciplines spread across three campuses in Barcelona
Facts and figures
2021-2022 academic year
… training and shaping outstanding professionals and responsive, responsible and committed people
UPF’s education model (EDvolution) prepares students to thrive in a global, changing and highly competitive job market.
Competency-based training (communication skills, digital literacy, autonomy, etc.), student support and tutoring, the use of new learning methodologies and a cross-disciplinary approach to programmes and degrees are part of a model that aims to shape cultured and insightful people, good professionals and committed citizens.
Admission: high demand for study programmes
- Two applicants per available place (2021-2022 academic year)
- 15% of new students graduated from secondary school with honours (2021-2022 academic year)
- 2nd Spanish public university with the highest performance rate (Ministry of Universities, 2021)
- 100% of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral studies positively assessed (AQU Catalunya, 2021)
- Innovative degrees: Open Bachelor’s Degree Programme, Global Studies, Bioinformatics, Double Degree in Law with King’s College London, etc.
- Internship agreements with more than 1,200 companies (2020-2021 academic year)
- 87% graduate employment rate (AQU Catalunya, 2020)
- Around 30% of UPF graduates find a job through the University (AQU Catalunya, 2020)
- Alumni satisfaction: 90% of graduates would choose UPF again (AQU Catalunya, 2020)
…leveraging its research capabilities to meet global challenges
The research culture at UPF, based on responsible research and innovation principles, emphasizes the transfer of results and their social impact. Through open, collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, UPF strives to deliver solutions to the main global challenges, contributing to the wellbeing of people and the planet.
This model is made possible by the quality of the university’s teaching and research staff, as witnessed by UPF’s excellent research indicators with regard to both research funding secured, especially in Europe, and scientific output.
International quality and impact
- 1st Spanish university in percentage of papers published in the most influential journals (Leiden, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in percentage of papers published in collaboration with other Spanish institutions (Leiden, 2021)
- 2nd Spanish university in percentage of papers published in collaboration with foreign institutions (Leiden, 2021)
- EU Horizon Europe programme (preliminary results, as of February 2022): 4 projects and €2.8 million, including:
- 2 ERC grants
- EU Horizon 2020 programme results (2014-2020): 176 projects and €85.6 million, including:
- 33 ERC grants
- 64 Marie Curie actions
- Spanish National R&D and Innovation Plan (2020 call): 46 projects and €4.6 million (2021)
- 1st Spanish university in yearly scientific output per lecturer (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in citations per lecturer (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in National Plan projects (per 100 lecturers) (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in EU Framework Programme projects (per 100 lecturers) (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in FPI grants (per 100 lecturers) (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 1st Spanish university in doctoral theses read (per 100 lecturers) (IUNE Report, 2021)
- 78% of doctoral theses were written and defended in English (2020-2021 academic year)
- 48 industrial doctoral projects funded by the Catalan government (2013-2021)
Talent recruitment and retention
- European Research Council (ERC):
- Calls from 2014 to 2020: 33 ERC grants, making UPF the institution to receive the most funding from this body (CDTI report, 2018)
- Spanish and Catalan programme results: 46 ICREA, 26 Ramón y Cajal, 15 Juan de la Cierva, 13 Marie Curie, and 8 CIBER grants (as of February 2022)
- UPFVentures, a start-up to strengthen the university’s relations with industry
- 1st Spanish university in revenue from licences (per 100 lecturers) (IUNE report, 2021)
- 11 active business chairs (2021)
…networking and collaborating on international partnerships to design a global university
Internationalization is one of UPF’s founding goals, with regard to both the composition of its community and the orientation of its training and research. The ability to attract international talent at all levels is one of its trademark features.
The campus exudes diversity, creating unique opportunities for internationalization at home and in the classroom to supplement the wide range of mobility options in Europe and the rest of the world.
In addition to the cooperation programmes and extensive network of exchange agreements, UPF’s participation in strategic projects such as EUTOPIA, to create a new European university model, reaffirms its ambition to remain in the leading position it has achieved in recent years.
- 47% of master’s and doctoral students are international (2021-2022 academic year)
- 34% of graduates have studied abroad (2020-2021 academic year) (lower than usual because of mobility restrictions due to the pandemic)
- 25% of the teaching staff is international (2021)
- 2nd public Spanish university in international outlook (Times Higher Education (THE) ranking, 2022)
- Agreements with 28 of the Top 50 universities in the world (THE ranking, 2022)
- European universities: EUTOPIA
- Other networks: A4U, Europaeum, The Guild, ALEUESS, CASA (Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad)
- Public Policy Center with Johns Hopkins University (since 2013)
- Barcelona Centre for European Studies (BACES), with the Jean Monnet seal
- 5 Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree programmes, 9 double master’s degree programmes, and 3 double degree programmes (King’s College London, the Higher School of Economics Sant Petersburg, and Toulouse 1 Capitole University)
- International Programs: Barcelona International Summer School (BISS), Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) and International Business Program (IBP, alongside with ESCI)
…from a humanistic perspective, in which culture permeates teaching and research
The university is, in essence, a place for debate, discussion and reflection, an ‘idea factory’ that must provide us with tools to decipher and interact with the world. UPF is an institution where scientific knowledge and humanistic culture advance together in search of answers and solutions to the challenges we face as a society.