The Spanish government is exploring the legislation of a new University System Law (LOSU) which will allow non-EU students to:
1. Hold residence permits for the duration of their studies
2. Automatically be granted the right to remain in Spain for up to two years post graduation
The Minister of Spanish Universities, Joan Subirats said: “We have to find ways to retain talents that we have trained so they can keep their residence status and look for work for two years.”
As it stands, non-RU students in Spain are granted residence permits for just a year and must apply for annual extensions to continue their studies. Following graduation, they could apply for post study work visas to stay back in Spain to look for jobs. However, they are not permitted to work within those 12 months. This makes it a tall order for International students to consider staying back in Spain after graduation given the steep financial implications of supporting themselves without legal permit to work while applying for suitable jobs.
Many international students move to other countries following graduation from Spain given the absence of a clear pathway to residency.
Spain is behind countries like UK, France, Ireland and Germany in terms of International student enrollment and this is despite the low tuition fees.
The Spanish government is seeking to make the country a more attractive proposition for International students. A report reveals that by 2035, Spanish higher education institutions could lose up to 20% of their student population aged between 18 and 29. This could have dire consequences for the labour market of the Iberian nation.
The country, through it’s Africa Focus 2023, wants to strengthen diplomatic ties with African countries so as to improve mobility and further encourage African students to explore Spanish Universities.