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Coimbra Group meeting in Padua

The rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, and the vice-rector for Internationalization Policy, Raúl Ramos, went to the Italian city to attend the conference.

The rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, and the vice-rector for Internationalization Policy, Raúl Ramos, went to the Italian city to attend the conference.

The meetings of the representatives of the Coimbra Group twelve working groups took place on Wednesday, with a prominent participation of the UB.

The meetings of the representatives of the Coimbra Group twelve working groups took place on Wednesday, with a prominent participation of the UB.

14/06/2022

Institucional

The historical University of Padua, which celebrates its 800th anniversary, held, for three days, the Coimbra Group Annual Conference and the General Assembly, the first to take place after the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the title “‘Universia Universis’. Academic Freedom in a Transforming World”, the meeting gathered more than 270 representatives of the 41 universities that build up this network.

The attendants debated on current topics within the university field, such as the state of academic freedom in a regressive rights context, the future European bachelor degrees and the reform of research assessment, among others. The rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, and the vice-rector for Internationalization Policy, Raúl Ramos, went to the Italian city to follow the conference.

On Wednesday, the meetings of the representatives of the twelve working groups of the Coimbra Group took place, and they had an important participation of the UB. These meetings valued the actions carried out and identified new objectives and new initiatives for the future. Xavier Giménez, from the Department of Materials Science and Physical Chemistry, gave one talk on the field of the educational innovation group, with the participation of the vice-rector of Teaching Policy, Conxita Amat. Sergi Martínez, director of the Area of Internationalization and Students of the UB, was also in charge of the coordination tasks of the group on employability.

During the afternoon, the attendants shared experiences on innovating in joint degrees. In this session, the European alliances had a prominent presence. Meritxell Chaves, director of CHARM-EU, led by the UB, described the genesis of the master’s degree in Global Challenges for Sustainability, one of the first academic initiatives launched within the frame of the European Universities initiative.

Academic freedom in a world full of risks

The conference “800 Years of Academic Freedom: Lessons from the Past to Shape the Future” took place on Thursday. A first roundtable debated on how the past experiences can help shape a future in which academic freedom continues to be a fundamental value for the universities and for society.

In the second roundtable, the focus was on the eight European alliances with the participation of the universities that take part in the Coimbra Group. Among the participants was Raúl Ramos, who highlighted CHARM-EU’s commitment to defending the European values and academic freedom. In the afternoon, the rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, attended the Coimbra Group Annual Meeting of Rectors, in which one of the debated topics was the importance of reforming the research assessment mechanisms.

The Coimbra Group General Assembly took place on Friday. In addition to the formal approval of statutes and the re-election of two members of the Executive Board, who renewed their mandate, the assembly held the finals for the Coimbra Group “3-Minute Thesis” contest. The finalists, doctoral students from the universities of Aarhus, Groningen and Granada, gave three excellent presentations.

The headquarters for the next Coimbra Group Annual Conference and General Assembly will be the University of Cologne, in Germany.

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