Principat ďAndorra (The Principality of Andorra) is a landlocked country in the Pyrenees Mountains of southwestern Europe and is bordered by France and Spain. It is the 6th smallest nation of Europe. The population is 82,627 and the literacy rate is 100%. Catalan is the official language, but Spanish and French are widely spoken. Andorrans have the worlďs longest life expectancy: 83.5 years.
Andorra traces it history back to Charlemagne who granted a charter to the Andorran people as a gift for fighting the Moors. In 1278, a feudal treaty determined that sovereignty of Andorra would be shared by the Count of Foix of France and the Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia. 1607, King Henry IV of France declared that the head of the French state would be the co-prince of Andorra along with the Bishop of Urgell. The co-principality status of Andorra continues to this day, with the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes. In 1993, Andorra joined the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
The educational system of Andorra is unique in that 3 systems co-exist: Andorran, French, and Spanish. Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 16. Currently, Andorra's Departament d’Ensenyament Superior, Recerca i Ajuts a l’Estud.
Primary and Secondary Education
In the Andorran system, primary school is 6 years beginning at age 6 and leads to the Certificat ďEstudies. Lower secondary is 4 years and leads to the Graduat en Segona Ensenyança. Upper secondary is 2 years and leads to the Batxillerat.
The only post-secondary institution in Andorra is the the University of Andorra, which was established in 1997. It offers 2-year programs leading to the Diploma Professional Avançat, 3-year programs in education, business, nursing, computer science and on-line studies leading to the Diplomatura en… and 4-year programs leading to the Grau de Llicenciatura. Students who wish to study other areas enroll in universities in France and Spain.
Second and Third Cycles
Post-graduate programs in Andorran law, child rights, and education are offered in collaboration with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalunya). They are 1-3 years of study, depending on the program of study, and lead to the Diploma de Postgrau en…. Some programs are offered in collaboration with universities in Spain and France, and students are awarded diplomas from both the University of Andorra and the Spanish or French university.