This article is the result of another one titled ―La universidad pública catalana hoy: Dimensión, Eficacia y Eficiencia‖, written in a context in which the public funding of the university system in Catalonia is under a strong pressure. The information collected here directly refers to the Catalan universities but in the context of the Spanish public university system. That global perspective allows find response to the same questions that the original document was appearing, but to the level of Spain as a whole:
1. Are there too many universities in Spain?
2. Has it gone too far in the effort to extend the university system for the whole Spanish territory?
3. Is Spanish university system too expensive in relation with the public resources that the country possesses?
4. Are the Spanish universities ineffective (they do not work enough or their work is not sufficiently well done)?
5. Are they inefficient in the use of the public resources?
All these questions are always pertinent, but specially in moments like the present, in which the public income has fallen down in a drastic way and the demand of public services does not stop growing. The response to each of these questions can be approached in many ways, but the decisions to take cannot be based only on opinion tendencies or confrontation of interests.
This text tries to offer information; it is clear that takes the point of view of the positioning and previous knowledge of the university system and the Spanish, European and world contexts in which it is developed, but, in any case, it is based upon absolutely confirmed information. To answer each of the five questions that head this summary requires to adopt any kind of measure system and to apply it. There is not an absolute modal, either state or international, to answer these questions - and to many others that can appear-. The only quantitative resource that can be in use has to put Spain in Europe or in the world, using socioeconomic parameters, for, from the environment in which there the activity of the university Spanish system is developed, to establish this positioning.
Once the data is collected in this paper, the clear answer for the five questions is definitively: NOT.
Keywords: inefficiency at the university, catalonian public university, university system.
In too many occasions we get carried away by topics that serve as axioms and absolute truths, keeping us from looking at reality with a bit of freedom. The area I know best, the university, is not exempt from this way of approaching things. For years, I have supported a point I think is obvious: the United States of America (U.S.A.) university model is the one that works best in the world. Of course there are splendid universities in other parts of the world, but taken as a whole system, in my opinion, the best one is the best at formation the best at researching with the best quality and the more people reaches. These properties are indicated in most of the studies. Of course, I cannot hide the fact that if there are the best universities, it is likely that this system also contains some of the worst. Flexible systems often show these apparent contradictions.
When talking about universities other what must be mentioned is that objectives are to create and transmit knowledge. Only well done research generates knowledge. Transmission can be done in many different ways: in classrooms, articles, books, papers, conferences, inside and outside universities. In any case, neither teaching nor research is only performed today at universities (this is changing rapidly in recent years). A good university is one in which, in addition to research, teaching is done, and not vice versa. This model of university is looking for the best students, and that is also the model that the best students and the most prestigious teachers look for. It is the one that has the most social support, and is with the best performance; where the best practices are carried out. And best practices only make sense if students are placed as one of the cornerstones around which university activity is organized. The U.S.A. can serve as an example.
Keywords: research, higher education, U.S.A., Spanish university system
Expectations are ideas and beliefs, more or less realistic, that human beings make about future events so they can anticipate them. Obviously, the university is not exempt from generating expectations. The definition of expectations held by the college student is undoubtedly a complex task, given the confluence of multiple factors that interact synergistically, covering both aspects of the student and their immediate surroundings and away.
The importance of these beliefs, expectations, as generators of attitudes and motivations regarding the involvement of students in their own education or extracurricular activities is one example to stand out. In this sense, the final aim would be to obtain, so much for the student as the institution, positive expectations of academic and extracurricular participation. This would promote greater involvement attitudes at these two levels, which would result in benefits for both agents.
This article presents an analysis of the expectations that currently dominate the university by different agents. Particularly, the analysis is focused on the student colective: its causes and the basis for a change to greater university student participation at various levels.
Keywords: expectations, college, student engagement, higher education, teaching, research
Both the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), with a time horizon for 2010 and 2015, and the University Strategy spotted the internationalization of the university as a goal. In 1999 the Bologna declaration by ministers included mobility as one of the fundamental principles of the new EHEA. In the same line, in the successive Prague, Berlin, Bergen, London and Leuven statements, the roadmap to design policies for the internationalization of the university was discussed. In this article, we analyze the achievements reached, obstacles to be overcome and some actions for the future. We propose to consider internationalization as a crosscutting issue that impacts all operations connected with the students. Among the concrete actions to promote the internationalization of university students, we suggest the development of an international curriculum; the definition of an international specific plan for each university; the setting-up of an international campus, and the promotion of student participation in international networks and governmental and institutional initiatives.
Keywords: internationalization, academic mobility, languages, international campus, student participation.
Organizations in general and enterprises in particular are noticing changes in the following areas of our society: tastes, modes of engagement with business, new channels of communication, different ways of transmission of information and knowledge, asking for immediate services or discovering a new dimension to manage relationships, both personal and institutional.
In the near future, most organizations will have to evolve towards a new mental model in order not to die. This will require professionals with vision, ability to work collaborative, with communication and emotional skills, ability to manage the image, vision to capture trends and be creative or self-leadership skills, self management and self-learning, among other transferable skills.
Only institutions, among which universities are included, with a strong identity sense will have the motivation and courage to think about themselves, their level of responsibility in this role and capacity to adapt effectively to changes the environment requires.
Keywords: new skills, cross skills, employability, organization 2.0, intelligent organizations, university, creative, innovative, emotional intelligence.
This article presents an analysis of university student profile in the digital age, an era in which technological change has made significant impact on all areas of society, especially in higher education. Changes have not only had an impact on educational institutions but have also influenced the characteristics of the current student. In the article, a theoretical review about the various definitions and characteristics that are attributed to this generation has been made, treating the following topics: students who have already been born in this digital age and are associated with certain characteristics such as their strong digital literacy, the need to be permanently connected or immediacy. However, there are also some studies that question or clarify these features. Finally, it addresses the issue of digital competence of university student. Beyond the existence of a "digital generation", university must develop appropriate strategies that ensure that students develop digital competence during its formative stage. This section makes an approach to this issue and raises some thoughts about it.
Keywords: higher education, student, digital competence, digital literacy, net generation, digital natives.
There is a sense of urgency in the digital natives discourse that suggests today’s learners are becoming impatient with traditional modes of teaching because they have grown up digitally. Our research and research conducted in six different countries and at a range of different institutions suggests we need to be focusing on digital learners, not digital natives. While the empirical evidence clearly shows the use of digital technology is growing, and young people tend to use it more than older people, it just as clearly shows that the issues are not defined by generation and the implications for education are far from clear.
It is time to move beyond the simplistic dichotomy of digital natives and digital immigrants. Our research shows today’s learners, regardless of age, are on a continuum of technological access, skill, use and comfort. They have differing views about the integration of social and academic uses and are not generally challenging the dominant academic paradigm.
Keywords: digital learners, net generation, digital natives, educational technology, instructional design
We introduce the practical case carried out with the subject that teaches freehand drawing to students who come with null o or almost null mastery in the drawing. The subject "Graphic Expression in Building" is a core subject in undergraduate studies in Engineering Construction. Here, students learn to draw floor plans using only their own hand, pencil and paper. Students arrive without knowing how to draw, without understanding that drawing is a language that anyone can learn. One of these languages is the own one of the architectural area. In order to teach them to draw correctly an architectural piece, we only count with four months of class, divided into sixty attending hours and ninety hours of personal work. In addition, teaching positively overcomes their fear of freehand drawing, something that we attack with dialogue from theories and tutorials, exercise constantly checked and practice, and also with the support of the 2.0 social tools they employ in their daily lives, treating them not as a substitute for live teaching, but as natural aid to learning.
Keywords: architecture, drawing, dialogue, educational technology, information technology, teaching technique.
The design of activities based on learning paradigms is the key for students to take an active role in the learning process. Otherwise, the effort for the teacher and the student involved makes it unviable, both for the application and for the evaluation of the active participation of students. Innovation in teaching is presented as a tool to reduce stress and make viable the activities mentioned above.
Keywords: learning-based paradigm, teaching innovation, active participation of students in the learning process.
In 1997, the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) started a semipresencial learning experience that consisted in incorporating the use of information and communication technologies in higher education. The project, Campus Extens, in effect at present, was established as a flexible distance education program that followed the basic principles of open learning. It may be considered as a pioneering experience in the Spanish university scene and at the same time a reference to the adoption of information technology and communication at teaching. In the study case, the UIB was responding to the needs of the students living in Menorca and Ibiza islands for several reasons. The teaching method is semipresencial and covers graduate and postgraduate education. In this case, the study tries to expand the access to the campus to Menorca and Ibiza-Formentera, as the Campus Extens name suggests, and to provide access to learning materials at any hour and in any place for all his pupils.
Keywords: internationalization, academic mobility, languages, international campus, student participation.
The Virtual Campus of the University of Alicante, in 1998, was one of the first learning management systems implemented in a traditional Spanish university. It reflected what was happening in the best international higher education institutions. In the article, an historical and brief development of the phenomenon of virtual campuses is provided, besides describing the efforts that the University of Alicante devoted to it and the results of this process. More than ten years after its implantation, and after its widespread adoption by students and teachers, it's time to determine if this tool has contributed to the improvement of the processes taking place in the university, both administrative and educational. The indications point that while administratively, the virtual campuses have supposed an organizational improvement that saves efforts and increases the administrative efficiency of the university, it has not happened equally, or at least with the same intensity, with the educational processes. In a time in which educational analytics are trying to determine the influence of various technological tools that teachers use in their courses, it is critical to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the virtual campus. This chapter provides data on the subject, illustrated with a classical degree from the University of Alicante since it is that of the studies in architecture. It will try to determine what kind of use is being given to the virtual campus and what association exists between this use and academic performance as measured by the parameters that ANECA (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation) proposes.
Keywords: virtual campus, LMS, university quality, ANECA, University of Alicante, studies of Architecture.
OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an example of the actions that have recently emerged to promote the free and unrestricted access to knowledge.In April 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched the OCWMIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html ), an initiative that offers free access to the materials of work of its teachers. OCWMIT has had a major impact and has encouraged other international leading universities to create their own projects in coordination with OCW-MIT OCW’s aim is to disseminate, through freee acces digital media, educational resources structured in subjects and oriented towards higher education. From the beginning UNIVERSIA is commited with this project and promotes, taking advantage of its character of Network of Universities, the creation of the Universia OCW ( http://mit.ocw.universia.net/ ), whose purpose is to facilitate a significant presence of iberoamerican universities, and the cultures they represent in the global OCW Project.
Keywords: OpenCourseWare, teaching methodologies, educational resources.