This year we launched new academic year although on this occasion we had a singular act of opening. Singular, who spoke to them, because it is the first act of openness that I chair after obtaining the support of the university community in the elections for Rector made recently.
But the real uniqueness of this event is given by incorporating the University of Alicante as-Doctor Honoris Causa of D. Mario Vargas Llosa.
That I will, but now I want to acknowledge the presence of the Councilor of Education, the rectors of the universities that we acompañ ais in this event and the authorities and representatives of different institutions who are with us in this basement.
I would also like to congratulate Ms professor. Maria Angeles Ruiz Martinez for the inaugural lecture he gave us. I think, Maria Angeles, that the choice of theme The Good Teaching has been a success.
Teaching is one of the raisons d'être of universities. In addition, the increase in the quality of teaching has become a priority for us, especially now that universities are undertaking the transformation in depth of all our university degrees.
Let me, therefore, Maria Angeles, you me, on behalf of all present.
I want to address all the comrades who acabáis to climb the podium to collect the distinctions that your college-university-hath granted, and in First, to the families of Professor D. Enrique Alcaraz Varo you have collected the gold medal that, posthumously, has been granted in recognition of his merits and as a symbolic expression of deep sorrow we feel at University Alicante for their loss.
With the award of the highest distinction granted by our university recognizes the academic career that Henry has had throughout his whole life. Our colleague has always been a solid academic knowledge, while an exemplary teacher concerned and with dedicated attention, with humor, with comprensióny cortesíaa training students. These are qualities that those who had the fortune to know him know that adorned the personality of Enrique Alcaraz and even more so great that its quality and rigor as an academic. Henry always had a great vision, a great sense of responsibility, a conciliatory mood and a constructive and pragmatic face different challenges and crossroads which were presented in the construction of our university. The spirit that animated his life, full of resignations personal, should serve as an example to the university community and, most particularly, his fellow Department and School, since you have had the opportunity to be closer to his person. Dear Henry, your mood, your simpatíay your work always remain with us.
I now turn to those who have agreed to retirement. I want to thank the dedication that throughout your life, have you taken to the University. This house will no longer be able to count on your work, but I know that now, so unselfish, going to be the best advocates for our institution in every corner of our society.
We have also recognized this event in the dedicacióny effort towards university acabáis of all those who meet 25 years in the service of this Institution , n. The prestige of the University of Alicante has sustained a decisive factor in your dedication. I need and I'm asking for prosigáis with your effort to continue our university forward.
But, if I may, I would like testifying especially the gratitude that this university due to peer-teachers Juan Antonio Alcaide, Enrique Alcaraz, José Luis Bravo, Maria Luisa Cabanes, Elisa Mira and Juan Bautista Peña; students Rebecca Pollack, Jose Manuel Sesé, Maria Dolores Yeste and Hernan Mendez, and Jose Antonio Grau Morcillo , A worker in the cafeteria of the Polytechnic School, who died last academic year. We can not avoid feeling the pain that the families of those colleagues who are here, but I wish that you may know that we are at your side. The University of Alicante will always remember the imprint left by each of them.
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The opening of the academic year is always a good occasion to present an assessment of activities over the past year, as well as to make public the objectives and the most important difficulties we are going to have to face during the new academic year and next.
The University of Alicante has set up along its nearly 30 years of existence a wide variety of projects, many of whom remain and always remain alive. A few of them are, without doubt, have resulted flagships and to our institution is especially known and respected internationally.
The University of Alicante, we can say with satisfaction, has been a pioneer in incorporating the technology of the Information and Communication n, as tools of everyday work. For 12 years the first steps were taken with the creation of our website, and she came after him many other projects that we single out and keep us in the forefront of the use of these technologies. I will cite only one such project: the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library.
This project is now 9 years and is today a magnificent reality, having become the reference library of Hispanic languages, which gives us the greatest international influence. The Virtual Library, which emerged as a joint project between our university, Banco Santander and the Foundation Marcelino Botín, was, however, since its inception will not be a bilateral project between the University of Alicante and the Santander group since it was convinced that the addition of new institutions, both public and private, was the best way to enrich the project.
Throughout this time, the Virtual Library has received the support of many institutions and many individuals. Between supports and additions received is that of D. Mario Vargas Llosa who, like you. You know, is the president of the Foundation which supports the Library. The presence at the Library of Vargas Llosa has meant opinion, advice and care for the portal's most important cultural sphere Hispanic, the portal for more full of books, readers, and it receives millions of visits of users each month. The presence of D. Mario Vargas Llosa in our library is, of course, the best picture of the consolidation of our dream technological and cultural fields.
But this is not the only reason that today we have invested Doctor Honoris Causa-Mario Vargas Llosa. The reason that I have outlined above is the one that explains their association with our university, its relationship with one of the most emblematic of the University of Alicante.
I will not dwell on the merits, well known, our new doctor because they spoke with much more harsh than me I can have, the godfather of the act of investiture, Professor D. Enrique Rubio. Thank you very much, Enrique, for your docta intervention. However, let me briefly to the literary history of our new doctor.
Since City and dogs , in 1963, up Travesuras of the bad girl ; In 2006, we could all live with his narrative one of the greatest contemporary literary experiences, in which titles like The green house , talks n in the cathedral , War of the end of the world , History Mayta , The talkative , ; Lituma in the Andes , The Feast of the Goat or Paradise in the other corner are part of, among others, our memory of readers , We have readers in Vargas Llosa, without doubt, one of the best paths for all ages; I mean by this that is a popular author, but with this qualifier forget that this is a writer recognized unanimously by the academic and literary world as one of the best of creation in the Spanish language, in short, we are the best example of a contemporary classic that has modeled worlds of reality and fantasy like no other, including, of course, a personal style.
The literary career of Mario Vargas Llosa has been marked by numerous awards and recognitions from that brief Library, which launched his career in 1963, up Cervantes Prize, or status as Scholar of the Royal Spanish Academy, recognition that in 1994, marked the first time that an American came to occupy a seat in the house docta. Vargas Llosa has made us enjoy with their writing and, as of today, we are honored to joining the faculty of doctors at our university.
Our university meets and a destination in Latin America, which began twelve years ago with another-Honoris Causa doctorate awarded to the beloved Uruguayan Mario Benedetti. The two Marios in our faculty of doctors closer to reveals the will increasing mass that continent beautiful and painful in which we want to be close.
Vargas Llosa also means that commitment with the society and the pain of it, for freedom and against poverty and unrest, by this writer's desire to be present on the risks of contemporary societies, which he has suffered in a particular way by having to move away from Peru for years that both loves. The size of the writer, like any citizen, is at times necessarily be present in the conflicts in our societies and our writer has not failed to do so.
For all these reasons, the University of Alicante is proud that today passes to join us and want to thank your writing, your commitment and support that grant relevant to our projects.
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At the beginning of this act, the Secretary General has outlined briefly the memory of the last academic year. Now, in the next part of my speech I will refer to the most relevant facts that have taken place at the university during the past as well as the challenges that lie ahead in the new course that opened today.
Last October saw the election by the Faculty of the University Ombudsman, who went to the post of Professor D. Miguel Louis Cereceda, thus meeting the Statute of our university. At that same meeting, the Senate proceeded with the adoption of minimum criteria and rules for the reorganization of the structure of faculties and schools, in pursuance of the mandate in this regard, it contained The Sixth Provision of the Statute of the University. The Centers for college, according to the criteria approved by the Senate, should be organized to ensure that the titles that keep them up to manage the consistency between them, understood in terms of the branch of knowledge belonging to different degrees. Following these criteria, the Governing Council agreed last January 24, to propose a new structure of Centers for our university, the University Council endorsed at its meeting on February 5 and that has finally been approved by the Consell de la Generalitat, entering into force last August 5, the date of its publication in the Journal Officiel de la Comunitat Valenciana.
This academic year began, therefore, a new organizational structure of our university, which, of course, will benefit and will draw on the good work and all the experience accumulated by the previous structure of schools. As Rector of the University of Alicante, and before the new phase that begins now, I want to make public the recognition he made payable to all individuals in a selfless manner, and for many years, have put their work, his effort and all their enthusiasm in the University Schools, with the new structure is integrated into the new centers. I am convinced that, from now on, proseguiréis working with the same zeal and with equal enthusiasm, because the quality of training of our students so deserves.
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Equality is one of the values contained in the Strategic Plan for our university, so it has to be a pattern to guide the behavior of our institution. The principle of equality between men and women is enshrined in our Preliminary Title Statute, but, nevertheless, still detected some inequities and imbalances in both women's access to academic career and in his career, and in his presence in their representation.
response to the statutory compromise, in 1998 the university was a pioneer in creating the Center for Research on Women, with the aim to promote and encourage studies of GE money and awareness and spread the culture of equality. The Center for Women's Studies has done a great job and is, at present, well established. The will of our university to promote equality is supported by regulation in the Basic Law amending the Organic Law of Universities (LOMLOU), which gives universities the role of transmitters of values, including the Equality between men and women. In pursuance of this objective, the Governing Council approved on January 30 this year, the establishment of the Equality Unit of the University of Alicante on May 29 and proceeded to appoint Professor Ma Jose Frau as a delegate of the Rector for Gender Policy, with the functions of promoting and coordinating the elaboracióny monitoring of the Plan of Equality. The first task of the Unit for Equality is the submission of a report, which is already very advanced stage of development, as a basis for the drafting of the Plan of Equality at the University of Alicante, which must have the maximum consensus, and that has to facilitate the launch of the Observatory for Equality.
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One of the most important challenges we are addressing is the expansion of our university. The quality of our urban campus is certainly one of our best business card. The planning requirements set by the City of Theunissen, have provided to our campus, with good reason, a low floor. One consequence of these rules is that the chances of building on our current campus are exhausted. Thus, for several years the lack of space has become the most important problem is that our university, making it difficult that we can deploy our full potential.
At this time, the expansion of our current campus is underway. Have already begun the construction of the building that will house the Faculty of Education, in the land of the Partial Plan dotacionales Azorín, generously granted by the City of Te Aroha. It is possible, therefore, that at the end of the year 2010 we have this new building that will help alleviate the space problems of our university.
But the most ambitious enlargement of our university is running in the town of Alicante, on the other side of the highway to the Castalla, covering an area of close to 900,000 m2, while the share of university fails to reach 50% of the total. This is possible thanks to agreements that, last February 6, I had the opportunity to sign with the Environment Department, Aigua, Urbanisme and Housing and with the City of Alicante.
These agreements have meant the beginning of a series of concerted actions aimed at the proper town planning and subsequent execution of the gestióny expanding the campus of the university's Science Park and Technology Park.
On March 4 launched the first phase of these agreements, subject to public exposure to the Special Plan of reserve land dotacional ; Of the University of Alicante, which covers an area of 130,000 m2 for the University Science Park, and that will be approved within a few months, provided, of this calendar year.;
The second phase has just taken its first step, last Aug. 29, when published the tender of service to the wording of the draft urbanizació ; n and the drafting of documents on the extension of the university and the Science and Technology Park. The concerted actions that are taking place will lead, therefore, to the expansion that our university needs to be able in the near future, become a reality, to change the current classification No urban land.
This is allowing that at this moment, are in very advanced stage of execution of two buildings: the building of Technical Services Research n and the building Institutes, whose completion will take place later this calendar year, which will allow that, after equipping them, may be put into service next summer. In addition, I must announce that at the end of last August came into operation, producing to distributing energíay the network, the photovoltaic plant that has been built in the area of expansion thanks to agreements which to promote research into renewable energy, signed in March 2006, Caja Mediterranean-UNION FENOSA and the University of Alicante. I also wish to announce that the tender for the construction of two subways that, under the motorway from Castalla, have to connect our current campus with its enlargement, has already been awarded by the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport, so that its implementation will start soon.
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The institutional collaboration with the City of Alicante, with the Te Aroha, and the Department of Environment, Water, and Housing and Urban Development Infrastructure and Transport of the Generalitat have been and are very important to enable the future we want for our university as we begin now to build together.
As a result of this collaboration next year will be an event of special significance: for the first time, a very important part of the applied research of the university is to take place in the town of Alicante. But this is only the first step, because our university, to carry out their activities, will need more space in the future and these extra spaces must find its location, adjacent to our current campus, in the Borough of Alicante, in the form of successive enlargements.
The space needs that our university will require medium-and long-term arise not from any anticipation of an increase in the number of students whose total figure will be quite stable over the long term. Future needs for space are based on the assumption of new responsibilities and the expansion of research activity.
's research universities, both basic and applied research, has increased over time and persistently, without a doubt, this trend will continue and will intensify in the future. This will be the case as it should happen, if it wants to continue betting Alicante for having a university internationally recognized quality. But we must keep in mind that the research activity, especially the one applied, and within it, one that is transferable to the productive fabric of society, requires the use of spaces and buildings that housed not only the sophisticated scientific instruments scientists but also the growing number of researchers who use such equipment and is responsible for development of various research projects. We can not forget that major universities of the world-mirror in which we must look not outnumber students, but all have large campuses, far superior to ours, condition imperative to undertake research of excellence carried out.
We must have vision and know that we anticipate. If we want, in Alicante, future generations will have a prosperous environment, a leader in knowledge generation and its transfer to society, we must now prepare the future. The University of Alicante needs, wants and needs to help achieve that future, and to make this possible we encourage our university can provide, through adequate reserves of land, the space needed to play very crucial role. < ;/p>
The University of Alicante will be ambitious. We must be ambitious because we have an obligation to help improve and transform our society. We're going to continue to offer our sincere cooperation provided all institutions, but also continue asking the decisive support of all of them.
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The most immediate challenge we are dealing with the universities at the moment is the development of new titles Grade adapted to the European Education n Superior (EHEA). At our university, this process has already begun and is taking place in a context of institutional stability, once the election for Rector.
We realize the great responsibility which we assume to have to transform our entire offering of securities for higher education, but we also know that it is a great opportunity to make a qualitative leap in the quality of training of our students.
In this process, our attention has not directed toward the past, nor should focus our gaze inward, because we must keep our new titles are a simple adjustment of the current supply to the new scenario. We must develop our new titles looking to the future, as they have to be an instrument to provide the company a few professionals. The curriculum must be attractive, they should respond to social demands, and to provide a comprehensive training to students. In addition, this process is an excellent opportunity to improve our teaching methods, placing students in the center of teaching, with a personalized service to our students
Ultimately, we to be ambitious and innovative and we must show that we are willing to risk, we have ideas and that we are able to differentiate our offering to that of other universities. The wide margins of freedom for which we have now, make the future, to a large extent, is the result of our own decisions. In this process we played the prestige future of our university.
* * * * * * * * * *<p style="text-align: justify;">Las considerables incertidumbres económicas que en estos momentos estamos atravesando todos los países occidentales nos preocupan seriamente. Somos conscientes de la gravedad de los problemas económicos e intuimos que en el futuro el funcionamiento de nuestras economías va a ser muy distinto de cómo ha venido siendo hasta el momento. No sabemos cuáles serán los cambios que se producirán, pero estamos convencidos de que serán profundos. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Pero una de las pocas certidumbres que compartimos todos es que las sociedades prósperas del futuro serán aquellas que apuesten decididamente por la innovación y por la creación y difusión del conocimiento. Y, desde luego, las universidades deben de encontrarse entre las prioridades fundamentales si una sociedad quiere apostar, de verdad, por la innovación y por la creación y difusión de conocimiento. Una apuesta por las universidades requiere poner a disposición de éstas los recursos necesarios para que puedan desarrollar esta labor. Recursos suficientes para su actividad ordinaria y recursos adicionales condicionados al cumplimiento de objetivos que incentiven las mejoras de calidad. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">El pasado 9 de septiembre la OCDE hizo pública una Nota Técnica sobre la educación en España (Education at a Glance, 2008), en la que constataba que el gasto total por estudiante en España se encontraba, en todos los niveles educativos, por debajo de la media de la OCDE, brecha que se hacía especialmente llamativa en la educación universitaria ya que en España el gasto total por estudiante universitario era de 10.089 $ estadounidenses frente a los 15.559 $ de media de la OCDE. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Este dato pone de manifiesto claramente la insuficiente apuesta por la universidad española, que es imprescindible corregir. Es un problema común para toda España, pero también es un problema aquí, entre nosotros, para nuestras universidades. Somos conscientes de las dificultades existentes, pero es un problema que el futuro Plan Plurianual de Financiación de las Universidades Valencianas tiene que resolver.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Todas las universidades hemos reconocido el esfuerzo que llevó a cabo la Generalitat cuando aprobó los programas plurianuales de financiación. Esto significó un importante salto hacia adelante que no debe frenarse. Las universidades hemos sido comprensivas con las restricciones presupuestarias y con las dificultades económicas. Así lo hicimos hace pocos meses las universidades valencianas cuando, el pasado 29 de mayo, firmamos el Convenio Colaboración con la Conselleria de Educación que establecía las cuantías correspondientes a la subvención para la financiación de los gastos corrientes y las inversiones en infraestructuras docentes que se encontraban pendientes de recibir, así como el calendario en el que estos importes se harían efectivos. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">El esfuerzo que hemos realizado con la firma del convenio al que me acabo de referir ha sido considerable y hace que tengamos que afrontar muchas dificultades. Para el próximo ejercicio de 2009 es imprescindible que los presupuestos de la Generalitat incorporen el importe íntegro de la subvención que la universidades valencianas vayamos a recibir y que la cuantía de esta financiación sea, al menos, la que se deriva de aplicar los criterios del último plan de financiación, los contenidos en sus correspondientes prórrogas y en sus criterios de actualización, tal como el pasado 19 de mayo, en el acto de toma de posesión de la nueva Secretaria Autonómica de Universidad y Ciencia, anunció el Conseller de Educación.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">* * * * * * * * * *</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">En mi intervención me he detenido en los retos de futuro más importantes que aguardan a nuestra universidad, ya que como escribió Víctor Hugo:</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"<em>El futuro tiene muchos nombres: </em> <em>para el débil es lo inalcanzable; </em> <em>para el miedoso, lo desconocido; </em> <em>para el valiente, la oportunidad</em>."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Seamos pues una Universidad valiente y aprovechemos esta oportunidad. </p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Y para finalizar quisiera añadir una última referencia, una llamada a la reflexión condensada en una frase ingeniosa de Woody Allen, cuyo contenido comparto plenamente: </p> <p>"<em>Me interesa el futuro porque es el sitio donde voy a ir a pasar el resto de mi vida</em>."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Muchas gracias y os deseo un próspero curso académico 2008/2009.</p> <p> </p>