The Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE), which also works to ensure the internationalisation of education in the country, obtained the European Foundation for Quality Management Seal 2020 in December, making the agency the first Spanish public institution to receive it.

The country’s minister of universities reminded that the “internationalisation of the Spanish university system is essential”.

The EFQM Seal is a prestigious international certification that recognises excellent, innovative and sustainable management.

“What the SEPIE does is not only interesting and innovative, it is essential”

The Club Excelencia en Gestión, the body that awards the seal, highlighted SEPIE’s exceptional communication strategy and quality of management, in addition to the agency’s digitisation efforts.

“What the SEPIE does is not only interesting and innovative, it is essential,” said Manuel Castells Oliván, Spain’s minister of universities.

The “essential” internationalisation of the Spanish university system begins with programs such as Erasmus+, he added.

“The university of the 21st century cannot be conceived without an active, changing, dynamic and synergistic insertion in these global networks.”

SEPIE will move “towards an integrated management system” and consolidate with a clear strategy to achieve objectives around the Erasmus+ program and internationalisation efforts of Spanish higher education, its director Coral Martínez Íscar said.

“It is our responsibility as public managers to provide a service to the citizen of the highest quality and use of available resources,” she said.

“Thanks to this seal, we will continue to learn and improve to offer a public service of the highest quality, taking advantage of available resources, as part of our responsibility as public managers.”

In 2018-2019, Spain hosted the highest number of students in higher education as part of the Erasmus+ program across Europe, totalling some 52,830. It has been the most popular destination since 2001.

It was also the second highest sending country, with 44,052 attending higher education institutions across the continent, behind France, which sent 49,066 students overseas as part of the program.

Spain also came top in the professional training sector, the number of teacher training projects and had the most subsidised mobility projects for staff in its adult education provision.

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