University of Alicante President.
University of Alicante Honorary President.
Regional Minister for Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation.
Catholic University of Valencia President.
European University of Valencia President.
Regional Director-General for Universities, Higher Education and Science.
University of Alicante Social Council Chairperson.
Vice President for Research and Knowledge Transfer.
PhD Atienza Rodríguez.
Members of the University Community.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a university tradition to present a summary of the annual report from the previous academic year within the framework of the academic year official opening. One more year, this tradition is followed, with the conviction that it is a necessary instrument at the service of society and the university community, to account for the activities carried out by the University. As usual, this report will be briefly presented. The full annual report for the academic year 2017/2018 will be available on our institutional website.
The opening ceremony of the academic year was held on 13 September 2017, and the report was presented by UA Deputy Registrar Dolores Lozano. The inaugural lecture was given by Juan Antonio Miralles Torres, Professor of Applied Physics.
The University Senate met in ordinary session on 23 November 2017. In December the same year, partial elections for the renewal of the student representatives, by constituting a new University Senate on 21 March 2018 to elect its representatives for the UA Governing Council and the University Committees.
We must also point out the electoral processes carried out in two of our university centres, with lecturer Juan Mesa Sanz, from the Faculty of Arts and lecturer Raúl Ruiz Callado, from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences being elected as Deans.
The UA Social Board has held eight meetings of their respective Committees and two plenary sessions and, in May this year, the second edition of the Social Board Awards was held.
In terms of study and training programmes, 41 undergraduate degrees and 4 dual undergraduate degrees and 3 joint degrees were taught at the University of Alicante over the academic year 2017/2018. Particularly noteworthy is the ANECA’s favourable assessment and the authorisation from the regional government for the undergraduate degrees in Marketing, International Relations, and Gastronomy and Culinary Arts.
In the field of Gastronomy and as an integral part of the institutional project of the University of Alicante, we want to highlight the actions developed for the creation of the Mediterranean Gastronomy Centre, GASTERRA, based in Denia with the aim of carrying out strategic and necessary alliances to promote the development of the gastronomic sector, with high-quality innovative activities and projects based on training, research, and scientific dissemination.
Also, worth mentioning is the necessary actions for the implementation of the undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education in Alcoy have been carried out , offering a total of fifty places for this academic year.
In the last academic year, the postgraduate offer was consolidated, with the approval of two new official Master's degrees in Cybersecurity and in Social Innovation and Dynamics of Change, which will begin to be taught this academic year.
In terms of postgraduate and specialisation courses, 91 were performed, whereas 119 UA-only Master’s, specialisation and expert courses were approved, which, along with other UA specialisation activities, it makes a total of 385 courses carried out this year.
As for the Doctoral School, during the academic year 2017/2018, 127 theses have been defended, of which 47 were awarded an international PhD endorsement. Also, ANECA has approved the new PhD degree in Humanities and Social Studies in Latin America and international co-supervision and doctoral collaboration agreements have been signed with several countries in Europe and Latin America.
The Permanent University taught a total of 127 courses in the international field and has participated in 2 research projects on the European, one of them on the Erasmus Plus programme.
With regard to the University Library, I must point out the relevant bibliographic collection in electronic format, with a noteworthy increase in the data registered on the use of this collection, which during the last academic year reached around 700,000 downloads of books and articles from journals. Special attention deserves the visibility of the documentation in the institutional repository of the University of Alicante (RUA), which has recorded an average of 750,000 downloads of documents per month.
The University of Alicante continued its commitment to building a multilingual and international campus, with an increase in the use of Catalan and foreign languages as media of instruction in several undergraduate and Master’s degrees, highlighting a new language accreditation option for students while taking their undergraduate degrees.
As for in-company work experience, 595 new educational cooperation agreements were signed last academic year with companies and institutions for our students’ external work experience, enabling more than 5,000 students to carry out both curricular and extracurricular in-company work experience. Moreover, around 200 students benefited from funded training programmes such as the Erasmus Plus mobility programme, the Santander-CRUE-CEPYME programme, and the new ONCE and CRUE Foundation programme.
With regard to entrepreneurship, the University Observatory for Labour Market Integration was consolidated with several actions carried out during the last year, such as the 4th Employment Opportunities Improvement Plan, in collaboration with AlumniUA; 3rd Academic and Career Development Programme; the organisation of the 2nd SEO PLUS Internet Conference (2017); The new edition of the Alicante YUZZ Programme , a Santarder Universidad initiative for stat-up projects; and the 100 Students, 20 Entrepreneurs Programmes is especially notable in that it allowed students and graduates to meet the leading businessmen in Alicante province, which was a great opportunity for our students to learn from successful business systems through labour market integration.
The Student Support Centre continues to be committed to local, regional, national and international networking. In this regard, we highlight the international projects carried out with the aim of exporting the Student Support Centre model to other university centres in Latin America, Indonesia and Africa.
The SICUE National Mobility Programme was maintained in the academic year 2017/2018, participated by 136 students, and with regard to the ERASMUS PLUS Programme, 574 students from our University were funded in this mobility and 625 students from other Universities chose the University of Alicante for their stay.
In terms of non-European mobility, the number of stays rose by 20% compared to the previous academic year, with a total of 154 six-month stays. The University of Alicante continues to be committed to a global internationalisation strategy, with excellent results, and last year, for the first time, students were sent to new destinations such as Costa Rica and Thailand.
Also, regarding internationalisation, the University of Alicante attended the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference, in order to strengthen ties with universities and partners, and make new contacts, among others, with prestigious universities in the United States, Australia and Japan. In the last academic year, several exchange agreements were also incorporated with some Latin American universities that ranked in top positions in their countries, and negotiations were started with universities in the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
In terms of research and knowledge transfer, we must emphasise that during the 2017/2018 academic year the University of Alicante invested around eight million euros for its own funding programme for research promotion through the strategic axis R&D+i. Progress has also been made in public-private collaboration in the area of knowledge transfer, including a new category that allows doctoral candidates to obtain an industrial PhD endorsement.
In the field of R&D public projects, around 3.4 million euros were raised from national programmes to fund 61 projects; and 97 projects from regional programmes were funded with over 3.8 million euros. Talking about international programmes, we supported the proposals for R&D+i projects that were submitted to 28 European calls for applications. In addition, we signed 18 funding contracts with the European Commission, reaching the figure of 2.9 million euros. We have also managed the execution of 60 international R&D+i projects, four of them coordinated by the University of Alicante.
In the scope of international projects for knowledge transference in university management, our university has made contributions in 19 projects and coordinated 9 projects in several fields of study and countries.
As for promotion of research and knowledge transfer, during the 2017/2018 academic year, the InnoUA corporate programme was kept going, with several actions that reinforced our approach to the business world, with special emphasis on our organised visiting programme to enterprises.
Some 662 agreements and research contracts were signed for an amount exceeding 4 million euros. Fourteen Spanish patent applications have been made, 24 patents have been granted and 12 have been extended internationally. In terms of exploiting research results, 7 new licences were signed.
Changing topic, we have continued with the UA EMPRENDE LAB programme, a training a training programme aimed at all those members of the university community that want to start a new business, covering all the areas involved in the start-up of a business project.
While maintaining our commitment to quality and educational innovation, a number of actions have been carried out throughout the academic year 2017/2018, including the creation of the University's Website Quality Assurance Committee; the preparation of a new assessment system for our academic staff members; and the obtaining of EUR-ACE and EURO-INF international quality labels in five degrees from our Polytechnic School
Accreditation of the official degrees involved has been renewed during the academic year 2017/2018 and both the internal and external monitoring of those degrees has continued, emphasising the favourable external monitoring of PhD degrees and ANECA’s accreditation of our Doctoral School AUDIT programme for quality assurance.
During the past academic year, the University of Alicante developed new programmes and initiatives, such as a number of micro-workshops related to topics of interest in the teaching field. The PENSEM-ON LINE programme that offers online courses as part of the undergraduate and Master’s degrees. The Tutorial Action Programme. The Research Networks in University Teaching Programme, with over 2,300 participants this year. Finally, an international meeting on innovation in the teaching-learning process (REDES-INNOVAESTIC), under the slogan "commitment to educational research and innovation in the university setting".
The University of Alicante positioning in national and international rankings has been reinforced during the academic year 2017/2018. In this sense, 5 disciplines of the University of Alicante appear among the 500 best in the world.
The University of Alicante appears among the best in the QS World University Ranking in four university specialities.
In the Time Higher Education World University Ranking, our University is ranked among the top 500 in three areas.
According to the data from a Spanish University Presidents Council (CRUE) report, the University of Alicante ranks as the seventh best Spanish University in research productivity.
In terms of Campus-related activities, we should emphasise that we are continuing to work on our institutional project "Inclusive Campus, Technological Campus", to make our buildings more accessible as well as to improve both the location and equipment of our Assistive Technologies Laboratory.
Also, throughout the past academic year, the University of Alicante tackled the challenge of sustainable actions with a campaign that promotes moving around the UA by bike, on foot or on roller skates (“Move around by the UA”). At the same time, the University of Alicante has also participated in several campaigns organised by the Ciclogreen platform, with a total of eight thousand nine hundred and forty-two kilometres, which made us get the first place.
Last academic year, several actions were also carried out for our campus development, such as the beginning of urban development works for the campus enlargement inner plots, and the completion of the refurbishment works of the Students' and International Relations buildings, and the restoration of the Lecture building 2 amphitheatre
The inauguration of the Robotics and Electronics laboratories of the Higher Polytechnic School was also noteworthy.
In the field of technology, the University of Alicante carried out several actions to improve student opinion polls and the tutoring session app, as well as requests for authorisation of minor contracts. On-campus wifi coverage has also been expanded and improved, and new UACloud applications have been developed.
In the cultural sphere, the academic year 2017/2018 was featured by the consolidation and expansion of the University of Alicante cultural production. The UA culture clubs, Choir and Philharmonic have performed in several competitions and concerts.
The exhibitions at the University of Alicante Museum and the travelling exhibitions produced by our University were also outstanding, with forty-two exhibitions displayed and more than seventy outings throughout the year.
The 6th edition of La Alcudia Classical Theatre Festival and the 3rd High School Greek and Latin Theatre Contest took place last year.
More than four hundred cultural actions have also been carried out at the UA venues in the province and over five hundred at the Alicante City University Venue.
Also, I wish to emphasise that four new UA off-campus culture halls in the municipalities of Castalla, La Romana, Muro and Ráfol de Almunia were newly created, which strengthen the presence of the University of Alicante in our province.
In the sports arena, we want to highlight the 107 medals achieved by our students in the Regional University Sports Championship and the 26 medals in the Spain’s University Championship.
Attention should also be drawn to the University of Alicante Sports Section, which has two new competition teams in climbing and Valencian pilota, and to the great success achieved by some of our teams (women's volleyball, women's 5-a-side football, triathlon, beach volleyball and free diving) for the competitions they have participated in.
Following the committed to social responsibility, social inclusion and equality of the University of Alicante, a number of actions in these fields were developed, where the following must be highlighted: an UA course aimed at people with intellectual disabilities; UA & YOU Volunteering Plan; Gender-Based Violence Volunteering Programme; Community Volunteering Programme and Adaptive and Inclusive Sports Volunteering Programme.
The third edition of the GigabytGirl Campus; the fifth edition of the UA contest ‘Tweets against Gender Violence’ and the dissemination session "Feminine Science", in commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The UA 2018 Gender Equality Award was awarded to Miguel Lorente Acosta within the context of the events organised to celebrate the International Women's Day.
With regard to institutional plans and protocols, the 3rd Plan for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men was approved in the academic year 2017/2018, as well as the Protocol for Gender Identity and Expression and the 1st University of Alicante Social Responsibility Plan, which includes an awareness campaign for reducing plastic usage.
The University of Alicante strengthens its commitment to maintaining and creating corporate research programmes. During the past academic the following research chairs were created: Research Chair in Romani Culture; Carmencita Research Chair in Gastronomic Taste; Research Chair in Corporate Branding; Gérman Bernàcer Research Chair; and Interuniversity Research Chair in Blue Economy.
Also worth mentioning is the number of agreements signed in the last academic year: a total of 856, distributed between internship agreements, national and international agreements. The implementation of the new platform for processing agreements through UACloud is also relevant.
Within the context of the Saint Thomas Aquinas celebrations, the University of Alicante special awards of the previous academic course were presented.
Continuing with awards and distinctions, we are pleased to highlight the presentation of the Maisonnave Award to Mrs. Lola Mollá, the University of Alicante Golden Laurel to Mrs. Sol Picó Monllor, and the honorary degrees awarded by our University to Mrs. Margo Glantz-Shapiro, sponsored by Professor Carmen Alemany Bay, to Mr. Nicholas Talbot, sponsored by Professor Luis Vicente López Llorca, and to Mr. António-Serge de Pinho Campinos, sponsored by myself.
We are also pleased to note that the University of Alicante commemorated the 30th anniversary of the creation of the UA Student Council.
Also, the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Hogueras de San Juan (Alicante’s most important celebration) was participated by the UA with the organisation of cultural and traditional activities on-campus.
The academic year closing ceremony was held on 25 May, with the appointment of the new PhD students.
Today, we want to pay a special tribute to all the members of our university community who passed away last year: ALBERTO BAYONA MORENO, student of Criminology.
Finally, I want to thank the entire university community for having made possible the activities that have been summarised in this condensed annual report, and for so many other activities, sometimes not that visible, but so necessary for the functioning of our institution.
I extend my gratitude to those who have trusted in the University of Alicante and have collaborated in the achievement of our objectives.
We have already begun a new academic year with the renewed commitment and the firm intention of achieving new and greater success for the University of Alicante.
Thank you so much.
Universidad de Alicante
Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n
03690 San Vicente del Raspeig
Tel: (+34) 96 590 3484Fax: (+34) 96 590 3464