The UOC was founded in 1995 as the world's first online university with the aim of using technology to open access to high-quality university education for all, with merit as the sole criterion.
The UOC's students are to be found all around the world, are of different ages and have a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds. In most cases, you are doing more in your lives than just studying. That's why the UOC's education and training programmes are regularly updated to reflect new personal and professional circumstances and the changing requirements of the job market. We focus on the skills and competencies that you'll need for the professions of today and, even more so, for those of tomorrow.
To that end, we provide official university education, consisting mainly of bachelor's and university master's degrees and doctorates, which are accredited by quality agencies and meet the standards of the European university system, and supplemented by lifelong learning designed to provide you with ongoing support and solutions tailored to each stage of life.
UOC Alumni is a community of over 100,000 professionals who have graduated from the UOC. These are people who are always striving to achieve more.
Our Alumni community supports and UOC graduate talent and connects it with businesses and employers by means of events such as the Online Employment Fair and the Alumni Symposium. Opportunities to gain professional experience are also available through internships and the employment service.
Universities have designed and implemented internal quality assurance systems (IQASs) to ensure the continuous improvement of the education they offer their students. The Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU Catalunya) supports them in the design of these processes to ensure they meet common quality standards and then evaluates their implementation. In this context, AQU Catalunya has certified our IQAS, and the Universities Council of the Spanish Ministry of Universities has granted us institutional accreditation, making us the only university in Catalonia to have accreditation for all of its official programmes. This means that all the official bachelor's and university master's degrees we offer have been automatically accredited for another six years.
Our unique learning model enables and promotes lifelong learning that meets your needs, fully tapping the potential of the internet to learn in a flexible, asynchronous environment.
Here at the UOC, you'll learn by doing, completing activities and working as part of a team with your classmates. You'll do this on our Virtual Campus, which brings together all the tools you'll need to manage your time, plan your workload and map out your academic pathway. To help you overcome these challenges, you'll always have the support of our teaching staff (faculty, adjunct instructors and course instructors), who will lead you through each course; our tutors (first-year and follow-on), who will guide you throughout your academic journey; and our team of career counsellors.
The UOC was created over 25 years ago to provide learning opportunities for all throughout their lives, regardless of their circumstances. We are now more committed to this goal than ever. This is because, through high-quality e-learning we can contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Quality Education. We also strive to promote the digital transformation of education by helping governments, institutions and teaching communities around the world. We offer our knowledge to meet today's new challenges. We assure quality in e-learning, we reduce the digital divide, we support governments and institutions in their digital transformations, and we drive e-learning research and innovation.
Here at the UOC, we build alliances to strengthen our commitment to the UN's UN's 2030 Agenda. This is a commitment we put into practice in our teaching programmes, offering interdisciplinary competencies and encouraging participatory final projects. We also carry out projects on specific subject matters associated with teaching and research, ranging from health and well-being to sustainable cities and communities. These are just some of the ways we transfer knowledge to society and foster open science with and for all.
What is the role of research at the UOC? What are the key areas? How many researchers are there? For the UOC, research is a foremost priority. There are more than 500 of us, and we have 50 research groups, working in open collaboration to solve the major challenges of our time.
We do transformative research
Society needs answers to global challenges and transformations, and science is the tool we need to provide them. At the UOC, we do research to change the world and to generate new knowledge that improves and transforms people's lives and offers answers to humankind's big questions.
The Interdisciplinary R&I Hub, which is part of the Poblenou campus in Barcelona's technology district, focuses its research on the interaction between technology and the human and social sciences. In addition to our full commitment to open knowledge, interdisciplinarity and network cooperation, we promote research on technology and the use of ICT to transform society. Research and innovation at the UOC are interdisciplinary: they push back the frontiers of a range of disciplines
More than 50 research groups and 500 researchers drive research and innovation from our two research centres: the IN3, which specializes in the internet and the effects of technology on human activities, and the eHealth Center, which specializes in digital health and well-being. Research and innovation are also carried out at the UOC's eLearning Innovation Center, its Doctoral School and its seven faculties. We also have Hubbik, a collaborative ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurship and open innovation projects.
We believe that the knowledge created from research must be openly shared with everyone: this is the only way we can progress towards sustainable development. That's why we promote open access publishing, FAIR data, open innovation (with participatory bachelor's or master's degree final projects), and our open access institutional repository for research, the O2. We also support projects designed to engage all citizens, offering forums and spawning knowledge co-creation processes based on social needs, with a special emphasis on citizen science. As DORA signatories, we also have a system for the qualitative assessment of research and its social impact.
The UOC was founded on the initiative of the Government of Catalonia in the aim of creating a university that would benefit the wider public, a not-for-profit institution with the organizational flexibility of a private company.
So, since 1995, we have been providing a public service but manage ourselves on a private basis through a foundation. We have a board of trustees and are accountable to the Parliament of Catalonia. The Government of Catalonia subsidizes a part of our budget by means of a programme agreement linked to objectives. We obtain our other income from enrolments, raising funding for research projects and UOC Corporate.
The fees for the official programmes offered by the UOC are public. For each academic year, the Government of Catalonia decrees the fee per credit for the official programmes of Catalonia's public universities and of the UOC.
The 2022-2025 Strategic Plan was drawn up through a process that gave the entire university a voice. Several working sessions were held with the university's representative bodies (the Student Council, the Alumni Council, the University Council, the UOC entrepreneurship representatives and the Strategic Committee). Subsequently, this deliberative and consultative participatory process was opened up to the entire staff, managed on the Decidim platform.
The strategy, which was designed based on 12 strategic challenges identified as facing the university in the next few years, includes 22 plans and 91 actions in five separate areas.