Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE number of foreign students registered in public and private centres in the Balearics grew by 11.8 percent to 21'751 during the last academic year, below the national average of 14.5 percent.

Of these, 82.5 percent were registered in state schools and 17.5 percent in private centres, according to the latest statistics published by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (MEC). The amount of foreign students in education centres across Spain has maintained a constant increase of 15 percent a year during the last three academic years and for the first time has exceeded 600'000 registrations.

During the last academic year, there were 608'040 immigrants on general and special courses, with an increase of 14.5 percent in comparison with the 2005 to 2006 academic year, when there were 530'954 foreign students registered.

The number of foreign students has multiplied by 8.4 in nine years, since the 1997 to 98 academic year.
In absolute terms, the majority of foreign students in the last academic year were in Primary Education, with 261'583 pupils (a 14.3 percent increase compared with the year before); Secondary Education had 168'824 with an increase of 14.9 percent compared to the year before; and Infant (pre school) classes had 104'014 pupils which was an increase of 10.5 percent.

Special classes (artistic, sport and languages) taken together has just 16'480 students. In relative terms, the greatest increase was 29.6 percent in language classes; 28.4 percent in special education; 26.7 percent in artistic classes and 20.4 percent in Professional Training classes.

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