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The Rector Joan Guàrdia with the new governing team . Photo / Xènia Fuentes (UB).

Joan Guàrdia begins his second term as head of the UB with the Science Park as a key element

Joan Guàrdia began today his second mandate as rector of the University of Barcelona, an institution he will lead for six years. At the inauguration ceremony, he highlighted, as one of his priority objectives,the completion of strategic projects for the city and the country, referring to the strengthening of the axis dedicated to health on Avinguda Diagonal, with the expansion of the Hospital Clínic and the Barcelona Science Park as key elements. Guàrdia won the elections last December with 65.89% of the weighted vote. 

Within a ceremony of great solemnity,in front of a full Paranymph Hall, Joan Guàrdia declared that “the right conditions are now in place to build a new reality with the complicity of the administrations that will allow us to take a leap forward”.

Among the attendants were the Catalan minister for Universities and Research, Joaquim Nadal; the president of the Board of Trustees of the UB, Joan Corominas; the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, Carlos Prieto; the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni; the mayor of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Núria Parlon; the mayor of Cornellà de Llobregat, Antonio Balmón, and all the former rectors of the University of Barcelona, among other personalities.

The rector Joan Guàrdia, during the inauguration ceremony. Image / Andreu Puig, Catalan Department of Universities and Research.

During the event, the rector also referred to the new legislative changes that universities must face, such as the Organic Law of the University System (LOSU) and the Ley de la Ciencia, which he said we have to “decipher in positive terms in order to grow”. He also renewed the institution’s commitment to the most deeply rooted university values: “Equality, diversity, inclusion, freedom, science as a criterion and knowledge as an argument”.

Afterwards, Guàrdia highlighted two priority elements: the digitalization of the University, the deployment of which must continue with the UniDigital projects, and the students as the centrepiece of the actions, that will become “the protagonist of their journey within the University”.
Finally, the rector stressed that “the Catalan university and research system is a shared and collaborative coordination project”. He said: [In] a world in which barbarity is present every day, as we see in Ukraine and Israel, the UB must keep the light permanently on to build a fairer and more balanced reality”. “Light, science and rigour: this is the path”, he concluded.

The Catalan Government’s support

In his speech, the Catalan minister for Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal, stressed that “now is the time for university policy”. “All the universities in Catalonia face an inevitable challenge for the future, which we must face together — he said —, and which must be based on transparency, on the will to build a future based on credibility. “We must be able to take a leap forward regarding the inertia that is holding us back”. He also stressed that bureaucracy and administration should not be obstacles for the institutions to “work together and move in the right direction”.

The president of the UB’s Board of Trustees, Joan Corominas, wished the rector luck and success, and highlighted the UB’s priorities as “the consolidation of the health axis on the Avinguda Diagonal, the achievement of a more flexible organization and more effective governance, and a firm commitment to innovation and transfer”.

» The event, presented by journalist Carla Turró, could be followed on UBtv.

The rector Joan Guàrdia with the delegates of the government team. Photo / Xènia Fuentes (UB).

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