Palomar defends on-site attendance as the maximum expression of university education at the academic year opening ceremony of the Valencian universities
UA President announces changes in the application of Dual Teaching Programme agreed with the Student Council
Palomar chaired his last academic year opening ceremony as the University of Alicante President, along with by Valencian Government President Ximo Puig
Alicante, Thursday 24 September 2020
This Thursday, the University of Alicante's Auditorium hosted the official opening ceremony of the academic year at Valencian universities, presided over by UA President Manuel Palomar, and Valencian Government President Ximo Puig. The event was also attended by the presidents of the other universities in the region and by Regional Minister for Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society Carolina Pascual.
The event was held following all health and safety measures established by the authorities, with a limited capacity of 200 people (instead of the usual 900 that make up this event) at the "Ramón Martín Mateo" graduation hall with everything set up to follow the event in streaming. In addition, and due to the restrictions related to COVID-19, the opening of the academic year did not include the traditional awarding of distinctions to members of the community who celebrate 25 years of service, retirements and memorials. Also, the presidential team assigned to this event was reduced to the university presidents and some authorities.
In his last speech as the UA president, Palomar once again defended "face-to-face attendance", as it ensures that teaching acquires its fullest meaning, as opposed to digital teaching, which does not adequately guarantee the principle of equal opportunities, which is the basis of every democratic system.
Palomar, however, recognised that physical attendance is insufficient, the situation is complex and it can become more complicated. He also recalled that public universities have not yet recovered the funding they were allocated before the crisis, and we continue to demand sufficient and predictable funding models.
In spite of this, the UA president defended digitalisation as a train that we cannot miss has assured that digital intelligence must be part of a new culture, a new economic, employment and social model that allows us to know the reality with greater precision and thus improve decision-making by individuals, companies and administrations.
He also referred to the problems affecting students and teaching staff, saying that he was aware of the uncertainty generated by new teaching and assessment methods, the lack or insufficiency of technological resources or adequate Internet connections. He also recognised the excess effort of new teaching methods, the redesign of objectives, as well as learning and the deployment of the technologies that make them possible. Palomar apologised about rushing into the adaptations to this new situation and said that they will be judged on the results, and he wanted to ensure that, for universities, students are their reason for being, and their health and safety, as well as their training, is a priority.
Before finishing, the head of the Alicante academic institution thanked President Ximo Puig for his attendance at the opening ceremony of the academic year. He thanked him for his management of the health crisis in which he favoured basic consensus and willingness of broad agreements, beyond ideological borders. He allowed us to face the impacts of the pandemic in better conditions than in other parts of the state, with the help of social agents and despite our chronic under-funding conditions.
University President Manuel Palomar, said goodbye, assuring that gratitude is the memory of the heart. If this is the case, he said, his heart will keep the memory of those who have accompanied him and of those who have inhabited this campus and these classrooms and have enjoyed them during my term of office; since he happily started at the University of Alicante.
Annual report and inaugural lecture
Before the UA President’s speech, University of Alicante Registrar Esther Algarra was in charge of presenting the report for the 2019-2020 academic year and Polytecnic School Professor of Architecture and Computer Technology Juan Manuel García Chamizo was in charge of giving the inaugural lecture on formal design of computer architecture and the OzonoTecnia project.
García Chamizo combined concepts for the benefit of society: theoretical foundations for developing an environment of support for engineering in the design decision-making process, which he illustrated with the study case aimed at combating COVID-19.