Last University of Alicante senate session includes UA president's and ombudswoman's management reports
Alicante, Wednesday 28 November 2018
University of Alicante President Manuel Palomar presented the management report in the latest Senate session he presided over, where he made an extensive explanation of the current situation of our university. He pointed out the progress made with the UA40 2014-109 Strategic Plan, with the execution of over 67% of the actions included in 2017.
Palomar highlighted the 5 International Quality Labels delivered to the UA by ANECA for the undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering, Sound and Image in Telecommunications, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Multimedia Engineering. He also referred to the development of a model for assessing the teaching activity in our university, which will provide easier access to the university teaching positions and reassure quality in university degrees.
In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and Gender Equality, UA President started several enhancement strategies for our 1st Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, the 3rd Gender Equality Plan and the UA-only specialisation course in Personal and Professional Skills in Supported Employment Environments aimed at young people with intellectual disabilities and funded by the Spanish Blind Organisation ONCE and the EU.
UA President’s management report also had an impact on the students’ employment opportunities with almost 8,000 students who have performed paid in-company traineeships, through several training programmes such as “ and Career Development Factory. The also mentioned our programmes 100 students 20 companies, IDAY and the Job and Entrepreneurship Marathon, with more than 3,000 students and 43 companies registered in the last edition.
He also referred to the funds raised in 2017 for research projects, a total of 15,21 million euros in a total of 849 regional, national and European projects. In this field, he talked, among others, about the UA R&D+I promotion programme to hire and train research staff, as well as to boost UA research internationalisation and competitiveness, with a budget of 1.8 million euros.
The UA Science Park has also been part of the report and has served to highlight the 16 innovative companies included, 10 of these technology-based companies created from research done at the University of Alicante. He also referred to the spaces in the area of UA Campus enlargement area with bidding warehouses, the Business Incubation Centre, also tendered and the New Business Creation building that is about to begin building works.
With regard to infrastructures and services, the report included the development of the UA Science Park, the start-up of the Alcoy campus, the modernisation of UA air conditioning devices in buildings, the study and adaptation of the Halls of Residence in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Robotics Laboratories and buildings 24, that is, Students’ building and Jorge Juan (International Relations), which have been put into use once refurbished.
Also, the UA international outreach has also been part of our president’s intervention before the Senate, where he highlighted the 130 countries with a real presence of the university and the increased mobility of students, academic and administrative staff.
In terms of languages, UA President Manuel Palomar pointed out that teaching in Valencian has already reached 7.88 %, in English 7,38 %, while Spanish is 81.5 %. As for students, 22.24 % have been taught in Valencian and 22.71 % in English during the last academic year in at least one subject.
University ombudswoman Cecilia Gomez revealed the management report of her office in the session held by the University of Alicante Senate, where she stressed that last year’s complaints were decreased, which is due to the fact that the old study plans ended in the academic year 16-17, which generated a significant increase that year.
A total of 238 requests for action — 189 queries and 49 complaints — were submitted during the 2017-18 academic year. Students are the most prolific group in this field where they account for 82.4 % of the actions, 13 % from the academic staff and 1.7 % of the admin staff, where the remaining 2.9 % corresponds to the “miscellaneous” section.
Gómez explained that most of the actions ended satisfactorily for the people who made the request, where 58 % of them corresponds to students and 70 % to academic and research staff. These are complaints or requests related mainly to point-system assessments, revisions or teaching organisation, in the case of students, and evaluation or organisation in the case of the academic staff.
The University Ombudswoman has also made some recommendations regarding, on the one hand, the justification of training activities that that cannot be re-taken and, on the other hand, the teaching load involved in tutoring Final Year Undergraduate Projects (FYUPs) and Master's Final Projects (MFPs). Gómez has called for a "review of the UA's learning assessment regulations in order to establish a maximum the percentage in terms of training activities that cannot be re-taken in the overall assessment of a subject. She has also demanded more recognition for the academic tutoring of Final Year Undergraduate Projects (FYUPs) and Master's Final Projects (MFPs), as well as the participation of teachers in the relevant examination boards.
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