Palomar fears that the decline in public funding and the need for own income can lead universities into a public-private partnership
At the academic year closing ceremony
Alicante, 5 June 2014
University of Alicante President Manuel Palomar closed the 2013-14 academic year in a ceremony held at the auditorium, where 56 new doctors from all areas of knowledge were awarded their degrees. During his speech, in which he congratulated the new doctors for achieving the highest academic degree recognising research capacity, Palomar claimed, once again, a framework of adequate and stable funding without forgetting the debts incurred in a short period of time during the crisis and the deferred and recognised historical debt. The president, paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin, assured that an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest, and confessed his fear of being led to a public university system in which the decline in public funding and the need for their own income can lead universities into a public-private partnership, a strange hybrid that favours private universities, funded and privileged directly or indirectly by public administrations, and pampered, in the minimum requirements, by public authorities.
Palomar recalled that despite being the fourth worst funded university in terms of research in Spain - according to a report from CYD (Business Foundation for Knowledge and Development) - UA is ranked 10th among all Spanish universities in volume and quality of research and 12th in international patent application. He said that we have learned to value austerity but what is still left to cut is not the unessential but the core main essence of our activity, and therefore, of the future of our youth, of our children and our own future as a country.
The President had some words of remembrance to former UA president Ramón Martín Mateo, who we will always remember as one of the architects of the consolidation and growth of our university and campus. Also, he referred to 2014 Jaime I Awards in New Technologies and Economics, which this year have gone to UA professor Javier Garcia and former student Enrique Sentana, and the Prince of Asturias Research Award, to Doctor Honoris Causa by the UA, Avelino Corma, whom were taken as the examples needed to recover investment in research. In this regard, he noted that reforms are not necessarily synonymous of cuts or social sacrifices, but real structural reforms actually eliminate privileges and benefit the majority.
The highest honours for sports merit to Pedro Ferrandiz
Despite owning over a hundred of the highest sports distinctions, this is the first time Pedro Ferrandiz receives an acknowledgment from an academic institution, something he has highlighted as a landmark in the honours of someone who could hardly take primary studies. His figure excellently praised by University of Alicante registrar Aránzazu Calzada, she stressed his tenacious commitment for education through the foundation that bears his name. Calzada highlighted that he made victory a habit, and also referred to numerous anecdotes on his way through the main basketball courts in the world, as well as his conversion into basketball where he says to have finally seen the light.
Ferrandiz, meanwhile, stressed the cultural conviction provided by the University of Alicante, an institution, he said, that was unthinkable in my days when only those children with money could study by emigrating to other cities.
The UA president was in charge of awarding the Golden laurel to the coach for his outstanding reputation in sports.
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