The article is devoted to the system analysis of the educational activity of the network of the Cervantes Institutes outside of Spain, studying the role of the Institutes in spreading educational programmes which are focused on learning the Spanish language and popularization of Spanish culture. The network of the Institutes was originally established with the aim at holding an international DELE examination in the Spanish language on the basis of the Institute's centres; realization of Spanish courses on different levels; implementation of Spanish teachers' training; conducting cultural events and as a library fund. The network is consecutively expanding due to instalment of various educational projects and programmes which are gaining an important enlightening role and facilitating intercultural communication in many countries. The authors scrutinize academic activity of the Cervantes Institute and give a high assessment of the Institute's contribution to the extension of high standards of teaching. However, the Institute's institutionalization is being carried on and the model of functioning is not unified for all the countries. Consecutive structural and functional transition of the Institute from the format of a "cultural centre" to the format of a full-fledged educational centre testifies to potential perspectives of the Institute's transformation into a structure of a University model and its readiness to meet the challenges of modern global education building active multileveled cooperation with foreign universities and other educational establishments. In their research, the authors give much prominence to studying the functioning of the Cervantes Institute on the territory of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.