Current events

Institutional statement: the university's duty to confront violence against women

In the 2017/18 academic year, 322 students at Catalan universities validated their status as victims of violence against women; 172 of them were students at the UOC.

To mark 25 November, the UOC is re-emphasizing its denunciation of violence against women. This malady is embedded in society’s structures, rooted in gender inequality and, in 2018 alone, caused at least 48 deaths across Spain, 8 of which were in Catalonia.

Universities are not immune to violence of this sort. Students who are its victims deserve a special type of protection, as do any dependant children they have, and this applies within their universities, too. In recognition of this, the UOC strives to uphold its commitments to equal rights and opportunities and to bona fide equality between women and men in the context of higher education. To contribute towards reparation, these victims are entitled to full exemption from fees for academic services at the UOC (fees set by the Government of Catalonia decree regulating the prices charged by Catalan public universities and the UOC).

Currently in Catalonia over half of the university students who have registered as victims of violence against women have been students at the UOC. Specifically, during the 2017/18 academic year, of the 322 students who validated this status, more than half, 172, were students at the UOC.

As something that is commonplace in our society, violence against women can also occur within our university, having the potential to affect academic or administrative staff as well as students. So as part of our institutional commitment to eliminate gender inequalities – a commitment to be consolidated by the 2020–2025 Gender Equality Plan we are currently working on – the UOC is seeking to introduce new regulation in this area.

This new regulation will be an umbrella to a range of protocols for helping and supporting people suffering discrimination, be it relating to gender, race or sexual diversity. And because we are a distance university, the new directives and protocols will focus especially on situations involving discrimination online, for example online harassment or abuse.

We believe the UOC must be open to the world, a belief based on the principles of respect and collaboration. This means building open knowledge with and for everyone, responding to the global challenges of the 2030 Agenda, and committing to gender equality.