In this period, Extension activities have notably increased: conferences, exhibitions and classrooms. The University Orchestra has been launched, which is already touring the entire Asturias territory and delighting people with its concerts. The University Extension Classrooms have been promoted (which have been regulated and standardised during this mandate) through sponsorship/collaboration with other public and private entities.
For the new term, implementation and recognition of a complementary curriculum will be sought, reflecting all the extracurricular activities developed by the student body that accompany the academic curriculum. In relation to this complementary curriculum, the cultural passport will be created, which will recognise students’ attendance at cultural, sports and cooperation activities carried out by entities with an agreement with the University of Oviedo. Collaboration with city councils will continue to expand an offer of “on demand” Extension Courses that enable it to renew and promote courses in ordinary calls, especially the summer one. This collaboration can be extended to associations that can request training from the University of Oviedo with this formula.
Since 2016, the University of Oviedo Senior Programme (PUMUO) has experienced territorial expansion and constant growth, greatly promoting university education among those over 50 years of age. The number of students has increased exponentially and new headquarters have opened in Mieres and another one in Luarca. The challenge for these four years is to increase the number of venues, extending the programme to reach the population in this age group throughout the Asturian territory. It is therefore a priority to expand the PUMUO offer to eastern Asturias, implementing it in the new headquarters in collaboration the municipalities in this area. A level of 1,200 students in 2024 will be sought, after having doubled the number of students in 2019 compared to 2016.
Programmes for children and youth
Programmes have been promoted for young people from the Scientific Culture Unit, reaching those who are in pre-university stages, as well as children. Actions such as Researchers’ Night, where the University of Oviedo leads a project of the Group 9 universities, and Science Week, which are established as references in the cultural life of Asturias. These actions have been complemented by the University for Children programme, which has brought scientific workshops to more than 6,000 boys and girls throughout Asturias. The programme is particularly directed to rural areas where the university has little presence. Its objective has been to create scientific vocations and to establish the first relationship with potential students of the next decade. In this new stage, the university will expand its actions in the Children’s University such as Researchers’ Night and Science Week, increasing the number of activities and the locations in which they take place, as well as collaborating with pre-university education centres. The objective is clear: to attract youth for the university over the next twenty years.
Over these last four years, the university has undertaken intense internationalisation activity. Double degrees, exchanges and research collaborations have been forged between institutions that know each other and have links. One of the main actions has been the search for international alliances. Of all of them, the Alliance of Russian and Spanish Universities (AURE) is noteworthy, which is aimed at promoting exchange activities for students and teachers, developing joint research projects and participation in calls from the EU and the Russian Federation.
It has also organised bilateral agreements with universities outside of the EU, ensuring activity in each and every one of them while, in parallel, seeking new alliances in geographical areas where the University of Oviedo does not yet have much presence (especially Africa and Oceania).
In this period, the university also participated in creating the Ibero-American Consortium of Universities for improved internationalisation processes, international cooperation, bi-regional integration and undertaking joint concrete actions to have a common front to address regional challenges (this consortium began with a Statement of Intent agreed by the participating universities in the Ibero-America International Forum of Public Universities organised in October 2019).
Implementing the Campus América Programme (with the possible support of the Asturias Principality or private entities), which includes scholarships for undergraduate and master’s students from the University of Oviedo to carry out educational placements in the best institutions in Latin America with which the university has an agreement and funding for circulation in both directions for teachers’ research placements, teaching, and organisation or management of joint degrees abroad (already started in Chile).
Programmes with Chinese universities have been intensified and the number of collaboration agreements with Chinese universities expanded, with Shandong, our traditional partner, and universities in Peking and Xi’an. A collaboration with the University of León has led to starting up a Confucius Classroom in The House of Languages as part of the Confucius Institute in León.
In the next four years, the alliances already established will be strengthened in all their dimensions (teaching, research, cultural, etc.), making them more effective. Work will also continue on the previously defined line of projecting the university internationally through stable partners with whom work will be undertaken in the medium and long term.
Several actions have been carried out in relation to development cooperation. The first Solidarity Week has been launched. The University of Oviedo has obtained the seal of the University for Fair Trade, backed by the EU. It has launched the Chair for Global Food Governance Studies (with a scholarship programme for student work in this area). The university has promoted, together with two other universities, the Right to Food of Spain Observatory and has reached agreements with Cuban universities with the help of the Spanish Association of Clinical Research Companies (AECIC). An International Campus in Latin America and the Ibero-American Consortium of Universities have been created. The University of Oviedo has also significantly promoted the Cities for Fair Trade alliance in collaboration with the different municipalities.
For the new mandate, the university will seek to continue maintaining the level of leadership in development cooperation achieved through new initiatives linked to providing opportunities for those who do not have them. Proposals will be prepared for the different international calls such as the European City for Fair Trade.
Over the last four years, University Sports have been promoted through different actions and initiatives. In accordance with electoral promises, the number of scholarships for university students who are part of the university’s sports sections has been increased and agreements have been signed with different sports clubs and associations to link them as athletes to the university. Facilities have also been renovated and expanded, including creating the gymnasium on the Gijón/Xixón Campus, under development for more than 15 years, as well as the launch of a race track in a natural environment of great beauty on the campus. The university has universalised and made the university sports card free, which is included in the single university card and is extended to retired and graduated personnel from the University of Oviedo.
For this new term, it is proposed to develop the “Alliance for Sport” project. Within this project, a priority objective is to create new sports spaces and modify existing ones, promoting outdoor physical activity, for example by covering outdoor courts and creating areas with exercise equipment. This will be combined with signing new agreements with clubs throughout the Asturias geography that will enable progress in promoting university sports activity in a generalised way, expanding the range of sports disciplines.
The participation of the university’s athletes in Spanish University Championships will undoubtedly be another of the relevant objectives in the next term. The challenge must be to increase the number of students in competitions and to expand the sports disciplines year on year.
Sports practice linked to a healthy life should not just be focused on elite athletes, it is also important to raise awareness among one hundred percent of the university community on the benefits it entails for health. The university will thus promote new sports activities. The aim of sports and health for a university community committed to health and the environment in a healthy campus environment.
Asturian Language and Culture
The University of Oviedo is the only higher education institution in Asturias. It therefore has the historical obligation to be the leader in everything related to the culture within the Regional Community. And throughout the mandate, each and every one of the electoral commitments procured in 2016 in this field has been fulfilled.
The Asturian language is included along with English in its corporate image as a symbol of normalisation in the use of the native language in posters and signage. And, pursuant to the Law of use, applications and forms can be completed in Asturian as well as in Spanish.
The Language Normalisation Advisory Committee has been created and translation services have been promoted so that university information flows to the community in the traditional language. And, most importantly, the old claim to guarantee the defence of doctoral theses as well as TFGs and TFMs in the Asturian language has been fulfilled, resolving a number of difficulties that existed for it.
In addition to all of this, specific plans have been designed to promote and facilitate research in Asturian and publish important scientific works in the area of Asturian Philology knowledge.
In this sense, preference will continue to be given to any activity related to history, ethnography and the language of Asturias, promoting talks, conferences, courses and other actions that maintain and enhance Asturian cultural identity. All the possibilities for bringing Asturian Philology studies and the possibilities of offering language standardisation services to the entire university community will also be considered, by offering translation services and linguistic and cultural promotion services. A relevant role will be given to the Asturian language as has been the case over the last four years, offering linguistic training courses to the university community (student body, PAS and teaching and research staff), deepening the collaboration with the Asturian Llingua Academy and university research groups in topics of study, research and dissemination and expanding the activity of the Branu Asturian University (UABRA) in the context of University Extension. Work will also continue to dignify and visualise Asturias in the university context, seeking normalisation of use, promotion of which is required by regional legislation.
In this period, University Extension activities were notably increased
Bilateral agreements have been reached with universities outside of the EU, ensuring activity in each and every one of them
In this new stage, actions will be expanded in the Children’s University such as Researchers’ Night and Science Week, increasing the number of activities and the locations in which they take place, as well as collaborating with pre-university education centres.