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The universities of the A4U foster excellent human resources policies for researchers

After recently awarding Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, all of the A4U universities have been acknowledged by the European Commission with the “HR Excellence in Research” award. This recognition supports those research institutions and funding organisations for aligning their human resources policies and strategies with the principles of the European Charter and Code for Researchers, fostering attractive research careers.

The process usually starts off by creating a multidisciplinary team that carries out several consultations within the academic community. The aim is to design an Action Plan that allows achieving a stimulating and favourable working environment, which should not only attract the best researchers in the world, but also keep their talent.

More information: Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) and acknowledged institutions


The universities of the A4U reinforce their commitment to working in a network

From left to right: Jose María Sanz, Margarita Arboix, Juan Romo y Jaume Casals

From left to right: Jose María Sanz, Margarita Arboix, Juan Romo y Jaume Casals

The general assembly of the Alliance of 4 Universities (A4U) held today, 17 January, at UPF has served to strengthen the joint task in teaching, research and internationalization of the four universities that belong to it: Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).

Attending the meeting were the four rectors and members of their management teams. It reviewed the main achievements of 2016 and served to sketch out new lines of action with a view to 2017, marked by the firm intention to promote new joint projects.

Review of 2016

In the field of research, the high impact achieved so far in the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission stands out, with resources being obtained in competitive calls by the four universities. UPF stands out especially in Pillar I of the programme, “Excellent Science” with 38 grants, UC3M in Pillar II, “Industrial Leadership”, with 12 grants, and UAB in Pillar III, “Social Challenges”, with 15 grants.

Moreover, this year the IUNE Observatory has become established and become a national benchmark used by many universities to decide their future strategy. The A4U observatory conducts an annual analysis of the research activity in Spanish universities with comparative data.

In the field of internationalization, the joint work by the Alliance allowed initiating relations with the countries of South-East Asia, as is the case of Indonesia, where a mission was organized to present the academic programmes of the different institutions. The Erasmus+ mobility project has been consolidated with 15 Russian universities and 4 in South Africa, which has benefited 121 undergraduate, master’s and doctorate students.

In teaching, the joint degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics has become established after three years with a high level of demand and an entrance cut-off mark of 12 out of 14. The degree aims to prepare professionals who are solidly trained in political and economic sciences, with a significant base in moral and critical analysis thanks to the humanities’ input.

The main feature of this degree is the mobility involved, since students study the degree between Barcelona and Madrid, with the possibility of stays abroad.

Finally, with regard to communication, the new A4U website has been presented, with a revamped design and structure that is better suited to the new technological requirements

Future challenges

The meeting also lay down the lines to follow with a view to 2017, which are based on strengthening the alliance, especially in the international arena, to manage to gain visibility and attract the best foreign students.

Work will also begin to provide new joint bachelor’s and master’s degrees between the four universities, in view of the successful functioning of the bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

The Alliance of 4 Universities is a strategic partnership between four public Spanish universities. It was established in 2008 with a joint commitment to promote high quality scientific research and excellence in education. Its objectives are to improve the international mobility of students, researchers and academics, as well as to establish collaborative partnerships in research throughout the world and enhance the international profile of each of the universities.

The Alliance 4 Universities participates in the European Education Fair in India 2016

A delegation of the A4U has participated in the European Education Fair in India, celebrated in Delhi from the 30th of September. The EHEF 2016 has brought more than 100 European organizations from the Higher Education area, being the edition with the largest number of participants.

The Alliance 4 Universities has signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Catholic University of Salvador, from Brazil

Last October 6th, Jaume Casals, president of the Alliance 4 Universities and rector of the Pompeu Fabra University had an appointment with Maurício da Silva Ferreira, rector of the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL) in Barcelona. The objective of the meeting was to strengthen the ties between UCSAL and A4U in research, teaching and mobility. During the meeting, the organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the next 5 years. This agreement confirms Brazil as a key country for the internationalisation process of the universities of the A4U.

The A4U has obtained a KA107 Mobility Program with Russia and South Africa for the period 2016-2018

The Alliance 4 Universities has obtained a KA107 mobility program with Russia and South Africa for the period 2016-2018. This program aims at strengthening and providing continuity to the previous program initiated in 2015. During the program, the A4U will provide 22 scholarships to perform mobilities between the universities of the A4U and Russia and South Africa.

The Alliance 4 Universities has developed an institutional mision to Indonesia

Within the strategic framework for the internationalization of universitiesof the alliance, the A4U has developed an institutional mission to Indonesia in mid-July, aiming at establishing contact and strengthen relationships with key players in the country in the sector Higher Education, such as Universitas Indonesia, the Bandung Institute Teknology Bandung, Universitas Gajda Mada, the Indonesian Education Scholarship (LPDP) or the Ministry of Reshe coordinator of the A4U.

La A4U organiza la primera edición del EMI FORUM: Inglés como lengua de enseñanza en la Educación Superior

La Alianza 4 Universidades organiza la primera edición del EMI FORUM, el cual tendrá lugar en el Campus de Cantoblanco de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid durante los días 20 y 21 de junio de 2016 La Lengua inglesa se utiliza en todo el mundo como el medio para la enseñanza en contextos donde el Inglés no es el idioma principal o incluso una lengua oficial. ¿Qué significa esto para la experiencia de los profesores y estudiantes? ¿Es la experiencia igualmente positiva en todas las disciplinas/niveles de estudio? ¿Qué significa esto para el desarrollo de políticas nacionales y locales para incluir el inglés como un medio de enseñanza a nivel universitario? ¿Tiene un impacto en el reclutamiento de estudiantes?

El objetivo de este Foro es investigar estos temas desde la perspectiva de los países del sur de Europa y, en particular, en el contexto de las experiencias de las universidades de la A4U para la promoción de la enseñanza en inglés, un objetivo primordial en su estrategia de internacionalización. El Foro EMI proporciona una excelente oportunidad para intercambiar conocimientos y experiencias a nivel institucional, así como para coordinadores de grado, profesores, formadores y estudiantes. Para más información visite:…

Erasmus+ Call for international Mobility with Russia and South Africa

The Alliance 4 Universities has been awarded funds under the KA107 action of the Erasmus+ programme. Through these funds, students and Teaching Staff from Russian and South African partner universities and from the A4U universities have the opportunity to participate in the mobility scheme.

The Second Call is now open, until June 21th 2016. For further information click here

Publicada la Guía de buenas prácticas para la participación de las universidades españolas en los rankings internacionales

El periódico El País publicó recientemente un artículo sobre la Guía de buenas prácticas para la participación de las universidades españolas en los rankings internacionales, asignada por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte a un grupo de trabajo coordinado por el profesor Elías Sanz, director de INAECU (Instituto Interuniversitario “Investigación Avanzada sobre Evaluación de la Ciencia y la Universidad), que recibe el apoyo de Alianza-4 Universidades.

Además, INAECU coordinará próximamente una oficina destinada a dar apoyo a las universidades en el envío de datos unificados a los rankings internacionales. El fin último es conseguir un correcto posicionamiento de las mismas.

Network of young universities launched in Brussels

La red de jóvenes universidades europeas de investigaciónA network of young European research universities (YERUN) has been launched in Brussels to encourage joint initiatives in teaching and research and to promote mobility. The distinguishing feature of the network is that it consists of young European research universities – founded less than 50 years ago – which have been recognised by international rankings such as Times Higher Education, QS or Shangai.

In what was their second meeting (the first one was held in Madrid in October 2014), rectors of universities-members of the network signed an agreement committing to strengthen the role of young universities in shaping the research policy of the European Union. In addition to this strategic goal, the agreement sets out to promote collaborative research in areas of high social impact, to stimulate academic exchange programmmes for students, teaching and administrative staff, as well as to establish joint programmes at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. During the meeting Prof. Peter van der Hijden, an independent expert in higher education and research policy, gave a keynote speech.

YERUN network consists of the following universities: Bremen, Konstanz and Ulm (Germany), Antwerpen (Belgium), Southern Denmark (Denmark), Autònoma de Barcelona, Autónoma de Madrid, Carlos III de Madrid and Pompeu Fabra (Spain), Eastern Finland (Finland), Paris Dauphine (France), Dublin City University (Ireland), University of Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), Maastricht (Netherlands), Nueva de Lisboa (Portugal), Brunel and Essex (United Kingdom), Linköping (Sweden).

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