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The national leadership of Navarra's university system


Published in

Diario de Navarra and Diario de Noticias

Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero


Ramon Gonzalo

President of the Public University of Navarra (UPNA)

Last week, the media echoed the annual report of the Foundation knowledge and development (CyD) which, for the first time, places Navarra's university system at the top of the Spanish communities. The report is based on dozens of objective indicators and can be consulted at

After 15 months of pandemic, in which the bad news concerning people's health and the Economics of many families have been too frequent, we value very positively encouraging information, such as the C&D ranking. In Navarre, which does not have a large domestic market or the most valuable raw materials, progress will necessarily be linked to talent, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. A high quality university system enhances these key elements to guarantee our social and economic development in a very competitive environment.

There are 89 universities in Spain and they are all striving to improve their teaching, research and transfer activities. Navarre's universities have positioned themselves as national leaders, but, far from any complacency, we are obliged to analyze what more we must do so that Navarre continues to lead the ranking of university performance of the Spanish communities. After a calm analysis, we believe it is important to strengthen five aspects that, in our opinion, explain the privileged position we have reached.

Give priority to the training of the student body. The integral training of the student body is crucial to achieve academic, professional and civic competencies, which are necessary for the development of their identity, citizenship and professionalism. This year has been complex, but the firm commitment of both universities to face-to-face attendance, which has demanded the maximum commitment of the entire university community, has been and will be core topic for future graduates.

Research to solve people's problems. The research is one of the basic pillars of development of any society. The Spanish university develops 70% of the research carried out in our country. The status that we have experienced with COVID-19 has highlighted the relevance of science and the need to make a firm commitment to research. In our case, Navarra's universities - its Schools and research centers - are at the forefront in many areas of knowledge and are prepared to increase their already relevant scientific production.

To generate a stable and lasting environment for partnership . Without ignoring the difficulties of any cooperation process, we are convinced that this is one of the great pillars on which the development and the future of Navarra are based. Two universities, the UPNA and the UN, complementary, non-profit and that promote shared initiatives in different fields. We have been working together for many years now, in pursuit of an efficient use of existing resources and with the determination to obtain results that will allow us to keep Navarra at the forefront of quality of life, which necessarily requires also promoting social cohesion.

promote the internationalization. The report COTEC has recently been presented, with the degree scroll "Map of Talent in Spain 2020". That report concludes that Navarra is the second Spanish region in its capacity to facilitate, attract, grow and retain talent. Several of the indicators analyzed are directly related to the performance of the region's universities. The internationalization is one of the strengths in which we stand out, but we must increase scientific talent from other countries, without losing sight of the goal to attract more international students.

Obtain stable public support. At this point, we would like to highlight the effort and commitment of the Government of Navarra, which recognizes the strategic nature of Navarra's universities. The creation of the department for University, Innovation and Digital Transformation is the clearest evidence, where university and science go hand in hand. The universities work closely with the department of University, with the purpose to promote projects and promote public policies that are useful for the Navarrese society we serve. In this sense, we are confident that we will soon achieve a new breakthrough, with a program for the incorporation of researchers with relevant public funding.