Publicador de contenidos

Back to opinion_2017_03_31_juanma-bur17

Juan Manuel Mora García de Lomas, Vice President de Comunicación

Students and university reputation

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:14:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

When talking about the universities that top the international rankings - Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge - they usually mention some factors that contribute to their prestige: long history, Nobel prizes, scientific publications, economic resources. Of course, all of these are determining factors for the success of an academic center.

In contrast, little is said about the role of students in creating a university environment of excellence. However, I think that it should not be forgotten that the quality of a university depends to a large extent on the students work . In fact, if we take a closer look at the indicators used to evaluate teaching, which is the activity that gives meaning to the very existence of the university institution, it is not difficult to recognize that the success of a course depends as much on the teacher as on the students: on their preparation, their interest, their participation. Thus, universities achieve good teaching results because they have excellent teachers and excellent students.

On the contrary, what is the use of a university with abundant economic resources, well-maintained facilities, located in a large metropolis, if its students do not find their expectations fulfilled, if at the end of their programs of study they do not manage to make their way in the professional path they have chosen, if they leave the classrooms without a solid and well-founded social commitment?

In the international, intercultural and interconnected times in which we live, organizations are highly dependent on their reputation. That is to say, on perceived quality, which is based on the real quality of their activities and is not merely the result of an image campaign.

Tangible assets are important: resources, organization, facilities. But intangible assets are also important: quality, honesty, innovation. We could say that the value of an institution depends to a large extent on its intangible assets, on the trust it manages to generate in the society in which it lives. Reputation is the quality perceived by all the people who enter contact with a university: professors, employees, parents, graduates, social environment, companies. But the perception of students has a particular weight: students are at the center of university activity. The university is for them. That is why it is interesting to know their perspective.

With these ideas as a backdrop, 45 experts from around the world are meeting in Pamplona these days quotation to discuss the reputation of the university from the student's perspective. The speakers will try to answer questions of great interest What are the expectations of students What do they specifically expect from a professor What does the reputation of a university consist of from their point of view How much do they value social and environmental commitment Do they use rankings?

Pamplona has good conditions to host a congress on university reputation. It is a human-sized city, with quality of life, excellent public services, an enviable natural environment and high levels of security. It also has three prestigious universities. Pamplona is and can continue to be in the future a university city, a magnet that continues to attract talent from all over the world to study, to research and perhaps to stay, to undertake and innovate. It is worth making an effort to understand the expectations and perceptions of this budding talent.