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UA pays tribute to research and internationalisation on St. Thomas Aquinas celebrations

María Felisa Verdejo and Giuseppe Zaccaria become honorary new doctors by our institution

Director General for Universities Josefina Bueno announces a new scholarship policy to create easier access to university education




Alicante. Thursday, 28 January 2016

Our university hosted the celebrations of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of students, in a ceremony where UA president Manuel Palomar delivered special awards to 169 graduates as well as some other doctoral awards.

The University Auditorium also hosted the inauguration of two new honorary doctors, PhD in Languages and Computer Systems, expert in natural language, María Felisa Verdejo and University of Padua former president, Giuseppe Zaccaria.

After congratulating the students who achieved the special awards in their degrees, UA President stressed the importance of these two new "ambassadors of our university." He said Verdejo represents the researcher’s determination, the ability to open new ways of working, involving other researchers and groups to engage, back in the 70s, to explore the future and present and is now a reality thanks to people like her". This recognition highlights the work of research groups at public universities. 

Regarding Zaccharia, Palomar pointed out the relevance of the relationship between the universities of Alicante and Padua, the latter being an institution soon to be 800 years old, "generalist as our university and with a deep commitment to internationalisation".

Also, General Director for Universities Josefina Bueno referred to the "importance of research in public universities" in her speech and emphasised the commitment of the Valencian government on this, adding that the budget devoted to this purpose was extended by 20 per cent. Bueno also mentioned university fees, describing them as "a barrier to university access" and announced that in the coming days they are going to bring a new scholarship policy to light with a commitment to more accessible university education adapting to the real needs of society.


María Felisa Verdejo

The laudation on PhD Verdejo emphasised the pioneering nature of her research in the field of natural language, whose doctoral thesis on the study of natural language and simulation of a robot able to maintain a dialogue in Spanish was read already in 1975, when doing research in the processing of the Spanish language was a real chimera.

Patricio Manuel Barco stressed in his speech that “we must thank Prof. Verdejo for her trajectory, not only for her strictly scientific contributions, which of course were of great importance, but also for being able to predict what infrastructure would be needed to provide the foundation for what today this line of research involves in Spain".


Giuseppe Zaccaria

Giuseppe Zaccaria’s laudatio, highlighted both his academic and research merits as well as his responsibilities at University of Padua and his close relationship with the University of Alicante and, particularly, an example of internationalisation, "the internationalisation process in which every university strives today is something in which the University of Padua was successful centuries ago. At present, it is a reference for its integration into the global academic community, where its academic staff are involved in research projects in leading areas such as space exploration and also, they dedicate part of their efforts to collaborate with worthy charitable work in centres in developing countries"

University of Padua former president -the oldest in the world that will be celebrating its 800th anniversary in in 2022-  stressed his relationship with the "Spanish intellectual world" which earned him to become a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Science in Madrid. he emphasised his present and close collaboration with our University, and invited the "young and dynamic Alicante to walk along with the old Padua to bring to life a special and privileged relationship between the two generalist institutions, which means appealing to the common roots and affinity to look together into a future common European horizon".


Female University Choral Group (Female Tuna)

After this event, the Law Female chorus, accompanied by the male’s, entertained the audience with several interpretations, which were rewarded by our university president with ribbons to decorate their traditional university "tuna" capes.



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