Alicante, 19th June 2012
In an auditorium full of authorities and social agents
The auditorium of the University of Alicante has hosted the official ceremony of inauguration of Manuel Palomar Sanz as the new University of Alicante's President this morning. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Valencian Government, Alberto Fabra Prat, as well as by several academic, social business and political authorities. During the celebration, which has been eminently social, the governing team that will accompany the President in the next four years has also been appointed.
Palomar, who thus becomes the sixth President of the academic institution from Alicante, stressed in his speech his commitment to higher education as the "best investment for the future of our region, of Valencia and of this country" but ensured that "substantial changes both in the whole educational system and in the productive specialization of the economy are necessary", which will only be possible by "adapting and raising the educational level of students".
Manuel Palomar, who was accompanied by six other University Presidents from Valencian universities, has joined the complaint of the University Presidents' Conference of "not having known about the Royal Decree before publication" and "we were not consulted during the process of eleboration", despite being those who "obviously know first hand the workings of universities". In this sense, the University President, who insists on the imperative of university autonomy, has praised the actions of the Valencian Government, who did "seek the opinion of the University Presidents in the Region of Valencia".
Palomar has devoted a significant portion of his speech to criticize that the "high rise of public tuition prices could be considered an infringement on the principle of equality of opportunity" for which he considers it "excessive" and calls for "a more precise and transparent study", as well as "the empowernment of the scholarships policy".
To end up with his speech, Manuel Palomar has detailed the university model for which he is betting for in the next four years, "a public university quality that makes for training and research, but also of the transfer of knowledge to the Alicante society as a whole, the key feature of its action". It is, as the University President says, getting internationalized and global, entrepreneurial, open, supportive, sustainable, democratic and committed to equality, able to manage an effective, efficient and transparent public resources and to be the "meeting place of all social agents".
On his part, Alberto Fabra, who has claimed "dialogue as an instrument of progress", said that "the university is one of the pillars on which the progress towards prosperity rests". The President of the Valencian Government, who agreed with the University President, points to the University of Alicante "as a meeting point of social agents", stressed "quality teaching" and "research excellence applied to the productive sectors of their environment "as two of the characteristic features of the academic institution of Alicante. Fabra has committed in his speech "to leaving no one without the opportunity to study and this is why we have increased eightfold the resources aimed at scholarships", he said. In conclusion, the Government's President has chosen universities as synonymous with "learning, employment and innovation" and has appealed to their "role" for the future of societies.
Against cuts in education and the increasing of rates
Shortly before the start of the inaugural ceremony, about a hundred people met in the central courtyard of the Law School to protest education cuts and rising tuition fees. During the rally, which passed peacefully, they chanted slogans for public education.
Speechby the University of Alicante's President, Manuel Palomar, during his inauguration.
Video of the inauguration
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