The rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Rafael Robaina, assured this Thursday that “the 2019-2020 academic year has been one of the most intense and hard courses that we have experienced, both at the ULPGC and at the rest of the Spanish university.” A situation that, as he said, “has represented an unprecedented challenge for the entire university community, perhaps one of the greatest challenges that the ULPGC has faced since its birth.”
The effort made by the university community in recent months in the face of the pandemic of coronavirus was valued by the rector during the speech he delivered this Thursday at a ceremony held at the University Rectorate, and in which the Deputy Minister of Education, Universities and Sports, María Dolores Rodríguez González, the Government team and the Deans, Deans and Directors and Directors of University Centers, the coordinators of the conferences of directors of Departments and University Institutes, representatives of the Social Council and the Student Council.
“The 2019-2020 academic year will be remembered by students, teachers and PAS as the course that was altered by Covid-19,” said Rafael Robaina. The rector specified that “the ULPGC had the ability to move to non-face-to-face teaching in the short space of twenty-four hours, adapting its teaching system to an online training model”, while “giving precise answers to the needs of students and teachers, fundamentally inspired by two objectives: no one should miss the course as a result of the crisis caused by the pandemic, and the situation we were experiencing should not entail an academic extra cost to students or their families. ”
Robaina took the floor after the intervention of the general secretary of the academic institution, Rosa Rodríguez, who read the 2019-2020 academic year report, and assured regarding the situation created by the coronavirus, that “today we can proudly affirm that during the 2019-2020 academic year we have faced a new, exceptional and supervening situation, and that we have given an optimal response to the needs that arose every day” .
After the projection of a video paying tribute to the university community for their attitude during the pandemic, which was decided to be the usual opening lecture of the event, the rector Rafael Robaina gave his speech that also altered the usual sequence with the title of Chronicle of a transformation, because as he stressed, “on this occasion, a few months before the elections to the rector of the ULPGC, what is appropriate is to recapitulate what has been done in this term of office that will end at the beginning of next year 2021.”
“It may be my last speech as Rector, if I am not re-elected for a future term, so I want to convey to you that it has been an honor for me to have served the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria these years, accompanied by an excellent team of women and men. Undoubtedly, one of those good things that happen to us in life “, concluded Robaina in his speech, not without first listing the actions carried out to maintain the activity of the institution during the pandemic, as well as in the milestones of his mandate at the head of the ULPGC.
In this sense, the rector pointed out that “the transfer of face-to-face teaching institutions to the virtual environment had never been absolutely tested, so in some way it was a leap into the void.” In addition, the ULPGC launched a dozen projects of “maximum interest” linked to Covid-19 for 90,000 euros, “being the only entity in the Canary Islands that has bet on Science in the form of projects to combat the pandemic.”
Activity has not suffered in recent months. The rector recalled that “despite the unfavorable circumstances experienced, both in July and in September the ULPGC developed the EBAU without any incident, with an increase even in the number of 1,000 students compared to the previous year, thus demonstrating our commitment to the future and expectations of high school and FP students and their families “.
Among other issues, Rafael Robaina highlighted the good position of the ULPGC in the national and international context. “Although the rankings doubtfully measure quality, we have taken care of them, we have dedicated effort in human and material resources to place the ULPGC in relevant positions in rankings such as ARWU or THE, to the point that we have a university that stands out worldwide in several areas and is among the top 1000 in the world, which is not bad for an archipelago of eight islands in the middle of the Atlantic “.
Robaina: “The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a national benchmark in university quality, a status quo that we cannot renounce”
With a roadmap that balances on research and innovation, Robaina said that “we have needed to raise extra funding” for these areas “which has been destined to enhance the fundamental axes of this activity in the ULPGC”. In this sense, he pointed out that “we have established the ULPGC Science Park as the reference center for the Transfer of R&D, thanks to our firm commitment to new resources and efficient organization.”
According to Rafael Robaina, “at the university we train for something more transcendent than the profession, we train the generation of future leaders, so our involvement goes a little further. But having said that, employment at the end of university It is important for the students and for their families who have trusted us with the training of their sons and daughters. ” In short, and in his words, “building a more entrepreneurial, proactive and connected University with its social and economic environment is possible. We are demonstrating it.”