“If I had to choose between an amazing teacher and amazing technology for my children, or anyone else’s, I would always choose the amazing teacher”
Salman Khan

“Imagination is the source of every
form of human achievement”

Ken Robinson

In its 412 years of history, since its foundation by Fernando de Valdés, the University of Oviedo has proceeded with the vocation of being an academic and cultural leader at local, national and international levels. Our rector’s office is number 191 in the series of rectors and, whilst this university has a balanced rector’s council, so far it has not been headed by a female rector. This fact should encourage us to continue working towards the elimination of the gender gap. Our long history has been marked by significant events, including the creation of our University Extension Programme, the University Library and the first publication of the University of Oviedo Annals. However, for the last few months we have been living through an exceptional period. A time of pandemic that has put us to the test and has suddenly changed our behaviour and how we relate to one another. All this has had a profound effect on the university system around the world – and in particular on our university. The University of Oviedo’s response to this challenge has been exemplary, as we have maintained a fully functioning fundamental and indispensable public service. This work has been carried out whilst putting the health of all members of the university community first. Key to this has been the commitment of teaching staff as well as administration and services personnel, along with the effort of the students and their families in adapting to this situation. The autonomous campuses, faculties, schools and departments have proved themselves capable of adapting to a new reality – one that has not been easy to manage. We express our fullest congratulations and recognition for all they have done.

On May 16th , 2016, we took up the baton passed to us by the university community, with the same enthusiasm with which we wrote this electoral programme. Since then, we have worked unceasingly, alongside the entire university community, to ensure that our day-to-day activities enable our Asturian university to achieve more and better objectives. We have remained loyal to our programme and our project. We have not desisted from our determination to position our institution among the highest levels of Spain’s university system, within the European Higher Education and Research Area, and internationally.

The result is that, in 2020, our university is objectively better placed in the national and international context, and among the 500 best in the world, whilst having improved our relative position among Spain’s universities. At the same time, we have developed a high level of transparency, starting from a situation that has been classed in the rankings as opaque. As part of this, we have approved new regulations, created important new committees such as the quality committee and the ethics committee, and regulated on matters such as academic unemployment. We have improved our technological infrastructure and adapted our buildings to the modern age. We have given a significant boost to collaboration with businesses, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship.

In achieving these goals, we have applied a philosophy of co-responsibility, giving greater economic capacity to centres and departments, and allowing the university community to define its priorities through the implementation of participatory budgets.

Furthermore, we have looked out to the planet, seeking environmental sustainability for all our activities.

We are highly satisfied with the results. Nevertheless, there are multiple challenges that open up in an institution and society undergoing constant change and evolution. Among these are the improvement and simplification of administrative procedures, with the full implementation of our electronic administration system, and the obvious evolution of teaching methodologies and the transition to new, partially face-to-face or online degrees. For this, we are required to contend with the situation created by the current pandemic as an opportunity that ought to drive us to accelerate the progress of this necessary transformation. This technological leap, along with our advances in bilingual teaching, will provide us with the tools we need to improve the attraction of foreign students and, in short, to be more competitive both within and outside Asturias.

We want the University of Oviedo to continue to advance, grow, modernise and train our students better and better, while enhancing our programmes for seniors, breeding vocations among children, disseminating scientific culture within society, having the most advanced research in all branches of knowledge, and an ever greater and better integrated influence within Asturian society. And we are doing all this without giving up our aspiration to keep being the engine of economic development and the social elevator of the region.

I therefore ask for your support so that, over the next four years, we can together build a university that is fully integrated into the European Higher Education and Research Area and is internationally recognised. We will maintain a climate of calm and stability, and we will provide the best conditions for carrying out our teaching, learning, management and technical work. Through our research and knowledge transfer, we will continue to be a driving force for cultural, social and economic progress in Asturias. Through our people, we will build a fairer, more sustainable, entrepreneurial society that attracts talent and generates economic activity, stability and a future based on sustainable development, which will thrill future generations of Asturian men and women.

We have worked unceasingly, alongside the entire university community,
to ensure that our day-to-day activities enable our Asturian university to achieve more and better objectives