Universities are relational ecosystems based on knowledge and research. As such they are not defined by their past or present, but by the horizons they drive towards. The precise nature of our role is therefore to help shape the future, for our students first of all, but moreover for everyone linked to the UOC, including alumni, teaching staff, administrative staff and researchers.
This building of our future entails reinventing ourselves through talent, giving strong backing to cross-disciplinary knowledge and learning, and creating a social impact as an institution. In other words, we need to be chasing our horizons in order to break new ground. This was perfectly expressed by the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of MIT, engineer Israel Ruiz, in his inaugural lecture this year: “I cannot imagine a profession or entrepreneur that wouldn't need to be at the cutting edge of education, be that in relation to technology, competitiveness or new techniques”.
At the UOC we take the same view. And it is for this reason we want to carry on connecting talents and disciplines, to broaden our scope and our strengths, and to be, as I mentioned before, a true relational ecosystem in which learning, research and innovation all feed back into each other. As part of our commitment to these objectives we are setting ourselves new challenges aligned with the strategic pillars for the 2017–2020 period. In accordance with these goals we have overhauled our online platform, created a new multilingual and user-friendly campus, and in the coming weeks we will be introducing our new corporate identity to reflect our new future horizons. In line with the commitments we have made, we are adding to our course offerings and the 2016/2017 academic year will mark the start of the new bachelor’s degree in Digital Design and Creation, and the master’s degree in Corporate Communication, Protocol and Events.
As professor and teacher Ivan W. Fitzwater said “the future of the world is in my classroom today”. Today the classroom is the UOC campus, but the future remains right there waiting for us.
Wishing all of you the best possible start to the new academic year!