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  • Research Articles
  • Open Access

Corporate universities: an emerging actor in higher education in Spain?

  • 1Email author and
  • 2
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201310:10020269

  • Received: 15 January 2012
  • Accepted: 15 February 2013
  • Published:


Corporate universities are a growing phenomenon in present-day Spanish society. Corporations increasingly depend on knowledge and, as an alternative to the gaps identified in traditional education, they are creating and strengthening these institutions in order to endow themselves with a type of training that is consistent with their needs, objectives and strategies. This article presents the main results of a study whose aim was to forecast the future role of corporate universities in Spain, a little-studied reality despite its increasing importance. The study objectives were to identify certain aspects of corporate universities’ future evolution (their role in Spanish society, their organisational changes and the challenges posed by ICTs) and to perform a prospective analysis of their relationships with traditional universities (comparative strengths and weaknesses, and future means of collaboration). The research technique used was the Delphi method, applied to a panel of experts formed by the heads of Spanish corporate universities. Besides collecting data on the above-mentioned study objectives, the results confirmed the important role that corporate universities would play in training and knowledge management within the framework of Spanish higher education, even though the participating specialists believed that they would become a complement rather than a direct competitor to traditional universities.


  • corporate universities
  • Spain
  • higher education
  • future
  • knowledge society