i. Current situation

The Universities of Gerona and the Balearic Islands have a clear international and networking approach, reinforced in this project by the presence of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). In the case of the UIB, the geographical location of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Island and hence the UIB too, and its multi-insular nature, which also affects the UIB campus, has promoted the development of communications on two levels: On the one hand, through the use of ICT in teaching and communications in general and, on the other hand, on an institutional level, promoting participation in university networks and aiming for the creation of links and alliances with other institutions, thus transforming what could have been a potential weakness into an opportunity for strengthening. In the case of the UdG, in accordance with the 2008-13 Strategic Plan, internationalisation is one of the essential factors of the university’s vision. In both institutions, the transversal focus area of internationalisation leads to an opening of the university to generate and transmit knowledge within a global framework and its enrichment with the exchange of people and ideas. This exchange is essential in the fields of teaching, research and innovation and thus it is reflected in the UdG’s strategic plan, which states that UdG researchers must network with other researchers and research groups and must create the necessary alliances in order to be able to work at the cutting edge of knowledge and generate emerging ideas that value human capital.

This approach of networking and creating alliances is firmly rooted in both universities, as many of their current researchers have developed part of their academic work in collaboration with groups in other universities. In the case of the UIB, 46% of its 2010 international ISI publications were in collaboration with researchers from other countries. According to the SCImago 2010 ranking, the UIB holds second position among Spanish universities with regard to international co-authorship publications, only surpassed by the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). In the case of the UdG, this aim is materialised in the acknowledgment by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia of a large number of inter-university research groups, in the significant number of PhD theses co-supervised by doctors from two universities, in a large number of inter-university Master’s , including two Erasmus Mundus, in the research projects coordinated with other Spanish universities, in European mobility projects (Marie Curie, IRSES, etc.) which are coordinated by the UdG or in which takes part in, or in networks such as the Computational Theoretical Chemistry reference network in R&D&I. At the UIB, in addition to European mobility projects and the research projects of the VII Framework Programme, the consolidated research collaboration with the Max Planck Institute in Hanover (Memorandum of Understanding-GEO600 project) and setting up an international Max Planck Centre by the IFISC Institute (UIB-CSIC) with the Max Planck Institute in Dresden should be highlighted. The UIB also has the only Spanish research group that is a member of the LIGO project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) -Livingston and Hanford – USA1.

On an institutional level, the UIB and the UdG also participate in many university and institutional networks related to higher education and research on national and international levels. Both universities participate in the following:

  • The Pyrenees-Mediterranean Cross-Border Research and Higher Education Group PRES-PM
  • CRUE: Spanish University Rectors Conference
  • INTUR: Inter-university postgrad tourism network, set up in 2007 and consisting of 14 Spanish universities with postgrad tourism courses. The 19th meeting of the INTUR network was held in 2010 at the UIB; its aim was to promote new academic cooperation projects between universities belonging to the network within the scope of undergraduate and postgrad tourism courses. The UIB offers a Master’s in Tourism Management and Planning within this network, which is one of the teaching resources of the CISTA for this project.
  • Vives  Network:  This  consists  of  21  universities  in  Catalonia,  the  Community  of Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Northern Catalonia (Perpignan) and Andorra and it is based on geographical as well as common historical, cultural and linguistic links.
  • Universia: This is a university cooperation network between Spanish and Portuguese speaking institutions
  • EUA: The European University Association
  • AUIP: Postgrad Iberian American University Association
  • EAIE: European Association for International Education
  • EPUF: EuroMed Permanent University Forum
  • New participations in networks and international associations, such as the recently created Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) in which the UdG and the UIB are founding members.

In addition, the UIB is also very involved in the Euro-Mediterranean area and its expansion to Latin America, participating in the following:

  • EGSG: European Graduate Studies.
  • Group Université Euro-méditerranée-Théthys:   A   new   international   cooperation concept based on sharing knowledge and skills between the participating universities, all of which are from the Euro-Mediterranean region.
  • CINDA:  The  Inter-University  Development  Centre,  a  group  comprising  important European and Latin American universities, which has just signed an agreement in 2011 with the e-MTA Campus.
  • ORION Association: A network of universities and NGOs operating in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, which has also just signed a global agreement in 2011 with the e-MTA Campus.
  • RETI agreement: network of insular territories

The UdG is also very involved in the Europe-Mediterranean region and the Eurodistrict. Some specific examples being the following:

  • Eurodistrict,  in  which  the  UdG  and  the  University  of  Perpignan  have  extensively worked and that has resulted in the recently signed cross-border agreement. Different cross-border conferences on the management of natural resources, sustainable development, local administration and health management have been held, with more than 150 participants from both territories.
  • Several INTERREG projects (mentioned below), in which we can highlight a project between the UdG and the UPVD, and the creation of the Catalan Cross-Border Euroinstitute, with the aim of becoming a reference centre, contributing to the progress of the region in all its possible dimensions.
  • TEMPUS   Project.   During   the   2009-2011   period,   UdG   has   participated   in the Competence – Matching competences in higher education and economy: From competence catalogue to strategy and curriculum development project, coordinated by the University of Zenica, Bosnia –Herzegovina and is currently taking part in four other projects, as explained below.
  • Compostela Group of Universities: A network of European universities with more than 70 members.
  • European Access Network: A European network with the aim of offering access to higher education by social groups that are underrepresented in the University for reasons of gender, race, nationality, age, etc.
  • ATLAS: Association for Tourism and Leisure Education
  • ACUP: Catalan Association of Public Universities

The UIB also participates in:

  • G9 Group: An association of 9 Spanish public universities, unique in their respective autonomous communities. One of the actions planned in this e-MTA Campus is the capital increase of the company UNIVALUE, set up as company for evaluating research results within the framework of the G9 Group.
  • Averroes Programme, a project financed by the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window, the objective of which  is  to  reinforce  cooperation  between  higher  education  institutions  in  the European Union and the Maghreb through mobility actions for undergraduate and postgrad students, as well as for lecturers, researchers and administrative and service staff. 11 European universities and 9 Maghreb universities participate in this programme.
  • JISER-MED Project, an Erasmus Mundus action 3 project, for two years (January 2010 until December 2012). The JISER work lines are focussed on five focal points: improving services and mobility of PhD students from non-European Mediterranean countries, increasing the international dimension of the quality guarantee from a Euro Mediterranean standpoint; reinforcing good practices between research and higher education, strengthening the inter-disciplinary policies debate, increasing the participation and mutual comprehension between the various players in the region; multiplying and efficiently disseminating successful experiences of actions carried out in cooperation. The members taking part in the project are the UB, as the coordinator, and the European partners: Alma Laurea (Italy), the University of the Balearic Islands, the University of Montpellier and the University of Perpignan (France), the Spanish quality agency ANECA and EPUF. The Mediterranean partners are as follows: the University of AdelmalekEssaâdi (Morocco), the Princess Soraya University (Jordan) and the Virtual University of Tunis. The main political partner is the European Institute of the Mediterranean, IEMED, and the main partner for cooperation in higher education is Obreal. The geographic partners are the Technological Institute of Dubai (UAE), Pamukkale University (Turkey), Padua University (Italy), Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 University and the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euro region.
  • The DEFI-Averroes Project, Développer l’Employabilité dans les Filières d’Ingénierie, coordinated by the Montpelier Polytechnic, in which 12 universities from the Euro Mediterranean region take part.
  • Master’s in Euro Mediterranean relations, with the label of the Mediterranean Office for Youth, the Universities Rovira i Virgili, París 8, Pompeu Fabra and Saint Joseph in Beirut.
  • The Euroweb, Erasmus Mundus action 2 Project, coordinated by Mälardalen University in Sweden and with 17 partner universities. This is aimed towards construction and handling large systems and infrastructures, including those for software.

Moreover, in the last few years the UIB and the UdG have promoted agreements for dual Master’s and PhD, as well as agreements for co-supervision of PhD theses with researchers from foreign institutions. There are currently four joint degree programmes:

  • Dual PhD: PhD in Chemical Science and Technology (UIB), and PhD in Environmental Science and Technology of the Advanced Materials Research Centre (CIMAV, Mexico)
  • Dual Master’s: Master’s in Cultural Heritage: Research and Management (UIB), and Master’s in Arts and Humanities and in History of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (URAP). The UdG also shares degrees with the URAP.
  • Dual Master’s between the UIB (Master’s in cultural heritage: research and management) and the University of Perpignan-Via Domitia.
  • Joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s (Entirely in English): Vision and Robotics Master’s since the 2006-2007 course at the University of Bourgogne (France, as coordinator), Herriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, the United Kingdom) and the University of Girona
  • Joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s (Entirely in English): European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM) since the 2006-2007 course (Erasmus Mundus since the 2010-2011 course) at the University of Gerona (as the coordinator), the University de Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the University of Southern Denmark (Denmark)


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