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National University for Distance Education
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
Motto Omnibus mobilibus mobilior sapientia
Established 1972
Type Public
Rector Juan Gimeno Ullastre
Staff 9,630
Students 180,000
Location Various cities, Spain
Website http://www.uned.es/

The Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), is the only state-run Spanish distance-learning university, with headquarters in Madrid, Spain. It the largest university in Spain with more than 180,000 students.[1]

Contents

Origins and Methodology

UNED was founded in 1972 following the idea of the UK's Open University to provide quality higher and continuing education opportunities to all through a distance education system. It awards the same qualifications as other Spanish universities, and has the same entry requirements. However, some special features of UNED make it different from most other Spanish universities: it is nationwide in scope, uses different methodology, applies the most advanced teaching technologies, and has a wide social influence with radio and TV programming.

International presence

UNED’s mission is to be present as a centre of excellence throughout the world. UNED currently has 60 study centres in Spain and 20 abroad, thanks to the cooperation of local institutions. These centres provide face-to-face sessions with professors once a week. The international centres can be found in Bata, Berlin, Bern, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, London, Malabo, México D.F., Paris and São Paulo.

Advantages

A number of factors have been cited to justify the public prestige of UNED: [2]

  • Unlike in other distance learning institutions, all of UNED exams are supervised
  • Exams must encompass the entirety of the program
  • Students are objectively graded based on a strictly uniform test
  • Distance learning requires additional self-teaching effort and discipline, highly regarded by employers
  • Students from UNED are more likely to continue their education and Research after graduation day, applying the self-teaching methodologies learned during their studies

The University maintains an excellent standard of higher education: in the last 30 years, it has awarded less than 2,000 PhD degrees.[3]

Its international prestige is also illustrated by the fact that, since 1997, UNED has held the UNESCO chair in Distance Education which promotes research, development and documentation in the field of distance education.

References

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