Spain's Queen Sofia on Tuesday emphasized the importance of studying Spanish during a visit to Oxford University's Exeter College, a center for Hispanic studies.

Sofia, who earlier in the day attended a colloquium with scholars from the institution, responded to some remarks given by Exeter College head Frances Cairncross, who said Exeter was "deeply proud of our links with Spain."

The queen recalled that in 1989 she was named an honorary fellow of Exeter College, "a distinction and honor which has always filled me with pride."

"I am truly happy to join you today for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of Exeter College, an august institution which, throughout its history, has contributed to the development of society through its remarkable educational vocation and its excellent academic achievement," Queen Sofia said.

She emphasized the importance of studying Spanish and hailed the increase in the economic backing for the college's Queen Sofia Junior Fellowship, thanks to Spain's Banco Santander.

Queen Sofia is on a two-day visit to Britain focusing on promoting Spanish language and literature that will also include several activities in London, where she is scheduled to inaugurate the Cervantes Institute library on Wednesday. EFE