The University in action!
UVic is developing its new Postgraduate School to establish itself in the knowledge areas where it is strongest
UVic has founded the Postgraduate School, which is taking over from the institution's International Centre for Continuing Education, in order to enhance and improve the focus of its lifelong learning courses. This change in the School's name and structure is recognition of its equal status to the lifelong learning centres at other universities in the country, while at the same time it becomes the cornerstone for a future lifelong learning centre which will include the postgraduate schools of the four federated centres working under the UVic-UCC umbrella. Expanding the range of courses in its knowledge areas One of the objectives of the Postgraduate School is to expand its range of courses in the knowledge areas in which the University is strongest, including health, education, business and communication and biosciences and technology. "If 60% of our students are studying in the fields of health and education, then the lifelong learning we offer should reflect this. This will enable us to attract students who have finished their bachelor's degree at UVic and who therefore want to continue enhancing their knowledge; we will be able to attract more people from elsewhere who have studied at other universities in the country and in the world, as our range of courses will appeal to them, and at the same time we will be able to provide a better service to the business and social community," says Eduard Prats, the director of the Postgraduate School. Expanding the UVic range, offering new formats and consolidating our presence in Barcelona In order for this to happen "it is important that we aim to enhance the UVic range of courses, led by our own teaching and research staff, while maintaining our links with strategic affiliated and validated centres, which contribute value with their innovative learning models," says Prats. An example of this is the recently signed agreement with the Nuclio Digital School centre. The distinctive feature of the new range of courses at the Postgraduate School will be a more dynamic and flexible methodology, in which blended formats will play a key role. This means that online training will feature more heavily, with synchronous and asynchronous sessions, self-corrective assessments, and projects that require tutoring, among other features. The value of face-to-face sessions will also be enhanced with a view "to making them more experience-based for students, such as visits to companies and facilities, and attendance at all kinds of events that make physically coming to class more worthwhile." This dynamism will also be reflected in the fact that the range of courses will be announced throughout the academic year, and not just at the beginning. These measures aim to reach the widest possible target audience, both in Spain and internationally, "without forgetting that one of the University's goals is to provide a service to our region and to give the people who live around us the same opportunities as those who live in other areas where there is much wider range of courses," points out Prats. This methodology also means that it is possible to recruit renowned teachers from other regions who might not be able to join if they had to move. According to the director of the School, being able to expand the range of lifelong learning courses in Barcelona is also important. The programme currently available is Study Abroad, which has organised stable training programmes for some years. These offer foreign students the opportunity to spend one or two semesters taking courses related to the world of business, communication and design. The cornerstone of the future UVic-UCC lifelong learning centre The Postgraduate School is supported by the Validation and Accreditation Unit, which is headed by the rector's delegate for Lifelong Learning, Josep Ayats. This unit is responsible for ensuring that all the courses offered at the various centres of the UVic-UCC federation meet the same standards of quality. One of the goals set out by the UVic-UCC rector's team, led by Josep Eladi Baños, is for the UVic Postgraduate School to define the path for the future lifelong learning centre, which will include the postgraduate schools of the federated institution under one umbrella. This centre will be responsible for the overall extent profile of the academic range of lifelong learning courses offered by the university as a whole.
A project coordinated by the BETA Technological Center will position Catalonia as a European benchmark in reducing food waste
Catalonia has been working to prevent food loss and waste for some years, through the Catalan Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda and the Catalan Waste Agency. In fact, Catalonia is the first region in Europe to have specific legislation in this area: Law 3/2020. This law is a pioneering regulation in defining the food losses that take place in primary production, and incorporating them in prevention and sustainability policies for the food chain and involving its operators in the issue. One of the objectives of the European FOLOU project, which is coordinated being by the BETA Technological Center at the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) is to compile the experience accumulated to date, and add it to the new knowledge that will be generated with the pilot tests and case studies in the new project. Catalonia will thereby position itself as a European benchmark in the development of strategies to reduce losses and food waste in the primary sector. The meeting to launch the FOLOU project, in which the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda and the Catalan Waste Agency are major partners, took place at the BETA Technological Center this afternoon. The presentation of the project was attended by Joan Gòdia, the director general of Food, Quality and Gastronomy Companies of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Josep Eladi Baños, the rector of UVic-UCC; Sergio Ponsá, director of the BETA Technological Center, and Isaac Peraire, director of the Catalan Waste Agency, among others. Baños welcomed all those attending, and said that "an essential task of universities is to support society in solving its most pressing needs." In a context of various crises including overpopulation, global warming, an increasingly extreme climate and the energy crisis, "we all agree that the fight against food waste, the cornerstone of the FOLOU project, must be a priority," he said. The rector also emphasised that the BETA Technological Center represents the type of research that UVic-UCC aims to do - "with an international vision and vocation, which is innovative, applied and conscious, and provides solutions to real problems." Ponsá presented the BETA Technological Center to the entire audience, highlighting the main areas in which it works and stressing the importance "that research can end up having an impact on society." Focusing on the FOLOU project, Ponsá pointed out the consequences of food waste from an economic, social and environmental point of view. In this regard, he added: "we must develop new methodologies and tools that will help us to quantify food waste and at the same time, study how to implement them." Gòdia then discussed the work that the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda has been doing in the field of food loss and waste for many years. As examples, he mentioned Law 3/2020, with which "Catalonia is a pioneer in the prevention of food waste in the primary sector" and the Catalan Strategic Food Plan, which has contributed "to making Catalonia a sustainable country." Knowledge transfer between regions The FOLOU project, which will develop new methodologies and tools to reduce food losses and waste in the primary sector, will be working actively to transfer Catalonia's experience to other regions that need to design new methodologies suited to their circumstances to measure their own food waste. In the long term, the transfer of knowledge between regions and towards European institutions "must make it possible to harmonise the method of calculating food waste between different countries, and provide better records of national and European data," explained Joan Colón, the lead researcher on the FOLOU project at the BETA Technological Center. The European Commission has established a common method and minimum requirements for reducing the amount of food waste at the national level. However, this is still a very general approach, which does not include all the specific characteristics which impact on the phenomenon of food waste. The FOLOU project therefore aims to help respond to the urgent need to create new methods for calculating the size of losses caused by food waste and to apply efficient short-term measures to help reduce it. "Food waste has a negative impact on society on many levels, it leads to food insecurity and has all kinds of environmental impacts," stressed Joan Colón. These impacts may include unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions, wastage of water resources, and the degradation of some ecosystems and their biodiversity. Image recognition and artificial intelligence The FOLOU project will have a technological side. "We hope to validate the use of six technologies applied in an innovative way in the control of food waste, including image recognition systems and artificial intelligence," said Colón. A major result of FOLOU will be the creation of a new sustainability assessment tool that enables the environmental, economic and social impacts arising from food waste to be quantified on an efficient, standardised and reliable basis, so that the stages of the chain of worth where action is required can be identified. The main focus of the project will be on the primary production stage, which is the most difficult to monitor, given that it is very time-consuming or very expensive with the technical resources that are currently available. This stage mainly includes agriculture, aquaculture, fishing and other activities in the primary sector, where many food losses occur before the product is marketed, as well as in the handling and storage process. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that the global figure for food waste can amount to 1.2 billion tonnes annually in the primary sector alone. The FOLOU project, financed by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Commission, will work to ensure that the project's results are adopted by all the main stakeholders: primary producers, retailers, consumers, policymakers and researchers. Its overall budget will be almost 7 million Euros, and an international consortium made up of 16 partners will be working on the project. Apart from the participation of the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda and the Catalan Waste Agency, the Spigolador Foundation is also involved.
Pep Guardiola and Manel Estiarte will head the new Chair of Leadership in Values at the UVic-UCC
Two leading figures from the world of sport, Pep Guardiola and Manel Estiarte, will head the new Chair of Leadership in Values at the University of Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC), which will be based on the Manresa Campus. The Chair was established to promote styles of leadership that have a positive impact on both the local and global environment, and the personal and professional backgrounds of the two directors will contribute to making its principles and objectives more visible, and raising its international profile. The Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation gave the green light to the creation of the chair at its ordinary meeting which took place on 20 December, at the proposal of the Bages University Foundation, which has been the driving force behind the project. The chair will have an academic management team consisting of the doctor of Psychology and director of the Bages University Foundation, Valentí Martínez, and the doctor of Social Psychology Carlota Riera. It will also have an assistant director, who will be Albert Estiarte, the doctor of the Spanish water polo teams. Linking high academic standards to professional practic University chairs are a means of bringing the academic and professional worlds closer together, and enabling the transfer of knowledge and experience from one to the other. The Leadership in Values Chair has been established with the aim of creating the conditions which enable organisations, teams and people to use leadership to promote positive changes in the environment, especially from the worlds of business, health, education and sport. It will work in various areas: research and innovation on ethical leadership based on values, teaching, training, consultancy and dissemination, as well as on creating spaces for reflection and debate, as well as public awareness. Pep Guardiola is a former professional footballer, and is the current coach of the first team at Manchester City. He is a renowned figure in the sports world, and received the Medal of Honour from the Parliament of Catalonia in 2011, for his ability to convey the values of "sportsmanship, teamwork, effort and personal determination." Manel Estiarte is a former water polo player, and a member of Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City. He was an Olympic athlete on various occasions, and was a member of the International Olympic Committee. He received the Prince of Asturias Sports Award in 2001 for his exemplary sporting career. A collegiate management The management of the Chair of Leadership in Values will be collegiate. In addition to Guardiola and Estiarte, the academic management team will consist of Valentí Martínez and Carlota Riera, and the assistant director will be Albert Estiarte, the doctor of the Spanish water polo teams (with which he has taken part in eight Olympic Games), the deputy director of the Althaia Foundation and a holder of the Sports Merit Medal awarded by Manresa City Council. Valentí Martínez is a doctor in Psychology, an expert in leadership and management of people and teams, a Spanish and international trainer and consultant, and the general manager of the Bages University Foundation. Carlota Riera, a doctor in Social Psychology, has worked in the professional and academic spheres in areas including leadership and transformative innovation, and she is currently the Director of Corporate Development at Bages University Foundation. The public presentation of the chair will take place during the first quarter of 2023, at an event which will be attended by all those involved in its management. The event will provide a detailed presentation of its objectives and the roadmap that will guide its work in the coming years.
The Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation approves a budget of 52 million Euros, 7.5% more than the budget for the previous academic year
At its meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation approved the clearance of the budget for the 2021-2022 academic year, and gave the green light to the budget for 2022-2023. This year's budget includes a volume of revenue of 52 million Euros, a figure that is an increase of 7.5% compared to the previous year, which with 48.5 million Euros was balanced at the close of the year. The meeting of the Board of Trustees took place for the first time in the Paranymph of the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC), in the former church of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in Vic. The plenary session, which was chaired by the president of the Balmes University Foundation and mayor of Vic Anna Erra, took place in a hybrid format, with some of the patrons present in the Paranymph and others attending online. Income from enrolments and expenditure due to energy costs are increasing The figure of 52 million Euros in this year's budget and the increase compared to the previous year are largely due to the increase in income from enrolments on bachelor's degree courses, amounting to 25 million Euros. There are now more than 5,000 students enrolled on bachelor's degree courses at the UVic-UCC Campus Vic (Balmes University Foundation) for the first time, and this has had a positive impact on the budget. On the other hand, a significant increase in the cost of energy (electricity and gas) estimated at around one million Euros is anticipated in the expenditure column, due to the new rates that will apply from January onwards. The budget also consolidates the public contribution made by the Government of Catalonia, which stands at 21% in the 2021-2022 academic year. This contribution is complemented by an additional one million Euros, which will be used to reinforce the grants policy that is being implemented within UVic-UCC as a whole. Investments in infrastructure in Granollers, Manlleu and Vic The investment plan this financial year will amount to one million Euros, and it will include major projects for the teaching infrastructures at the university's facilities in Granollers and Manlleu, as well as the new space in the Plaça de la Noguera in the Vic Sud district, which will open its doors during the second semester of the academic year. The investments made last year totalled 1.1 million Euros, and they were mostly allocated to cybersecurity actions and measures, to improving classrooms (especially hybrid classrooms) and laboratories. The meeting of the Board of Trustees also discussed the investment amounts that come directly from the funding of research projects. The restoration works in the Paranymph and the Gothic Hall, which were inaugurated in October, were entirely funded by subsidies and donations. The 2021-2022 academic year was closed to balance with an income of 48.5 million Euros, which also meant a surplus of 250,000 Euros, which will be applied in its entirety to a specific surplus for research. One million Euros in student grants One of the new provisions of this year's budget is that it includes an extraordinary allocation of one million Euros in student grants. These grants, which are directly related to the programme agreement with the Government of Catalonia, will make it possible to increase the endowments of the University's grants and cover more students at the Balmes University Foundation, the Bages University Foundation and the Foundation for Advanced Health Sciences Studies, the parent institution of the Faculty of Medicine. The figures for the Calderó Modolell special fund were also presented during the meeting of the Board of Trustees. The fund awarded a total of 58,750 euros in grants last year, 64% more than in the previous year. The special fund allocates all its returns to grants.
The IRIS-CC begins work with the objective of enhancing health research and innovation in central Catalonia
The Institute for Research and Innovation in Life Sciences and Health in Central Catalonia (IRIS-CC) is now up and running. The Institute's Board of Trustees met on 31 May and it began work in 1 June. More than 300 researchers had already expressed their wish to join when it was established. Initially established by the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC), the institute consists of 14 academic, health and social institutions in central Catalonia: the Balmes University Foundation, the Bages University Foundation, the Health Sciences Higher Studies Foundation and the Elisava Private Foundation, the University School (all federated within UVic-UCC), the Althaia Foundation, the Central Catalonia Catalan Health Institute, the Hospital Consortium of Vic, the Hospital de la Santa Creu Foundation, the Sant Andreu Salut Private Foundation, the Olot and Garrotxa Regional Hospital Foundation, the Osona Psychopedagogical Private Medical Centre Foundation, the Campdevànol Hospital Private Foundation, the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital of Martorell Foundation and the Vic Primary Healthcare Team, SLP (EBA Vic South). Through its four federated foundations, UVic-UCC has played a role in bringing together the members of the new institute. The plan for the IRIS-CC was approved by an agreement of the Government of Catalonia on 19 April. The public deed of the founding Charter was subsequently signed on 6 May, and the constituent meeting of the Board of Trustees, chaired by the rector of the UVic-UCC, Josep Eladi Baños, took place on the same day. The director of the Institute will be José Jerónimo Navas, who has accepted responsibility for creating the institute since the beginning of the project. It will initially have 6 people in its management and administrative structure. The research and innovation activities of the founding institutions begin with an initial revenue budget of ?1.8 million. The new biomedical and health research institute was established with the aim of creating scientific knowledge in the fields of life sciences and health. The research lines of the IRIS-CC will initially be those of the founding institutions: biomedicine, clinical medicine (mental health, oncology, digestive system and the locomotor system), epidemiology and public health, ageing-chronicity, care, innovation (in products, health services, simulation, patient safety and teaching innovation), as well as cross-disciplinary topics such as physical activity and sports sciences, data management, design applied to health and well-being, and social and human sciences oriented towards health. A multicentric perspective, outside the Barcelona metropolitan area The IRIS-CC is the eleventh biomedical research and innovation institute in health and life sciences in Catalonia. Its establishment strikes a balance in the distribution of research in this region of the country, and increases the opportunities that the area of central Catalonia, a region with a population of 525,000, can offer researchers. One of the distinguishing features of this institute is that it not only includes leading hospitals, but also primary healthcare, socio-health centres, mental health facilities and regional hospitals. Support for research and innovation in health from multiple perspectives (rural, urban, mountain) will contribute to this new institute being distinctive in its analyses and approaches. The IRIS-CC must create knowledge in a multi-centred way, one of the same time attracting, retaining and training talent in the area around its various constituent institutions. The territorial commitment entails having operational and specialist units in the territorial facilities in Vic and Manresa, with Can Baumann as the home of the Faculty of Medicine, and the Althaia Foundation respectively. The IRIS-CC draws on the resources, scientific background and professionals dedicated to research at the 14 member institutions. As a starting point, in addition to more than 300 researchers who have already expressed their desire to join the institute, fourteen research groups accredited by the Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) will also join it. This is very significant and unprecedented, because it creates a centre of top-level research activity away from the Barcelona metropolitan area and Catalonia's other provincial capitals. Research and life sciences institutes are always the result of a partnership between the university and healthcare worlds. This is the model that the IRIS-CC has followed, reflecting common practice in Europe and internationally. Attracting and retaining talent The existence of the IRIS-CC will facilitate access to new sources of funding for research and innovation by the institutions involved in the future. It is expected to generate new synergies between researchers in the region, to establish partnerships with other leading centres in Catalonia, Spain and internationally, and attract and retain talent in the territory. The research staff will also have access to cutting-edge research structures, some of which are newly established, such as the Clinical Trials Unit (Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Manresa), the Biobank (Vic University Hospital) and data analysis systems. These resources will enable it to establish new and highly specialised lines of research in key areas for the future, such as protonics, genomics and biostatistics.
Jordi Baiget is the new general manager of the Balmes University Foundation
Jordi Baiget i Cantons has been the new general manager of the Balmes University Foundation since last Wednesday. His appointment took effect after approval by the institution's Board of Trustees, which met this afternoon, of the proposal of its president, Anna Erra. As of today, Baiget is the head of the Balmes University Foundation, the institution that owns the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC), a federated structure that also includes the Bages University Foundation, the Foundation for Advanced Health Sciences and the Elisava Private Foundation University Studies. The new general manager has taken over from Joan Turró, who announced his retirement after eleven years last March. After the plenary meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation, a press conference was held at the institution's headquarters, the Casa de Convalescència on the Vic Campus, at which the board of trustees' approval of the proposal for the renewal of the rector of UVic-UCC Josep Eladi Baños for a second term of four years was also announced. The rector gave an assessment of his first term of office which began in December 2018, saying that "it was a period with a great deal of work, involving difficulties that arose such as the pandemic, in which I received unwavering support." That is why he is grateful for the second term, which will enable him to "finish projects that have already started and launch new ones" and achieve goals such as "making UVic-UCC become a Catalan and European benchmark in teaching quality." There remain two further procedures before his final renewal at the end of June: an extraordinary meeting of the Senate of the university community, and a second meeting of the board of trustees. A great expert in the university field Anna Erra congratulated Baiget on his appointment, and welcomed him to the Balmes University Foundation and UVic-UCC. The president and mayor of Vic said she is "absolutely convinced that Jordi Baiget will do a great job leading the university project in central Catalonia," and explained her reasons: "he has an extensive background in the economic field, in which he has worked for more than thirty years, in private business, university teaching and research, and in government," said Erra. In her speech, the president of the Balmes University Foundation placed particular emphasis on the fact that Baiget served as Minister of Business and Knowledge in the Government of Catalonia between 2016 and 2017. This position, she said, "makes him a great expert in the university field, since his responsibilities included universities, the quality of the university system, and the promotion of research and innovation." Erra also recalled that his term of office coincided with a key period for UVic-UCC, when the Faculty of Medicine was established, and she said: "he knows our University's project very well, in terms of our teaching and research challenges and our unique model of governance, our federated structure and our involvement with the territory, which are our distinguishing features." At the same time, she explained that Baiget's links with the university world go back a long way, and include teaching at various stages of his professional life and doing research, which he has also carried out in other areas, such as politics and public administration, and always in areas linked to the world of economics and business. This "guarantees that he is the right person to take over the general management of an expanding and complex project such like UVic -UCC." Responsibility, enthusiasm and personal commitment In his speech, Jordi Baiget expressed his thanks to the Balmes University Foundation board of trustees, and Anna Erra and Josep Arimany in particular, and the rector: "his experience and continuity will guide me at the beginning of this new period." He said that this period will be defined by responsibility, enthusiasm and commitment: "the responsibility involved in replacing someone, Joan Turró, who has done a great job and who has been loved; enthusiasm to participate in a unique project, with great potential, with its roots outside the metropolitan area, a different type of governance and with an obvious commitment and service to the public;" and a "personal commitment to do the best I can and to devote all my efforts to it." "The first thing we have to do with a project that works, and which works well, is to make sure it doesn't come off the rails," he said. Meanwhile, the rector of UVic-UCC, Josep Eladi Baños, welcomed Jordi Baiget and said he was pleased to be able to work in the future with "someone who has extensive knowledge of the university sphere, and a significant background and expertise in economics and business." Baños said he was convinced that the General Management "is in good hands in terms of addressing the future challenges that the institution has to face" and that "the Balmes University Foundation and academia will work side by side and on a coordinated basis to overcome them." The councillor for the University and City of Knowledge of Vic City Council, Josep Arimany, explained that the new general manager "fully meets all the requirements to hold the position: experience in management, knowledge of the worlds of business, universities and public administration, and a background in research." An extensive background in the economic and business sector Jordi Baiget holds a degree in Economic Sciences and postgraduate studies in Economic Analysis from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is the recipient of an FPI grant for training of research staff from the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council), and he has published various works, studies and articles related to the Catalan economy and the labour market. At various times in his life, he has been a university lecturer in the field of economics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and he has been a lecturer on several postgraduate courses, the most recent of which is Promotion and Management of Local Assets, organised jointly by the Rovira i Virgili University and the Catalan Association of Municipalities. Since 2017, he has been general manager of Sermetra, a company specialising in the operation, maintenance and information management of the operation support systems and the sales and validation systems installed on public transport buses. In addition, he is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya railway network, and the president of the Àrea8 business association, a group of companies located mostly in the industrial estates of La Pedrosa (Hospitalet de Llobregat) and the Zona Franca, organising joint projects in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and corporate social responsibility. He is also the coordinator of the Fundació de la Santa Creu, a charity with centres that works with people without resources and at risk of exclusion, and organises educational workshops for people with disabilities in Barcelona and Vigo. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Catalan Institute of Finance (ICF) from 2010 to 2016, and he has been a member of the Advisory Council of the LEITAT Technology Centre since 2018. Prior to being Minister for Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia (2016-2017), he was secretary to the Government of the Government of Catalonia (2012-2016), director general of Interdepartmental Coordination of the Ministry of Presidency of the Government of Catalonia (2011-2012), technical manager of the CiU parliamentary groups in the Parliament of Catalonia and in the Spanish Cortes Generales legislative chamber (2003-2010), secretary of the Catalan Parliamentary Group (CiU) in the Cortes Generales (2001-2003), and adviser to the CDC's Research Service on economic, sectoral and social affairs (1991-2001). Thanks to Joan Turró In both the board of trustees meeting and in the press conference, thanks were extended to Joan Turró, who is leaving the position of general manager, for the work he has done over eleven years. Erra emphasised "his commitment to the institution, daily efforts and his defence and love for the project" and thanked him "for contributing to consolidating UVic-UCC by making the federation agreements possible." Josep Arimany stressed "the major transformation of the University's administrative and services staff, which he led as manager" and the work he did at the head of Creacció as the CEO - "a project that the Osona will benefit from for many years to come." Josep Eladi Baños said that with Turró as general manager, "we have experienced the years of most movement and growth at out University."
Josep Eladi Baños: "In 50 years' time we'll have an even better university than the one we have now"
The institutional ceremony, presided by the Catalan Minister of Research and Universities Gemma Geis and part of the events celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the unanimous approval of the Law recognising the University of Vic by the Parliament of Catalonia on 21 May 1997, took place at midday in the Aula Magna of the University of Vic ? Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC). It also included speeches by the acting mayor of Vic City Council, Josep Arimany, and the rector of UVic-UCC, Josep Eladi Baños, and the attendance of the government representative for Central Catalonia, Rosa Vestit, authorities and members of the university community, rectors of other Catalan universities, former rectors of UVic-UCC, and councillors and mayors of several municipalities including Manresa and Ripoll. During the event, Dr Javier Paricio, a professor at the University of Zaragoza, delivered the keynote address entitled "Rethinking qualifications? Higher education and the challenge of a complex and changing society." The institutional event began with the screening of the video produced to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of UVic-UCC, in which various people from the university community reflect on the past, present and future of the institution. The Catalan Minister of Research and Universities Gemma Geis then took the floor, and referring to the testimonial video and congratulating the entire UVic-UCC university community, she said: "Universities are people. When a university reaches its twenty-fifth birthday, it is thanks to a combination of the efforts by the many people who work there and who help it to keep moving forward." Geis emphasised that UVic-UCC "has grown at a firm, unstoppable pace" and that it has contributed to the growth not only of the city of Vic, but to transforming and enhancing an entire region, as "central Catalonia is today located on the knowledge map of the world." She acknowledged "the huge task involved in a series of efforts to position this university where it is today." The minister recognised UVic-UCC's unique character and commitment to public service, and awareness of the demands of UVic-UCC and the "need for a commitment to a network of knowledge based on the territory," before concluding: "I am certain that UVic-UCC will continue to lead the transformation of the country we want." With an eye on the future Josep Arimany, the acting mayor of Vic and president of the Foundation for Advanced Health Sciences Studies (FESS), expressed his satisfaction at being able to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary, since "this first quarter of a century has been momentous for many of us who have been lucky enough to see the University's birth and growth, and who have seen it progress at an increasingly determined pace, and become bigger and more robust within the Catalan, Spanish and international university system." The acting mayor referred to the university's medieval roots, and mentioned the figures of Bishop Ató and Gerbert d'Orlach, before moving on to the last quarter of a century - a period in which "the University has transformed the city" and its immediate surroundings. Arimany emphasised that UVic-UCC has made a commitment to a federated structure that has enabled it to undertake "joint projects with Manresa". This federation, currently made up of four foundations, "has given us great returns, such as building a Faculty of Medicine when many people didn't believe it was possible." On this point, the president of the FESS recalled how he argued for the need to undertake this project with the then president of the Government of Catalonia Artur Mas, as well as the launch of health studies that will take place in the coming years. In order to boost the University's profile, the acting mayor asked for the support of the Catalan Ministry of Research and Universities to move forward with the programme agreement, without forgetting all the people who have made UVic-UCC possible in the past, and in particular its first rector and his teacher, Ricard Torrents. He was followed by the rector Josep Eladi Baños, who began his speech by explaining that "the 25 years have come at a good time for UVic-UCC" and that they are the result of the daily efforts made by many people. Looking towards the future, the rector said that the university is facing important challenges, and one of those is "maintaining what it has achieved so far by adapting to the new technological landscape, since the new social environment is a threat to the traditional role that universities have played." In this respect, he said that technological platforms and distance education are here to stay, and that "the University of the future will be hybrid or will not exist at all." In the same vein, he pointed out that it will be necessary to pay close attention to the changes in the profile of the student body arising from socio-demographic changes, since "the number of students entering university from higher secondary education will fall in the coming years while on the other hand, there will be increased interest and demand for continuous training." Another challenge, according to the rector, involves creating a change in attitudes to research and enhancing its value, and by way of an example he mentioned the fact that "Catalonia is a leading country in research, but we are ranked very low in terms of the number of patents." However, he pointed out that UVic-UCC works with one eye on the future, and said that "complacency must not be part of our university's DNA" and added that "in 50 years' time we'll have an even better university than the one we have today." Lecture on the future of university qualifications During the institutional event in the afternoon, Dr Javier Paricio, professor at the University of Zaragoza, gave a lecture entitled "Rethinking qualifications? Higher education and the challenge of a complex and changing society." The speaker focused his lecture on the importance of training experts, and on the key role played by universities in this area. He said that "universities must change their course plans because knowledge is not enough - it is necessary to know how to use it." He said that an expert is not only someone who has specialised knowledge, but also someone who "knows how to innovate and deal with new challenges and complex situations." Paricio emphasised that three factors must be taken into account in order to train experts. First, an in-depth understanding, because "understanding is only achieved by reasoning, and asking ourselves questions." He argued that "an expert is not someone who knows more, but instead someone who reasons differently; that is why we need university qualifications to focus on what is really important, on in-depth concepts." The second factor to take into account is that it is necessary to foster critical attitudes spirit and general questioning among students, because "the University is not there to provide answers, it is there to encourage questions." Finally, the speaker said that in order to be an expert it is necessary to stand next to another expert, and watch how they work. On this point, he described tutorials with teachers as "a privileged place of learning" for students. He concluded his lecture by saying that "the higher education of the twenty-first century must be able to address complexity. Today's celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary ended with the audience in the Aula Magna rising to their feet to sing Gaudeamus Igitur. The event also featured musical performances of O Radiant Dawn (J. Macmillan) and Salve Regina (F. Poulenc), by Ferran Albrich, Judit Muñoz, Mariona Llobera and Carles Prat. Outside, Els Emboirats, the UVic's "castellers" group, created two commemorative towers to mark the anniversary The performance of 'PRE LU DI' at L'Atlàntida this afternoon Today's celebration will continue at 7 pm at L'Atlàntida de Vic, with the performance of PRE LU DI, produced by the company Didactics, and aimed at the entire university community. It is a visual, poetic and musical performance that provides an overview of the past, present and future of UVic-UCC, which has been specially created for the University's twenty-fifth anniversary. Dance, song, music and light are some of the elements that will be involved, and the professional performers who will be participating include Lluís Soler, Joana Serrat, Ernest Crusats and Roger Mas.
UVic-UCC celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary while focusing on the consolidation and expansion of its university project
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Parliament of Catalonia's unanimous approval the Law recognizing the University of Vic by the 112 members of the Chamber falls on 21 May. The historic session which took place in 1997 led to the re-establishment of the university that the city had lost in 1717 with the New Plant decree enacted by the Spanish king Philip V. A quarter of a century later, today's University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) is celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of its founding with a programme of activities that began this April and will continue until October. A press conference to publicise the anniversary and present the schedule of celebratory events took place this morning at the Casa de Convalescència in Vic, and was attended by Anna Erra, president of the Balmes University Foundation; Josep Eladi Baños, rector of UVic-UCC; and Anna Sabata, general secretary of UVic-UCC, as well as various leading figures at the institution. The press conference also took stock of this first quarter of a century and highlighted the major challenges facing the institution in the future. "This is an anniversary that marks a milestone, and which goes beyond the restoration of the university in our city. This has to be the beginning of a path with no end and which makes constant progress," said Anna Erra, who said that the university "has grown with a great deal of impetus and strength, not only in the field of teaching but also as regards research and knowledge transfer, and aims to be a key player on the landscape of Catalan universities." The rector Josep Eladi Baños said that "UVic-UCC is reaching its twenty-fifth anniversary at a very good time, after an exponential increase in the number of students and in research, and when the future is pointing towards a similar trend of expansion." UVic-UCC's twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations will involve around thirty events and exhibitions that will take place in the coming months, which are aimed at recognising everyone who has been a part of the university over the last quarter of a century. The main events include the exhibition entitled "UVic-UCC, 25 years. People, knowledge and territory" which will be inaugurated at the Palau Robert in Barcelona on 2 May; the institutional academic ceremony that will take place in the Aula Magna on 20 May; the visual and poetic performance that will take place in Atlàntida building on 20 May, and the round table discussion of ex-rectors and former vice-rectors of Research on 10 May. Impetus to become stronger The official recognition of the university, which was the tenth to be created in Catalonia, marked the consolidation of the project of the Jaume Balmes University School of Teachers in Vic, which was established in 1977 (45 years ago). The project grew during the 1980s and 1990s with the establishment of various university schools and faculties: the Osona University School of Nursing (1981) - which had its roots in the Osona Women's School of Technical Health Auxiliaries (1974), the Osona University School of Business Studies (1987), the Osona Polytechnic University School (1989) and the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation (1993), with the companies Eumo Editorial (1979) and Eumogràfic (1984). "Becoming the University of Vic provided the impetus for the institution to become stronger and take on a new dimension, and to go on to occupy a place on the Catalan university landscape", said Baños, who reviewed the history of UVic - UCC. The president of the Balmes University Foundation thanked "everyone who worked to obtain the recognition of the university from the outset for their efforts and hard work, including the first rector Ricard Torrents, Enric López and Jaume Puntí, among others, as well as the deputies and mayors who made it possible for us to be able to celebrate these 25 years today." By the turn of the twenty-first century, the university had several affiliated centres: the BAU School of Design, the EADA Business School, and the ESERP Business and Law School. However, the real turning point was the federation that was established in 2014 between the Balmes University Foundation - the institution that owned the University of Vic - and the Bages University Foundation - the institution that owned the university studies taking place in Manresa. This would be followed by the creation of the new facility in Granollers (2016) and the creation and federation with the Foundation for Advanced Health Sciences Studies (2017), which led to the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine. This centre has been a turning point in the university's recognition and prestige, as according to the rector of the UVic-UCC "there are people who make a distinction between universities with a Faculty of Medicine and universities without a Faculty of Medicine." The federation with the Elisava University School Private Foundation (2020) is among the most significant milestones in our recent history, which have reinforced the university's federation model. Our own distinctive and growing model The UVic-UCC does not have its own legal personality, and has its own governance model, through the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation. With a clear commitment to public service, this university has strong roots in its region and close links with the network of businesses and economic, cultural and social institutions in the surrounding area. Anna Erra emphasised that the unique model of UVic-UCC, for which it has become a benchmark, has very positive aspects, since "it gives us a great deal of flexibility and a different way of doing things, which is more in keeping with international universities." The president of the Balmes University Foundation referred to the idea of a territorial university and the commitment made in 2014 with the federation with the Bages University Foundation, with the aim of "joining forces to multiply the university's strength." With regard to the link that was established between Vic and Manresa, she added: "two regions that always had their backs to each other succeeded in establishing a project for the region and the university." As mayor of Vic, Erra talked about UVic-UCC's territorial ambition to broaden the perspective of inner Catalonia "and to expand new university campuses to provide opportunities for many, many young people." From the municipal point of view, she referred to the creation of the city campus that has gone hand in hand with the growth of the university, as "it has transformed Vic in the cultural, social and economic spheres and has expanded its neighbourhoods." Surpassing the threshold of 10,000 official student The twenty-fifth anniversary of UVic-UCC comes at a time of major growth and recognition in the university sphere, as can be seen in the figures for the 2021-2022 academic year. The university is commemorating its first quarter of a century in the year in which it passed the threshold of 10,000 students enrolled on official programmes (10,821) for the first time, and in which new entrance registrations increased by 16% (3,789 more students) compared to the previous year. By comparison, the figures for the 2015-2016 academic year show that the number of students was 6,500, meaning that "there has been an increase of 30-40% of students in just five years, in parallel with the growth at the centres on the Vic and Manresa campuses," said the rector Josep Eladi Baños. Likewise, the number of teaching and research staff at the university was 947 in the 2015-2016 academic year and now stands at 1,200, which is an increase of 30%. In these last five years, the results of the research done at UVic-UCC have increased from around 200 indexed publications to the current figure of 470 - figures that represent growth of 100% "and which highlight the major efforts that have taken place in research in all areas of the university." They have also led to very good positions in rankings such as the THE World University Ranking, according to the rector. A look towards the future The consolidation and expansion of the project was among the main challenges for the future of UVic-UCC that Baños highlighted. "It is a complex model, with not much of a tradition, which leads to additional work to bring together all its constituent institutions, especially as it grows," pointed out the rector. One of the new milestones that are visible on the horizon is the inauguration of the FUB-4 Education building in Manresa, in a few weeks, which is "evidence of the vitality of our campuses," according to the rector. Elisava's move to a new facility in the next few years will mean the University will have a stable campus in the Catalan capital for the first time. "The Barcelona campus will help us to have an international profile," said the rector, recalling that one of the cornerstones of UVic-UCC is "having our feet in the territory but our eyes on Europe and the world." Among the goals for the future, the rector also referred to the 2+3 Project, which is designed to recognise high level training cycles as higher education "at the same level as university degrees, but with their own distinctive features." "Our aim is for the university to become a factor for cohesion in the territory, from the point of view of teaching, research and knowledge transfer." Among other challenges, according to Baños, there is a need to expand the studies in the field of health and in the field of Social Sciences, "with new bachelor's degrees that meet emerging social needs," to restore student numbers on the master's degree courses and to foster the cross-sectoral approach of the teaching community "so that there is increased collaboration between teaching staff in the various faculties." Celebrations with events for everyone UVic-UCC wants to take advantage of its twenty-fifth anniversary to honour everyone who has been a part of the institution's history in one way or another, and contributed to its growth. On this subject, the UVic-UCC secretary general Anna Sabata explained that the motto chosen for this celebration - "People, knowledge and territory" - which was created in a joint and broad-based way - aims to highlight the importance of these three facets for the institution. The programme of events was produced with the intention of opening up the celebration to the city, but "we also wanted the 25 years to be accessible for everyone in the university community," said Sabata, who then outlined the major activities on the schedule One of the first events will be a round table between former and present students of the university, which will take place at 5.30 pm on Friday 29 April, in four faculties: the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies (FEC), the Faculty of Science Technology and Engineering (FCTE), the Faculty of Education, Translation and Sports and Psychology (FETEP) and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Welfare (FCSB). Each of these round tables will take place at a different venue - the Aula Magna, Segimon Serrallonga, Building F (floor 1) and Sala Mercè Torrents - and will be followed immediately afterwards by an event for former students in the Torre dels Frares courtyard. The Catalan Minister for Universities and Research Gemma Geis will open the exhibition entitled "UVic-UCC, 25 years. People, knowledge and territory", which will focus on the character of the UVic-UCC and its main features, on Monday 2 May. Based on various informative panels and photographs, the exhibition is organised into seven different areas: teaching, research, international, community, federations and territory, Eumo, and a historical overview. The opening of the exhibition, at 1 pm, will feature a presentation by the journalist Antoni Bassas entitled "There's fog in Oxford too." Another of the scheduled events is a round table discussion featuring former rectors (from 10 to 11.30 am) and former vice-rectors of Research (from 12 to 1.30 pm) of UVic-UCC, which will take place in the Sala Segimon Serrallonga on Tuesday 10 May. The debates will be chaired by the current rector, Josep Eladi Baños and the vice-rector for research Jordi Collet respectively. The high point of the celebrations of the twenty-fifth anniversary of UVic-UCC comes on 20 May, the anniversary of the date the Law for the Recognition of the University of Vic was passed. At 12:00, an institutional event will take place in the Aula Magna, featuring a lecture by Dr Javier Paricio of the University of Zaragoza, entitled "Rethinking degrees? Higher education and the challenge of a complex and changing society." There will be a poetic, musical and visual performance on the same day, at the Atlàntida de Vic at 7 pm, taking a look at the past, present and future of the institution The final event marking the twenty-fifth anniversary to take place this academic year will be the ceremony for the investiture of Óscar Camps Gausach, founder of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as a doctor honoris causa. The ceremony will take place in the Aula Magna of the UVic at 12 pm on 29 June. The programme of events to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary will include other activities and exhibitions lasting until October 2022, when the anniversary will conclude as the new 2022-2023 academic year begins. Access the UVic-UCC 25 years website via this link