Spain is characterized by a model of educational administration that is decentralised and distributes competences between the National Government, the Autonomous Communities and the universities. State  laws set out the competence framework of these three actors and allows the Autonomous Communities to develop their own regulations on education.

The Spanish university system is regulated by the Organic Law 4/2007, amending the Organic Law 6/2001, on Universities (LOMLOU) and the Royal Decrees that develop the said law aspects regarding the competences of the National Administration.

The National Government exercises the competences that ensure the consistency and uniformity of the education system. On the other hand, the Autonomous Communities have competencies for the creation, modification and elimination of programmes, in both the public and private universities, and also for the core funding of public universities.