ABOUT UNIA UNIVERSITY
ABOUT UNIA UNIVERSITY
The UNIA is a Public University part of the Andalusian University System, open, focusing on graduate studies, committed to the development of its surroundings, with a will to cooperate at international level and in solidarity terms, especially with Latin America and the Maghreb, which meets with quality, quickness, flexibility and innovative guidance the emerging challenges of modern society in the different fields of science, technology, culture and arts.
The Rector of the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía is appointed by means of a Decree of the Cabinet of the Regional Government of Andalusia, upon a proposal of the Minister for Universities, after consulting the Andalusian University Council (CAU). The other staff appointments are made by the Rector amongst the Andalusian university professors: the Vice-rectors – Academic Organisation and Graduate Studies, International Relations and Cooperation, University Extension and Participation, Innovation and Information Technologies, and Planning and Quality –; the Secretary General; the General Manager of the University and the Managers of the Campuses, the Campus Directors and the Directors of Specialised Centres.
The purpose of this structure is to meet the specific needs of the UNIA, as well as its strategic objectives, either adapting the names and functions of the different Vicerectorates to the demands the University must meet – such as the most recent ones in terms of technological innovation or quality culture –, or reflecting in the University’s governance its peculiar geographical presence, by means of the participation of the Campus Managers and Directors.
The governing structure of the UNIA is completed by two collegiate bodies: the Board and the Governing Council. The Board is the representative and participatory body of the different academic instances – it includes the Rectors of the other Public Universities of Andalusia – political ones – City Councils of the municipalities hosting campuses and Provincial Governments, as well as social and geographical institutions connected to the International University of Andalusia. It is therefore a body that includes different stakeholders and represents the channel through which our University connects to society, renders accounts to it and to which is committed based on the incorporation of social responsibility principles. The Governing Council is the maximum governance body of the University. It is chaired by the Rector and it includes the other members of the governing bodies, –Vice-rectors, Managers and Campus Directors–, as well as representatives of the administrative and service staff.
• University model:
The Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (UNIA) is a public institution set up in 1994 to complement the higher education offered by the Andalusian university system. Since
its foundation the UNIA has become firmly established in the field of education, coordinated research, technological and pedagogical innovation, and cultural action, guided by inter-university exchange and collaboration principles.
The geographical location of the UNIA facilitates its objective of contributing to the intellectual, economic, social and cultural progress of its close surroundings and at the same time its international vocation turns it into a reference on terms of academic cooperation. Furthermore, its specialisation in graduate and complementary education, and on-line and distance teaching-learning processes, as well as its structural ability to incorporate a highly reputed expert and professor panel in each of its academic programmes make UNIA a flexible and agile university in providing responses to the
multiple and complex demands posed by our current society to university institutions.
Its flexibility and ability to adapt are therefore, some of its main values to face the future with hope and decision. The approval by the Andalusian Parliament of an Act amending the Founding Act of the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (1994) and a commitment to adopt Strategic Management principles and methodology (the first Strategic Plan was approved in June 2007) are some of the most recent landmarks showing the renewal dynamics and redefinition effort made by the UNIA, whose external
expression intends to be symbolised by its new corporate identity.
The new projects started by the UNIA to produce, share and disseminate knowledge take advantage of the possibilities offered by the new digital technologies and will contribute to promoting the social task of the university, allowing more people to gain
access to knowledge by means of mainstreaming those means to convey modern educational practices. One of the priority action lines of the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía focuses on this objective.
• Commitment to society:
Critical thinking, culture, sustainability and solidarity-based cooperation
UNIA’s governance model and its own activity are structured according to a series of commitments and objectives of a clear social interest. These commitments are directly related to the activation of some priority lines, such as critical thinking, sustainability and cooperation. Hereto we must underline the confirmation and reputation acquired by the project ‘UNIA-Arteypensamiento’, whose purpose is to incorporate into the university institution the debates, artistic and intellectual production, dissemination and consolidation of the works and reflections of contemporary society.
In an ongoing and structural manner the UNIA carries out an extensive and active cultural action, with the main purpose of promoting the establishment of collaboration networks both the Andalusian and the international cultural fabric by means of the
cooperation with its promoting agents. This extensive activity ranges from the promotion of traditional culture manifestations to the most avant-garde expressions. To this purpose the UNIA collaborates in the development of cultural proposals from
independent groups, organises training courses for culture management professionals and is working in the establishment of a cultural observatory that will allow for the creation of joint and coordinated policies in the field of culture. The UNIA devotes a special attention to theatre in the widest sense of the term by means of the annual
editions of the “Theatre School” held in the Antonio Machado Campus in Baeza.
Another basic value to which the institution is firmly committed is that of “sustainability”, which not only becomes a basic principle in the environmental management of the UNIA but also one of its preferred theme lines in the design of postgraduate programmes or the organisation of specific Workshops. The main instrument in order to channel and bring together the activities programmes and carried out by the UNIA in this field is the “Sustainability Lecture Room”. It includes the “Wisdom for Change” Forum as an attempt to set up an interdisciplinary reflection space, which by connecting the analysis of environmental and human conflicts shall meet the challenges society is facing with global warming.
Finally, the last important reference in the action of UNIA is Cooperation to Development within the field that corresponds to Higher Education, and more specifically, in the specific training provided by graduate studies. The university has got its preferred field of action in the geo-historic areas with which Andalusia shares not only a history that is common to a large extent, but also in those to which Andalusia feels committed to collaborate in the task of building a common future too: Latin America, the Maghreb, the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. In parallel to its general cooperation programme the UNIA has recently reached an agreement with UNESCO in order to set up the “UNESCO Chair on Interculturality and Human Rights”, which shall become an effective instrument for the implementation of actions aimed at the fulfilment of the clear commitment made by the UNIA in its Strategic Plan.
Postgraduate students from 40 countries
One of the clearest signs of identity of the UNIA is its international focus which is made true by the repeated presence of the internal community of students that follow its graduate programmes, as well as by its participation in several university networks. One of these networks, and the one in which the UNIA is more actively and decisively present is the so-called “La Rabida University Group”, founded, chaired and managed by the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. The origin of the group lies in the Cooperation Agreement signed in 1995 by a group of Ibero American universities in the Santa Maria de La Rabida Ibero-American Campus and effectively ratified in 1997 in Catamarca (Argentina). The objectives of this group are among other, to establish and strengthen interuniversity collaboration links; to promote the institutional strengthening
of universities in curriculum improvement, and economic and administrative management aspects, as well as to promote and facilitate the exchange of academicians and researchers among the Universities part to the Group.
The Group experienced a deep renovation and it is currently made up by sixty universities that have agreed on basic guidelines for their activities, among them we should underline, scholarship policy for their students in order to facilitate their
attendance to graduate study programmes of the UNIA; the calls for Educational Theme Networks aimed at facilitating the mobility and exchanges between professors from the different universities of the Group and the call of the “La Rabida” Ibero American Research Award for studies made by researchers performing their work at the member university institutions.