Being a Spanish major, I have become interested in the Spanish educational system.Since I plan to teach at the university level, I am particularly interested in the Spanishuniversity system.In the course of my studies, I have found several interesting differences between theuniversity systems of Spain and of the United States, which have led me to do a comparativestudy of the two systems. For instance, students at Spanish universities are required to knowLatin and another classical language for graduation,
but in American universities studentsoften have no language requirement. Why? And why is it that when Spanish studentstransfer from one university to another they generally receive full credit on all their previouscourse work, while American students often lose credit for a year or more of work?Just what are the reasons for these and the many other differences between theSpanish and the American university systems? And more important, what is the impact of these differences?To answer these questions, I interviewed Dr. Gerald Guidera of the SpanishDepartment at Hofstra University. Dr. Guidera spent seven years in Spain studying for adoctorate in general history, with an emphasis on social anthropology. In response to a seriesof questions, he supplied information about the Spanish educational system in general, andthe university system in particular. I then asked him to confirm or refute conclusions whichI had reached on certain aspects of the Spanish system, during the questioning.As the final step, I have re-examined the data and formed what seem to me to belogical answers as to why the differences between the two systems exist, and as to whatdifferences in impact result.Because a complete comparison of all aspects of the Spanish and American universitysystems would be an extremely broad topic, I have limited this paper to academic concerns,1. This and all other factual material on the Spanish educational system was suppliedby Dr. Guidera. The opinions are my own, except where noted.