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Opening ceremony for academic year 2018-2019

The UCLM chancellor has defended the honesty of this academic institution as regards the legal requirements and ethical imperatives of the Spanish university system

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The UCLM chancellor has defended the honesty of this academic institution as regards the legal requirements and ethical imperatives of the Spanish university system


The chancellor of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Miguel Ángel Collado, together with the president of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García Page, has, today presided over the opening ceremony for the academic year 2018-19 in which he defended "the honesty and scrupulous compliance" of this academic institution with the legal requirements and ethical imperatives of the Spanish university system. The ceremony held in the Cardenal Gil de Albornoz Auditorium on the Cuenca Campus, has gathered together numerous representatives of the university community and institutions.

The chancellor of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Miguel Ángel Collado, today, in a solemn opening ceremony for the academic year 2018/2019, held on the Cuenca campus, promised that this academic institution "scrupulously" complies with legal requirements such as the ethics imperative of the Spanish university system.

He emphasized this at the ceremony he presided over, together with the president of the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, in which he reaffirmed "the honest and inexcusable duty of the UCLM to set a personal and institutional example when carrying out its duties".

In the same vein, he stated that despite the fact that the reputation of the Spanish university has been affected by behaviours that cannot be ignored, "it would not be fair" to create generalized misgivings nor to state that these activities are widespread.

Likewise, the chancellor has shown his satisfaction and his readiness to negotiate in the signing of the funding agreement between the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha and the UCLM. This "yearned for" collaboration, as he defined it himself, will guarantee funding of 689 million euros over the next four years (2018-2021). "The amount of the nominative transfer and the funding, by means of the Structural Funds, will be from 150,603,024 to 194,467,166 euros. The agreement includes the commitment of the Regional government and the objectives and activities that the university has set".

This is a partnership that in these four financial years will enable a sufficient planning framework to be established for the three-year-period 2019-2021, as well as for progress to be made with establishing new degrees and in meeting the challenge of extending and renewing its academic programme. "This agreement gives students and their families a fundamental place within the university policy by committing to some public prices for socially-responsible enrolments which guarantee access to higher university education […] providing a reduction in these prices in real terms by freezing their nominal ones , a commitment for the four years they are to be in force.

Moreover, it should be remembered how important this agreement has been in enabling the Strategic Plan of the University to be executed, which is made up of three main themes: Map of new degrees, UCLM Action Plan and Strategy 2020.

In this respect, he repeated that with this financial support, Biotechnology is being established in Albacete; Wine-making in Ciudad Real; Audiovisual Communication in Cuenca; Aerospace Engineering in Toledo and Podology in Talavera de la Reina, in addition to new degrees this month in Criminology in Albacete and International Studies in Toledo, as well as a University Master´s in Tourism Businesses Management in Cuenca. "Let us not forget that the UCLM has already received the order and associated funding needed to extend the programme in the academic year 2019-2020 with Tourism in Cuenca and Computer Engineering in Talavera".

Likewise, the chancellor stated that the UCLM 2020 Strategy, has an outlook of competitivity and development in order to obtain a better ranking for the institution among other universities. Its objective is to attract, retain, integrate and develop talent, as well as to have greater specialization and be involved more in key industries.

Academic report and inaugural lecture

The academic ceremony has included the traditional reading of the Report for the academic year 2017-2018, by the secretary general of the UCLM, Crescencio Bravo. This academic year the programme has been made up of 41 degrees, three joint-honours, 33 university master´s degrees and a double master´s. He also added that 22,019 degree and 1,724 master´s students have passed through the lecture halls. Specifically speaking, he stated that in the Erasmus Plus programme, there have been 418 outbound student stays , and 539 incoming ones, and 138 professionals have participated in stays for teaching and administrative staff , which has consolidated the recent trend since the programme began. Likewise, he stressed the setting in motion of the UCLM project, the International Business School, whose aim is to promote short-term lifelong learning aimed at teachers with experience of the business world, whilst nurturing the relationship with university graduates and appreciating the value their experience has in helping the university community. Furthermore, he emphasized the commitment to multilingualism, another of the cornerstones for the internationalization of the UCLM. On this point, he brought up the success of the English-Friendly Subjects programme to showcase the educational programme to the outside world and as a support for visiting students.

Bravo also mentioned that to finance the research activities of the UCLM groups, they obtained 18.9 million euros in 2017 to carry out 584 projects, by which the recovery that began in 2015 as regards the capture of funding in competitive calls has been maintained. Moreover, he mentioned the development of the In house Research Plan as an instrument for all competitive groups and scientific areas of interest to have the same possibilities " although the financial resources available have limited their scope this financial year".

Furthermore, he mentioned the success rate of the projects from the state plan for R+D+i (Excellence and Society Challenges calls), in which the UCLM ranks thirteenth on a national scale in terms of winning projects and the funding for these, with a total amount of financial assistance of 3.6 million euros. Likewise, he reminded us that the regional university has maintained its position, having been included in the four large international rankings (THE, QS, US News and ARWU) despite its youth and the scene on which it has carried out its mission.

After the Report, the head of Art History, José Antonio Sánchez Martínez announced the inaugural lecture for the year in which he dealt with "Limits to fiction". This conference has been approached from the "conviction " that the question about what the limits to fiction are is intimately linked to another question about limits to knowledge "however surprising this equation might seem in principle".

The professor stated that the reason for posing these questions arose in 2017 in the research-creation process for reading "Palabras ajenas" (the Words of Others" (1967) by Leon Ferrari. In this respect he said that despite it not being "strictly speaking" a work of fiction, his explicit desire to have a public debate on this topic means he continued to trust in the independent potential of the artistic institution and in artistic efficiency.

The president of the Castilla-La Mancha regional government , Emiliano García-Page, congratulated the new doctors at the UCLM, recalling his parents´ obsession for him to have a university degree. A wish that "reflected what a country expected of a university. The leap to the first division". An idea that the president of the region reaffirmed later on when he did not hesitate to state that the "university has upheld excellence for the country since the Constitution was made". Lastly, in this opening ceremony, he defended "the absolute commitment of the regional government to the UCLM, whilst guaranteeing that "the future of this regional university is not at risk".

In the ceremony, the new doctors who obtained their degrees in the academic years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 were invested. Likewise, the extraordinary awards for doctorates were delivered for the academic year 2016/2017 and tribute was paid to teaching and research staff as well as those for administration and services who retired in the former academic year, who, with their work and effort had contributed to the development of this academic institution.

UCLM Communication Office Cuenca, 28th of September 2018

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