Greetings from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the UOC (Open University of Catalonia) and to Digital Universities Europe 2023 in Barcelona.
Digital transformation is impacting all spheres of activity and all societies. No one can feel unmoved by this, certainly not in the world of universities. Hence the importance of the cultural change that we are driving within our organisations, which affects not only our teaching models and internal organisation, but also the role we play in society, the economy and culture, and in confronting the major challenges of our future, such as climate change and the need for greater equity.
From now on, technology must be a key ally as we look to prepare future generations, doing so through learning and knowledge that is networked and digitally distributed, and which works in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the 2030 Agenda, for instance the United Nations' call for quality education (SDG 4).
Digitalisation must enable us to combine our unwavering quality standards with an unprecedented extension of university education and lifelong learning. Nobody and nowhere can be left behind. It is of paramount importance that we adapt to new realities, improve our methodologies and organisations, ensure digital competencies for everyone, and help all other institutions and authorities to get involved.
Ever since it was founded as an online university in 1995, the UOC has been committed to the digital transformation of education. To host a meeting of teams and universities with whom we share the same outlook on this unstoppable digital metamorphosis is, without doubt, one of the best ways to move forwards together. Welcome to Barcelona. The future starts now.
Josep A. Planell
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
About the UOC
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia) was founded in 1995 as the world's first online university. Its mission is to let technology open the door to high-quality university education for everyone, with merit as the sole criterion.
The UOC is a global, digital native university with a public mandate. It is an expert, pioneering institution in the field of e-learning, providing people with lifelong learning.
Our 87,500 students are to be found all around the world, are of different ages and have a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds. We provide official university education, based around bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctoral programmes, complemented by lifelong learning opportunities designed for people at any stage of life, whatever their personal and professional needs may be.
Also of great importance is our 100,000 alumni community, which supports and connects UOC graduate talent with businesses and employers.
The UOC was created to provide learning opportunities for all throughout their lives, regardless of their circumstances. Through high-quality e-learning we can contribute to SDG 4 for quality education, and strive to promote the digital transformation of education by helping governments, institutions and teaching communities around the world.
By definition, research and innovation at the UOC are interdisciplinary. They are also translational, carried out with the aim of helping to tackle society's real-world problems. We focus on our areas of expertise: the interaction between technology and the human and social sciences.
In our endeavours, we remain committed to open knowledge, interdisciplinarity and networked cooperation, promoting research into technology and the use of ICTs to bring about transformations in education and social equality. As DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) signatories, we also have a system for the qualitative assessment of research and its social impact.
More than 50 research groups and 500 researchers pursue their work at our two research centres: the IN3, which specialises in the internet and the effects of technology on human activities, and the eHealth Center, which specialises in digital health and well-being. Research and innovation are also carried out at the UOC's eLearning Innovation Center, its Doctoral School and its seven faculties. We also have Hubbik, a collaborative ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurship and open innovation projects.