Is Barcelona ready to take advantage of the internationalisation and relocation of higher education?

Picture of Coline Michaux

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with an attractive environment for higher education and has ideal conditions to create a great HUB to attract talent, investment and wealth to the city. It is common for large companies as well as educational institutions to send their most important employees or students to different countries either for exchange, to meet the growing need for highly trained professionals, which is required due to globalisation. The city of Barcelona has a wide range of universities, research centres and other high-level educational institutions. It is also strategically located, which makes it an attractive destination for the entire international education sector.

The importance of promoting a higher education relocation project in Barcelona

The Barcelona Global initiative has already presented a study and the basis for a project that aims to take advantage of the internationalisation of higher education for the city. The aim is to create a major centre of attraction for national and international students, teachers and professionals, as well as value-added investment.

Undoubtedly, a project as interesting for the local economy as it is for the society of a cosmopolitan and multicultural city, which is already a reference as an international tourist destination.

At ERES RELOCATION, as a relocation agency in Spain, we share the vision of the importance of taking advantage of internationalisation opportunities in higher education. The benefits for society as a whole, the economy, the educational community, companies and investors are evident and we are the support for many companies and institutions that decide to take this step and hire our services to manage this expatriation process from zero to its last phase

Benefits of internationalisation and relocation of higher education:

The internationalisation of higher education has a number of benefits for the cities and regions that promote it. These benefits include:

 

  • Increasing competitiveness: The internationalisation of higher education can help cities attract international exchange students and faculty, which can contribute to improving the quality of education and research, and the prestige of local universities.
  • Job creation: The internationalisation of higher education can generate employment in the education sector, as well as in other related sectors such as hospitality and culture. As an example of where this can be achieved, it is worth noting the starting point: today the higher education sector in Barcelona generates some 20,000 direct jobs.
  • Promoting culture and understanding: The internationalisation and relocation of higher education can help to promote culture and understanding between different countries and cultures. Currently 57% of international students in Barcelona are international students are from Europe, 20% from Latin America and 13% from Asia.
 
Barcelona: Main advantages that make it an attractive destination for the internationalisation of higher education
  • Educational quality: Barcelona’s universities are well regarded internationally. That is why it is already chosen by 13,000 foreign students every year, according to the Spanish Ministry of Education, in the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • Multicultural environment: Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population.
  • Strategic location: Barcelona is at the heart of Europe, making it an accessible destination for international students, teachers and researchers, both inside and outside the EU. Its airport, El Prat, maintains 371 air routes departing from or arriving in the Catalan capital, allowing flights to 212 destinations in 62 countries around the world.
What does Barcelona need to seize the opportunity of higher education relocation?
  • Facilitate administrative procedures for foreign teachers, researchers and students.

ERES has the best local immigration knowledge and practice with pan-European coverage and effective and integrated case management, in order to improve the conditions for the free entry of foreign students and workers, to facilitate the administrative procedures for expatriate workers coming to Spain from countries inside and outside the EU.

At present, the procedures are somewhat complex. However, companies and organisations have the opportunity to delegate Business Relocation services in Barcelona in order to achieve their agile presentation.

Making things easy for the profiles you want to attract is essential. The help of relocation services and job mobility consultancy for universities, educational institutions and foreign companies is essential.

  • Promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace to ensure that foreign talent feels valued and respected.

The international arrival of researchers and teachers from different countries is beneficial for local students, for companies based in the area and for Barcelona society as a whole. But it is necessary to help them adapt quickly so that they feel integrated into the life of Barcelona right from the start.

Barcelona already offers a good quality of life thanks to its climate and safety. It has tourist services adaptable to these profiles and attractions in areas such as cultural and sporting life, art and entertainment, gastronomy and health, among others.

Improving their experience and accelerating their adaptation is possible with the right hands-on support and resources of relocation specialists in Spain.

 
Importance of the relocation of teachers and researchers from other parts of the world.
  • Promoting diversity and cultural exchange: The arrival of teachers and researchers from different countries and cultures enriches the educational and research environment. This allows students and researchers to learn about different perspectives and ways of thinking, which can lead to more critical and creative thinking.
  • Increased competition and excellence: Teachers and researchers from other parts of the world can bring new ideas and improved perspectives to teaching and research, enabling institutions to stay at the forefront of their fields.
  • Strengthening international relations: The relocation of teachers and researchers from other parts of the world can help to strengthen international relations between educational and research institutions, strengthening the competitiveness of institutions and the contribution to the economic development of the country.

In conclusion, Barcelona has the perfect conditions for attracting talent and investment, benefiting from the internationalisation of higher education. The importance of universities and cooperation between educational institutions in Catalonia and other parts of the world is already a reality in the city.

While a new HUB is becoming a reality, companies and universities can take advantage of existing opportunities to attract international professors, researchers and students. Foreign schools and universities can benefit from the help of relocation services in Spain to enhance the academic and professional horizons of their staff and students.

 

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