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"It is time to join forces to make Navarre one of Europe's top-quality university regions".

The President also stressed that "social problems such as poverty, unemployment and immigration call for an active and supportive response".

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Opening ceremony 2015-2016 PHOTO: Manuel Castells
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The President with the president Uxue Barkos and Ainhoa Aznárez. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
04/09/15 13:17 Maria Salanova

"The time has come for the University of Navarra and the UPNA to join forces, to undertake new projects together -also at partnership with the UNED associated center in Pamplona- in order for Navarra to become one of the European regions with the highest quality in the university field". This was stated today by the President of the University of Navarra, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, during the 2015-2016 academic official opening of the academic year . "That Pamplona becomes increasingly known as a university city, an attractive destination for students and professors from many countries and cultures," he added.

Professor Sánchez-Tabernero stressed that the University is a place to dream, to work with courage, to live with magnanimity: "In our environment we always detect social problems - poverty, unemployment and now more acutely the drama of immigration - that call for an active and supportive response".

On the other hand, he referred to the political change in Navarra. "In the University of Navarra -he assured- we are convinced that we will maintain an excellent harmony with the institutions of the region: first, because we do not engage in partisan politics and our project educational welcomes everyone; secondly, because the university spirit favors this good understanding; and thirdly, because we have already perceived this same attitude in those who have been elected by the citizens to lead the political action in Navarra in the coming years".

The President spoke of the priority purposes of any university -teaching, research and transfer of services - but also defined innovation as "core topic", because it introduces a factor of renovating impulse. "Change is complicated, but necessary. And one of the most effective ways to drive innovation is to show the devastating effects of resistance to change."

In this regard, he emphasized three requirements factors for an organization to be able to effectively drive strategic change: "It must have a clear and stimulating mission statement The organization must have a clear and stimulating vision; it must have professionals committed to this project; and there must be an internal culture of freedom and daring".

10 Horizon 2020 projects

Finally, he focused on the Horizon 2015 program, which was initiated five years ago to give priority to some strategic projects of the University of Navarra and which, as he pointed out, "have had a high Degree of compliance". He then publicly presented the Horizon 2020 program, which includes some objectives grouped into 10 major projects, including social and environmental responsibility, and the search for a headquarters for the Museum of Natural Sciences.

He referred in his speech specifically to four of these ten projects: the improvement of the offer professor, with the implementation of new Degrees and postgraduate programs; the increase in the quality of the research, by strengthening the research centers and giving priority to the interdisciplinary research in areas such as Nutrition and Social Sciences; the creation of the Office of Entrepreneurship, which supports the initiatives of students, professors, researchers and alumni, from the ideation phase to the creation of start-ups; and the campus in Madrid, which has begun with the construction of a new Clinic headquarters next to which a postgraduate program building will be located.

"Emotions in social communication".

The opening began with a Eucharistic concelebration presided by the Archbishop of Pamplona and Bishop of Tudela, Francisco Pérez. After the academic parade of doctors, the ceremony began with the intervention of University Secretary, Gonzalo Robles, who summarized the most outstanding data of research and teaching of the Academic report of the 2014-2015 academic year. Then, the professor of the School of Communication José Javier Sánchez Aranda gave the inaugural lecture, entitled "Emotions in social communication".

Among the authorities who attended the event were the president of the Government of Navarra, Uxue Barkos; the president of the Parliament of Navarra, Ainhoa Aznárez; the delegate of the Government, Carmen Alba; the archbishop of Pamplona, Francisco Pérez González; the delegate councilor of General Services of the City Council of Pamplona, Patricia Perales; the president of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra, Joaquín Gálvez; the counselor of Education, José Luis Mendoza; the prosecutor of the Superior Court of Justice of Navarra, José Antonio Sánchez Sánchez-Villares; and the President of the Public University of Navarra, Alfonso Carlosena.

Also in attendance were the second secretary of the Parliament of Navarre, Óscar Arizcuren; the vice-president of development Económico del Gobierno de Navarra, Manuel Ayerdi; the second vice-president of the Parliament of Navarre, Alberto Catalán; the ombudsman of Navarre, Javier Enériz; and the president of the Chamber of Comptos, Helio Robleda.