Welcome

 

 

Welcome Words from Antonio Ávila Cano, Regional Minister of Economy, Innovation and Science of Andalusia

 

 

The regions are facing numerous challenges: sustainable economic growth, inclusion of minorities, migration, equal opportunities policies, technology gap both in companies and households and environmental protection. The substantial knowledge and capacities in the higher education institutions are an important resources a region counts on. The high density of knowledge needs to be at the service of the region as an essential contribution to their development. Andalusia has its own history facing this changing world. Higher education has been one of the keys to social and cultural change, as well as to economic growth in the region for the past 20 years.

From multiplying the number of universities, forging strong collaborative links among them and with the regional government and other stakeholders through an Andalusian System of Knowledge, we are developing a knowledge-based economy. A strong regional government commitment is an important part of the process, as can be seen through the development of a single regional ministry for on economic policy, industry, enterprises, universities and innovation. This contributes to a responsive system to the regional needs from all stakeholders in the region, including the universities. The regional government is honoured to host this international conference in Andalusia. We are proud to share our experience and learn from others. There is no quick and easy solutions to the needs of our regions. The solutions can be developed from co-operation and good practices exchanges. The regional government welcomes you to Seville.

 

 

Welcome words from Joaquín Luque, Rector of the University of Seville

  

Higher education institutions have a major role in social, cultural and economic progress. At a time of global crisis, knowledge is a fundamental tool for economic recovery. The critical mindset - which has always defined higher education institutions since their inception - must be directly involved in the answers to and the proposals for the ways out of the crisis. Higher education institutions must be socially engaged, in addition to our more traditional activity of teaching and our commitment to research excellence.

In the present context, universities need to engage in stronger interaction with the productive sector. Our research and technological results must be transferred to society. Higher education institutions must develop their relations with stakeholders of society and help to provide answers to the local and regional needs and demands. There are countless possibilities to build up this relationship. The 14 regions reviewed by the IMHE programme offer many excellent examples of good practices. This international conference will highlight policies of different higher education institutions in responding to regional economic challenges. Since our creation, some 500 years ago, developing our regional and local environment has been a fundamental priority of the University of Seville. The University of Seville is proud to host this conference and welcomes you to Seville.

 

 

Welcome words from Adelaida de la Calle, President of the Association of Public Universities of Andalusia

   

The ten public universities of Andalusia have joined forces in an association to respond to the challenges that higher education institutions face today. While we believe in diversity and understand our different identities, we also strongly believe in co-operation. The association promotes collaboration among our higher education institutions and with other institutions and stakeholders (both public and private) at local, regional, national and international levels.

This OECD conference brings a fresh look into a variety of good practices to face common challenges such as: how to define the mission of higher education institutions in a changing world, how to contribute to society and how to develop our strategies for the future of teaching, research and social service. The Association of the Public Universities of Andalusia, on behalf of the ten universities, welcomes you to Seville.