• The University of Oviedo officially starts its 2020-21 academic year

    September 09, 2020

    The Rector encouraged the entire university community to "begin this new academic year with courage and enthusiasm, but also with the care and consideration that our present circumstances require"

    This morning at midday, the university rector, Santiago García Granda, presided over the opening ceremony for the 2020-21 academic year, which he encouraged everyone "to begin with courage and enthusiasm, but also with the care and consideration that our current circumstances require". García Granda emphasised his "recognition, gratitude and affection for the teaching, administration and services staff for their extraordinary professionalism, and their ability to adapt and make sacrifices when it came to finishing off the last few months of the previous academic year, which were plagued with uncertainty and inconvenience". "We can now say that we got on top of that stage," he continued, "with all its light and dark moments, but we nevertheless got through it with satisfactory results. We met our main objective, which was to avoid an outbreak, and all our students got through the year reasonably well, thanks to their own hard work and support of their families – for whom we also have the greatest respect and thanks". 
    Mr García Granda noted that the plans that have been drawn up to adapt, along with the health protection protocols and the alert and infection detection systems "have been put in place and our facilities are ready to meet our objectives of protecting health and having maximum on-site attendance" – a process in which "the role of the management teams at each location is proving to be crucial".
    In terms of financial aspects, he said "it is essential for our university that the central funding is made available to our region as soon as possible so that we can get on with the process of transforming our facilities and staff. This will provide us with the resources we need to be able to deliver hybrid teaching – a combination of classroom and online teaching that is required because of the pandemic – and turn this crisis into an opportunity from which we can emerge stronger and more up-to-date in terms of technology".
    With regard to the institution's climb up the rankings among the world's top universities, as shown in the Shanghai rankings, he highlighted the fact that "we have kept on improving since 2016. We achieved this by driving forward our sustainability and transparent management policies, with one of the best scores in terms of our graduates' employability, and with international mobility figures that were unimaginable even four years ago".
    The inaugural lecture was given by Mario Díaz – University of Oviedo's professor of chemical engineering, under the title "Hell, Heaven and Process Engineering". In his lecture, the professor talked about Greek myths and process engineering, the situation and research trends, during a discourse that, as he mentioned, "is owed to a long period of work done jointly with students from degree, PhD and masters courses – and in particular, 45 doctors".
    The start of the academic year was also attended by the president of the Asturian government, Adrián Barbón, and a reading of the annual report by the deputy secretary general for transparency and data protection, Miguel Iribarren Blanco. And, for the first time during an opening ceremony for a new academic year, the university's orchestra and chorus gave a performance, dedicating it to the victims of COVID-19.