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2nd Conference on Quality Technical Units CIE-Aristos Campus Mundus

07/14/2014

 II Jornadas de las Unidades Técnicas de Calidad CEI-ACM

Aristos Campus Mundus (ACM) 2015, comprising the universities of Deusto, Comillas ICAI-ICADE and Ramon Llull, held the second Conference on Quality Technical Units at the Rector’s office of Ramon Llull University’s “aimed at learning from each other”, as Jordi Riera, Vice-Rector for Academic Policy and Deputy Rector (URL) pointed out.

 Barcelona, 4 July 2014. The universities of Deusto (UD), Comillas ICAI-ICADE and Ramon Llull (URL) held the 2nd Conference on Quality Technical Units, as part of the Aristos Campus Mundus project (ACM) – Campus of International Excellence (CIE).  This conference brought together 50 experts from the three universities to discuss about the culture of quality, accreditation processes and quality management.

This conference was opened by the Rector of Universitat Ramon Llull, Josep Maria Garrell.  In his opening address, he pointed out that the ACM project was born in 2010, precisely because the three universities share many things in common.  “One of our main aims was to create a number of forums to know what is being done at each university and share good practices.  Therefore, this meeting embodies the idea of progress and sharing what we do.

With regard to the “2nd Conference on Quality Technical Units – CIE”, the Rector highlighted that we must upgrade “from quality to excellence”.  “It is not about settling into excellence.  I prefer to turn that excellence into a goal to improve day after day.  We must work for excellence every day”

Then, the first roundtable discussion was held on “The culture of quality:  Present and future”, led by the vice-rectors of the three universities on academic and quality matters:  Jordi Riera, Vice-Rector for Academic Policy and Deputy Rector (URL); Begoña Arrieta, Vice-Rector for Academic Organisation, Teaching Innovation and Quality (UD) and Antonio Obregón, Vice-Rector for Academic Organisation and Teaching Staff (Comillas).

Riera pointed out that it is necessary “to strengthen the quality of our centres and universities at a cultural level and not merely from the rhetoric of instruments, procedures and protocols, which is a recurrent technocratic perversion when the ends become confused with the resources.”

Arrieta advocates “another culture of quality”, which does not only consist in reviewing the role of agencies but, particularly, in a critical reflection made by universities themselves, and the role they play in the development of that culture.

Obregón pointed to the need for a revision of the university legislative framework, which helps to instill a greater trust between the government, the agencies and the universities, as is the case in other European countries.

The morning session ended with a discussion on accreditation processes. In this case, the roundtable discussion was led by the academic directors responsible for the degree accreditation process at the three universities: Xavier Pujadas (URL), Ignacio Gómez (UD) and Mª José Martín (Comillas) and it was chaired by Alfonso Medina (FCRI Blanquerna-URL) who addressed the accreditation processes of universities degrees at their centres.

The third roundtable discussion focused on “Tools and resources to manage quality”, where the heads of the quality managers at the three universities took part:  Toni Pérez (URL), Gloria Zaballa (UD) and Juan Pedro Montañés (Comillas), and it was chaired by Pepa Blanco (IQS-SE-URL). The main contributions focused on the implementation of the quality assurance systems developed and their impact in generating systematised processes for continuous improvement across the institutions.

During the closing ceremony, the General Secretary at Universitat Ramon Llull and Secretary of ACM 2015 Association, Anna Berga, highlighted the level of consolidation that the ACM project has achieved, as evidenced in the large number of activities and collaborations that are being carried out on the academic, research and international relations sphere, among others.

Some of the main conclusions that were drawn by Jordi Riera, Vice-Rector for Academic Policy and Deputy Rector (URL); Begoña Arrieta, Vice-Rector for Academic Organisation, Teaching Innovation and Quality (UD) and Antonio Obregón, Vice-Rector for Academic Organisation and Teaching Staff (Comillas) were: the importance of strengthening a culture of real quality in our institutions, which requires the involvement of teaching staff, managerial teams, students, administrative and services staff, etc, and all those related to higher education.  

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