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The University and the Future of Society

2010-2011 has been an academic year of consolidation.

 

Imma Tubella
President of the UOC
 
 

Recently, I have had the opportunity to present the UOC's educational and governance model at international university forums in such diverse corners of the world as Washington, Paris, Singapore, Qatar and Kenya to widely differing audiences from the academic, scientific, business and government sectors. On each occasion, I felt great pride on hearing how speakers – both those who already knew about us and those who only just had – saw the UOC as a point of reference for their online universities. It very gratifying, though also a great responsibility, to see how wherever we go we are put forward as an example for other universities to follow if they want develop and grow on the web, connect with the new knowledge society, adapt to students from the digital generation and focus on lifelong learning which is increasingly vital as we suffer and face up to this crisis.

As Professor Castells says in the institutional video that you can find a link to at the end of this Annual Report, “as far as we know, the UOC is the leading online university” and now, beyond our pioneering mission, we have to accept responsibility for giving the knowledge and experience accumulated over all these years back to society.

For this reason, over the last academic year we have made every effort to ensure that the UOC is even more open and accessible, flexible and adaptable to society's needs, and mobile, multilingual and multi-format in order to be able to respond to the lifestyles of our students.

This commitment means we have to reinvent ourselves constantly and steer our organisation so as to bravely navigate the crisis. Above all, we have to be able to take on board the changes in the culture and habits of education and lifelong learning that the crisis brings with it. We need to be chameleonic, able to work as a network, collaboratively and transversally, with flexibility and efficiency, with greater implication in the impact of our projects to benefit society and with a high degree of creativity.

Other universities look to us for our educational model and we are in their sights (which is not exactly the same thing) for our ability to adapt to the new times without endangering the UOC's sustainability. Once again, I would stress that this makes me very proud, but it also represents a great responsibility. As the proverb says, if you want to go fast, go alone, and if you want to go far, go together. We want to go far, in collaboration with and at the service of our society.

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60.876 students