Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

The World100 Representative

Màrius Martínez - Vice-Rector for International Relations

About Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona


The UAB is renowned for its research excellence and the quality of its teaching, and it is a reference centre in Europe. It is located just 25 minutes in public transport from the centre of Barcelona: a cosmopolitan metropolis on the shores of the Mediterranean, among the world’s top cities in rankings of quality of life, safety and equality. The main campus is in Bellaterra, at the heart of one of the main technological and industrial hubs of Mediterranean Europe.

The UAB caters to all aspects of university life. Its campus is a true city of knowledge, with a population of almost 50,000: students, teaching staff, researchers and administrative staff. It has all the services a university community needs.

Promoting knowledge, encouraging innovation


The UAB campus includes 226 research groups, 57 departments and 45 research institutes and centres, many of which were created in collaboration with important scientific institutions, and all of which conduct a large amount of productive research activity: 3,240 papers published in indexed journals according to WOK-ISI, 566 research agreements and 560 patents. Research activities are also carried out in the five UAB-affiliated hospitals, three of which have been awarded the Carlos III Health Institute’s seal of excellence.

The UAB promotes innovation, employability and entrepreneurship. It strives to foster research and transfer in all areas of knowledge and works closely with the surrounding business and industrial community, as well as with scientific centres such as the Alba Synchrotron Light Facility, located five minutes away from the campus. 69 spin-off companies have been created by UAB researchers.

The UAB leads Spanish universities in the number of PhD programmes. It runs 65 PhD programmes, providing advanced training in research techniques and culminating in a doctoral thesis (618 PhD theses in 2014-2015). They involve preparing and defending a thesis and usually last three years, with the aim of producing top-level academics and professionals. A total of 27 of the UAB’s PhD programmes have received an Excellence Award. The European Doctoral Research Component includes stays in different European countries and the participation of lecturers from foreign universities.

In recent years, the UAB has seen recognition for its efforts in promoting quality in research, with a steady improvement in its positions in the most prestigious and influential international rankings. In the 2015-2016 edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the UAB is the best Spanish university, occupying position 146 in the world ranking. UAB research in Arts and Humanities stands out in particular, as it occupies position 62 in this ranking. In the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings (QS WUR), the UAB is also placed among the best 200 universities in the world (position 190). By subject, in Animal Science UAB research occupies position 23 and in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Geography and Economics the UAB is among the 100 best universities in the world. In Europe, the UAB ranks among the Top 100 (67th position) in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). It also ranks as one of the best young universities according to specific rankings made for universities less than half a century old by QS (10th position) and Times Higher Education (29th position).



The UAB facilitates participation in mobility programmes and works to attract students from abroad (2,190 international mobility students). Its most important mobility projects are Erasmus Mundus, Comenius, Leonardo Da Vinci and Erasmus K2. It also has specific programmes to welcome and assist international students once they arrive at the UAB. Under the Erasmus Programme alone, the UAB has 1,008 bilateral agreements in place with more than 500 universities in Europe.

The international dimension of the UAB can be seen by the number of students enrolled from abroad – more than 7,000 – especially in master’s degrees, with 2,000 international students (40%), and PhD programs, with 1,400 international students (40%). Over 45 master’s degrees are taught 100% in English at the UAB.

Health and sustainability


The UAB is a health-conscious and sustainable university. Improving the health of the university community by promoting healthy environments and lifestyles such as exercising, using public transport and eating correctly are some of its objectives.

To achieve this, the UAB works on specific mobility, energy and waste management systems. It promotes activities to help raise awareness of ecological lifestyles that reduce negative effects on the environment (electrical vehicles, solar panels, recycling plants, etc.). Moreover, the UAB is committed to responsible consumption and has pioneered the implementation of sustainable actions.



The UAB considers solidarity to be one of its assets. It is committed to people who are at risk of social exclusion and has created several programmes to address this issue. The UAB actively encourages the involvement of its students in volunteering activities and community service and has received several awards for these tasks. It also carries out awareness-raising campaigns among the university community.