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"We cannot limit ourselves to offering technical qualifications to university students," says Professor José María Torralba.

The 5th Innova University Forum brings together more than 370 teachers to reflect on the learning and skills of university students

PhotoManuelCastells/From left to right, Alberto Arriazu, María Antonia Otero, José López Guzmán, Rosalía Baena, Guadalupe Pérez, Cristina Lacave, Itziar Vélaz, Isabel Béjar and Roberto Cabezas.

09 | 06 | 2022

"We cannot limit ourselves to offering a technical qualification to university students", said José María Torralba, director of the high school Core Curriculum of the University of Navarra. The professor was speaking at the V Foro Innova of the academic centre, which brought together more than 370 teachers to reflect on the improvement of the teaching and specifically, in this edition, on the topic of the competences of university students.

In his discussion paper, entitled "Profession as service: how to define the profile of graduate for each degree program?", he stressed that professional performance involves the whole person and "one of its most characteristic features is the service mentality". To determine the profile of graduate, he continued, it is first necessary to define professional identity: "to do" and "to be" mark two levels of professionalism: "It is characteristic of all good professionals not to limit themselves to seeking their own interest in work". In this sense, Professor Torralba presented the 'Universitas' programme, which in addition to overcoming the individualistic vision of teaching and promote the integrated curriculum, has a approach of the profession that does not remain at the level of "doing", but goes to the level of "being".

The president, María Iraburu, who opened the event, stressed that this forum is a place to share ideas and reflect on the teaching. "An excellent opportunity for teachers to reflect, listen, share and feel part of a great project", she said. He also framed it within the Education Transformational axis of the University's Strategy 2025, which aims to seek learning beyond the acquisition of content. "We are looking for professionals who add up", whose incorporation into working life is "enriching for society".

Innova Awards

A new feature of the 5th Innova Forum this year was the Innova Awards submission , which the Quality and Innovation Service will award annually to those lecturers whose projects promote the spirit of continuous improvement. From the academic year 09/10 to 20/21, more than 800 innovation projects have been carried out at the University of Navarra professor. Of the 104 projects developed in the 20/21 academic year, 9 initiatives were selected and awarded in three categories: disruptive innovation, innovation transfer and collaborative innovation.

The award for the best disruptive project was awarded to the initiative "Bringing the concept of poverty closer to classroom through online games", directed by Isabel Rodríguez Tejedo, lecturer at School in Economics. The award for the best collaborative project went to "research on historical references: a internship shared by Architecture students from the University of Navarra (Pamplona) and the UNCuyo (Mendoza, Argentina)", directed by María Angélica Rodríguez. Finally, "training Integral en Covid19", directed by doctors Leire Arbea, José Luis del Pozo and Jorge Quiroga Vila, won the award for the best transfer project .

The event ended with a roundtable which discussed the role of professors in three moments core topic in the student's life: entry into the University, stay during the programs of study and insertion into the labor market, under the prism of competences . Speakers at the session included Rosalía Baena, Vice President for Students; María Antonia Otero, independent advisor of Banca March; Alberto Arriazu, director of high school Navarro Villoslada; Roberto Cabezas, director of Career Services; Isabel Béjar, delegate of Admissions Office in Catalonia, Andorra and the Balearic Islands; and professors José López Guzmán, Itziar Vélaz and Cristina Lacave.

Alberto Arriazu pointed out that students entering universities are often blamed for not coming with sufficient skills. "This is not entirely true: in the past, a very small percentage of the population went to university. Now it has grown, and it is logical that worse students arrive... but also better ones. And the good ones are very good. They are required to bring a wide range of knowledge and we need to think about what we really want young people to learn.

María Antonia Otero spoke of the synergies between universities and companies. "It is important that they are united and agree on long-term strategies deadline. "The university can take inspiration and learn from business procedures so as not to lose sight of the objectives it has set itself. For their part, companies need to rely on universities as source for knowledge and value creation".