The Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB) is a public university mostly located in Cerdanyola del Vallès, near the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. As of 2012, it consists of 57 departments in the experimental, life, social and human sciences, spread among 13 faculties/schools. All these centers together award a total of 85 qualifications in the form of first degrees, diplomas, and engineering degrees. Moreover, almost 80 doctoral programs, and more than 80 other postgraduate programs are offered. UAB has more than 40,000 students and more than 3,600 academic and research staff. The UAB is a pioneering institution in terms of fostering research. There are many research institutes in the campus, as well as other research centers, technical support services and service-providing laboratories, and the ALBA (synchrotron) located in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park is very close to the UAB. The UAB is considered to be the best University in Spain by the 2012 QS World University Rankings which ranked the university 176th overall in the world. Its subject rankings were: 144th in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 92nd in Arts & Humanities, 106th in Natural Sciences, 95th in Social Sciences and 203rd in Engineering & IT.