As from today, the UOC has become a university collaboration centre for Cambridge English Language Assessment, the University of Cambridge's English assessment department. The UOC's students will now be able to take the examinations to obtain the Cambridge English certificates at the university centre. The agreement seeks to offer a competitive advantage to university students, as the Cambridge English certificates are recognized by educational centres and companies around the world.
"The results that are obtained in e-learning are equivalent if not better at times than in on-site learning"
Albert Sangrà is a teacher with 30 years of experience. Today, he is an international expert in the field of e-learning. Currently, he is academic director of the UNESCO Chair in Education and Technology for Social Change and director of the Government of Catalonia's Industrial Doctorates Plan. Albert Sangrà is also a researcher in the research group in Education and ICT (EDUL@B), affiliated with the UOC's eLearn Center, where he was director from 2012 to 2014. In 2015 he received the Award for Excellence in eLearning from the World Education Congress, the only academic in Spanish to receive this honour. He is also an EDEN Senior Fellow. Together we take a look at e-learning as it stands today.
The UOC has started up a scholarship programme which will give refugee students or asylum seekers living in refugee camps in Greece, or waiting to be relocated to other European locations, access to higher education and language courses. This initiative corresponds to an institutional commitment to guarantee the right to education of people whose lives have been interrupted by armed conflict or other extreme circumstances.
María José Lemaitre, Executive Director of CINDA, wanted to work in university planning and management. As this course did not exist as such, she enrolled on a Sociology course and studied a postgraduate degree in Pedagogy with that objective in mind. Soon, Iván Labado invited her to join CINDA, with which she has worked in one way or another ever since. Decades later, her curriculum is extensive: she has held positions linked to higher education in her country, Chile, has provided advisory services on quality assurance for university systems in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Argentina and organizations such as the OECD or UNESCO, and has chaired high-level international organizations linked to quality agencies. When we ask her what she has left to do, she recognizes that, “I would return to Cambodia, with everything I know now. After the years of the Khmer Rouge dictatorship, we were presented to a committee of experts to set up the university system. It was a devastated country. We had meetings with youths aged 20 or 30 and the Minister of Education was a social worker who had studied in the United States. It was the highest level of studies. A whole generation had disappeared, all the structures of a country”. Undoubtedly this says as much about her as her spectacular service record.
Xavier Escales speaks well of his competitors because he considers them great allies in a noble project: helping to encourage people to do more sport. Escales is Country Manager for Spain and Portugal of the Japanese sports brand ASICS. He confesses that the three essential pillars of his life are family, work and sport and that the key to his happiness is having found the balance between them. We talk to him about the running fever, the beginnings of the brand in Spain and his experience at the UOC as a student of Business Administration and Management in the far off 1990s.
The UOC Virtual Library is providing students of the Game Design course, of the Master’s Degree in Video Game Design and Development, codes for the downloading and subsequent study of audiovisual products on Steam. This digital platform, created in 2003, currently has over 9 million regular users and is considered a leader in video games for PCs with 75% of the digital market, according to data from Bloomberg. The University is therefore committed to the video game as a learning tool.
The UOC has created a pioneering app in education so that university students can learn by playing. It is called Quadrivia and it is similar to the well-known Trivial Pursuit. Players have to answer multiple-choice questions with four possible answers, of which only one is correct. Open to the whole of the university community and to anyone with a higher education profile seeking to try out their knowledge, the initiative reinforces the commitment made by the UOC to provide students with different learning resources.
The UOC has been selected as the second institution in the world and the first in Europe in Spanish-speaking online education in the "ranking of Spanish-speaking online higher education institutions in the world", conducted by the Hamilton Global Intelligence market research consultancy. In the classification, which is the first time that the UOC has been assessed, over 70 university institutions in Spain, Latin America and the United States have been analysed.
The presenter and visible face of TV programme La Sexta Noche, Andrea Ropero, participated in the UOC's 2nd Seminar on Social Responsibility dedicated to “The role of social responsibility in the management and delivery of the communication media”. Born in Aragon, she studied Journalism at the UAB and worked for the newspapers El Periódico de Aragón and El Periódico de Catalunya. Shortly after graduating, she joined La Sexta when the channel was founded, in 2006, and spent six years with the channel in Catalonia presenting live broadcasts and reports for La Sexta Noticias and for programmes such as Al Rojo Vivo. In 2012 she was transferred to Madrid to co-present La Sexta Noche alongside Iñaki López. In this interview, Ropero analyses the social responsibility of the communication media.