If the goal of the Spanish university system is to act as a sort of babysitter service, allowing teenagers to live at home for a couple more years, before enjoying a life of unemployment and temporary contract jobs, then bravo! Good job Spain!
It wasn’t always like this, since in the “good old days” there weren’t that many universities in Spain and the competition was pretty strong, and you had to move to Madrid to study anything interesting. However, with the rise of the expensive fiction of the Autonomous communities (where we pretend that there are actually 17 autonomous regions, just so that it doesn’t look like the Basques and Catalans have some kind of special deal), universities have sprung up like mushrooms all around Spain.
In order to avoid traumatizing young students and asking them to perhaps move to another part of the country (and miss their mother’s tortilla, impossible!) during their studies, every one of these universities has to have every single department. The professors almost entirely consist of ex-PhDs of the same university and the minimum grade requirements are a joke. To make things worse, there is no incentive to finish university quickly, since it costs almost nothing and university get money from the government purely based on the number of students they have.
Now I understand a bit better why the other parents at our school don’t really seem to give a shit about the grades their kids get. Seriously, what’s the point? As long as they can somehow manage to pass their courses at the 10th try, they’re good to go. The dream isn’t that the children will get a PhD from Harvard (that would be seen as almost a failure, especially it results in the kids not living next door to the parents), but instead that the kids will get a job as a government functionary, impossible to fire as long as they show up to work on time.