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UA President emphasises that universities must play the role of agents of social and economic change

The University of Alicante celebrates this academic year’s closing ceremony with the presentation of 127 new PhD degrees 

 

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Alicante. 25 May 2018

On Friday, the University of Alicante Auditorium will host the closing ceremony of the academic year 2017-2018, in which a total of 127 new doctors who read their PhD thesis during the last academic year have been awarded their degrees.

UA President Manuel Palomar congratulated the new doctors for obtaining the highest university degree and stated in his speech that "universities are a historical synonym of knowledge generation and essential and irreplaceable pillars of scientific progress. Both research and training of researchers must remain one of the University’s hallmarks. However, the way of doing research has changed and the universities must adapt to it.

In his speech, Palomar referred to some of the considerations made in the International Meeting of University Presidents at the University of Salamanca on 21 and 22 May. The university president confirmed that it is a priority that the universities not only know but lead this revolution, anticipating changes of paradigm according to the new prevailing realities.

He also defended that universities must make an effort to inform and explain what they do, why and what for. This is why research must be open, participatory and collaborative, which also forces us to review the funding and evaluation paradigms of universities and researchers. Finally, research must be interdisciplinary to cover all areas, paying special attention to a harmonious and sustainable balance between technological and scientific advances, especially the most disruptive ones, and human values.

He also referred to the contribution of universities to social and territorial development, as he said "Universities reflect these inequalities and cannot eliminate them by themselves, but they can and should play an important role for their solution, being examples of equity and diversity, and acting as transforming agents of the economic and social system. For this, they need to strengthen collaborations with different sectors of society, including, among others,  the private sector, local communities, the media, politicians and non-governmental organisations, as well as other universities.

Vice President for Studies Planning Enrique Herrero, who was in charge of presenting the conferment ceremony,  emphasised  that "doctors are the maximum expression of what the university can offer society and sublimate what we know best, which is to generate and transmit knowledge."

At the ceremony held last Friday, a total of fifty-five new doctors were presented with their PhD awards, who join the seventy-two who were awarded two Fridays ago, from a total of two hundred and fifty-four doctors who read their thesis throughout last year.

 

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