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University of Alicante offers an international dual undergraduate degree in Law with Brazilian University of Univali

UA Governing Council approved the presentation of the Gender Equality Award 2017 (IgUAldad) to Professor in Optics María Josefa Yzuel



Alicante. Thursday, 23 February 2017

University of Alicante Governing Council has unanimously passed this morning the proposal of an international dual undergraduate degree in Law with the University of Vale do Itajai, (UNIVALI) in Brazil. For the time being, it is the second international dual degree included in the UA taught degrees for the academic year after the dual undergraduate degree in Business Administration, with the University of Louisiana (U.S.A), having being passed in November.

The initiative is based on the long collaboration of both universities, which already have common agreements in the degree of Criminology and Law for Brazilian students, as well as several Ph.D. and Master's degrees. As reported by Faculty of Law Dean Pedro Femenía, "this new international dual degree closes a fundamental circle with a strategic partner university with our Faculty".

University Registrar Esther Algarra Prats explained that credits were recognised course by course because the undergraduate degree gives access to a Master's degree in Law Practice, which qualifies the students to work as lawyers. A maximum of ten students per university will be established to start with, who will study the last undergraduate year in their host university (the fourth year in Spain and the fifth in Brazil).


Recognition of a pioneer

The  Gender Equality Award- IgUAldad 2107 was also unanimously agreed to be presented  to University of Barcelona Professor in Optics María Josefa Yzuel Giménez , first woman to take up a position as lecturer in Physics in a Spanish university in 1971.

With a significant scientific production with enormous repercussion in different areas of Optics, Yzuel's research has had its application and development in areas such as medical imaging where she proposed, for the first time, the application of specific techniques for the improvement of the imaging diagnosis. As reported by Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility and Director for the Gender Equality Unit María José Rodríguez, "the pioneer academic and scientific nature in the field of Optics is her most outstanding autobiographical feature, breaking with the (social) laws of Physics as a researcher".

The proposal of the professor comes with a wide endorsement both inside and outside the University of Alicante, where she has had the support of several centres, departments and research groups, many of which, are closely involved with her academic and scientific activity.

She graduated in Physical Sciences in 1962 with the best qualifications, and won the degree of Doctor in 1966 at a time when "there were other more appropriate fields of study for women," paraphrasing Yzuel herself. In 1967, she went abroad to continue her training when it was not a usual practice, nor among men when she obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the British Council for a stay at the University of Reading (UK), becoming the only woman who would enjoy it in that year.

Along with her academic and scientific work, Maria Josefa Yzuel Giménez has been committed to and participated with numerous national and international scientific societies. She was the first woman to preside over the Spanish Optical Society (1993-1996); she was also General Secretary of the European Optical Society (1996-1998), and in 2009 he became the President of the International Society for Optics and Photonics, a US-based scientific society. She was the first Spanish female scientist to take over the last two roles.   

She has defended the role of women in science throughout her career, making their contribution to development and social progress visible. She reported that life has made her a feminist, aware of the discrimination she suffered in her academic career afterwards. Since the creation of the Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT), she has contributed to defending non-discrimination and equal opportunities between women and men in academia, with the aim of helping and promoting the incorporation of young researchers into the scientific career . Her commitment led her to found the Group of Women in Physics of the Spanish Royal Society of Physics.

María Josefa Yzuel was the chairwoman of the International Year of Light and she holds honorary PhD degrees by two universities.

The award will be presented on Wednesday, 8 March  2017 at 7 pm in the UA Auditorium within the context of the institutional events organised to celebrate the International Women's Day.

The Gender Equality Award (igUAldad) has been held for 5 years now. In 2013 , it was presented to the Women's Studies Centre (UA); in 2014, to the UA Women's 5-a-side football team, in 2015 to lecturer Marta Macho Stadler, from the UPV/EHU and in 2016, to local water supplier Aguas Municipalizadas de Alicante, E. M. (AMAEM).

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