Spanish collecting society SGAE is to issue seven scholarships to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., as it prepares to open the first permanent Berklee center outside the U.S., in Valencia, on Spain's south-east Mediterranean coast in 2011.

The scholarships are part of the deal signed between Berklee and SGAE in 2008 to build the 27-storey Valencia center, whose latest estimated cost exceeds $150 million. Berklee Valencia will offer advanced courses currently unavailable in Spain, but taught in Boston.

The seven scholarships must be applied for by Nov. 24, and will cover a three-year academic period from September 2010 to July 2013. Three scholarships were awarded last year, and the Spanish students and SGAE members began their three-year courses this September.

Available courses include composition and production of modern music, music industry administration, soundtrack composition, and sound and music engineering and production.

Berklee Valencia will be the star project of SGAE's Arteria program, which envisages the construction of several cultural centers in Europe and Latin America. Some already operate in cities such as Buenos Aires and Mexico City. Arteria aims to promote international artistic exchange.

A few of SGAE's 95,000 members - mainly from the music publishing sector - have criticised Berklee Valencia and Arteria for being closer to real estate development than to cultural promotion.

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