The Open University of Catalonia (UOC) offers remote courses in Catalan, Spanish and English. Among the 27 bachelor’s degrees and 44 master’s degrees on offer are courses in psychology, computer science, education and economics.
The university is based in the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona. Over 50,000 students are enrolled on a remote course. Along with its bachelor’s and master’s courses, it offers a doctoral programme in digital subjects such as e-law, e-learning, network society, education and online communities.
The university has support centres across Spain, as well as Andorra and Mexico. It also has a presence in Alghero in Sardinia, where many residents speak Catalan.
In line with other open universities, the majority of resources are available to students within their home. This makes it a good choice for anyone wanting the flexibility of studying in their own time or without travelling to a university campus. As a result, students at UOC tend to be older than those enrolled at traditional universities, with 60 per cent aged over 30. It has a relatively small staff of co-ordinators, who contract professors from other universities to design its courses.
It was founded in 1994 and has built up a reputation for its research into e-learning and online participation. The university’s eLearn centre was set up in 2009 and has focused on time patterns in online learning, for example, how regularity of assignments affects student commitment.
The regional government of Catalonia provides accreditation to the university, while the majority of its courses are approved by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.