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UC Chile Strengthens Ties With the Universities of Barcelona and Ramón Llull

The University President Ignacio Sánchez visited both universities in Barcelona to strengthen academic partnerships and address new areas of joint work. Throughout his visit, notable opportunities for development were pinpointed.

University of  Barcelona’s Auditorium.

photo_camera University of Barcelona’s Auditorium.

On his inaugural day of activities in Spain, UC Chile President Ignacio Sánchez was warmly greeted by Raúl Ramos, Vicerector for Internationalization Policy at the University of Barcelona, in lieu of President Joan Guàrdia, who was abroad at the time.

The meeting took place in the university's esteemed auditorium, a venue steeped in history, where the dignitaries delved into discussions regarding the expansion of collaborative efforts. They specifically focused on domains such as Medicine, Law, and Education, areas that have witnessed fruitful exchanges in the past. Moreover, and explored new disciplines for joint projects.Throughout these deliberations, they pinpointed pivotal realms for bolstering academic cooperation, with a keen eye on research initiatives backed by European funding.

In addition to his official engagements, the president engaged in a dialogue with Fernando Prats, a Chilean visual artist residing in Barcelona. This interaction unfolded amidst the captivating ambiance of the Museum of Modern Art of Catalonia, where they perused an extensive collection of religious paintings dating back to the 11th century. Their conversation spanned various topics, including the artwork prominently displayed at the entrance of the President’s Office, titled "Behold the backs of he who sees me," which was generously loaned to the university, and also discussed the Parábola UC project, an artistic proposal for the Metro (subway) of Santiago, fundamental transportation of the city that transports more than 2 million people daily.

At the end of the day, President Ignacio Sánchez convened with Father Gonzalo Guzmán, an academic from UC Chile’s Faculty of Theology, currently serving as parochial vicar in the Archdiocese of Barcelona and professor at the Institute of Liturgy ad instar Facultatis of the University Athenaeum "Sant Pacià" in the same city. Father Guzmán's upcoming book, "Gracias Señor, por el dolor," (Thank you Lord, for the pain) is set to be unveiled at UC Chile. Sponsored by the Corporación Cardenal del Pueblo (People's Cardinal Corporation) and Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez, the book comprises a collection of homilies penned by Father Guzmán over the past four years in Santiago of Chile and Barcelona.

The following day, UC Chile President Sánchez met with Josep Antoni Rome, the President of Ramón Llull University. He and the Vice President for International and Student Relations of the university, Carlo Maria Gallucci, invited President Sanchez and his wife, Dr. Salesa Barja, to attend a mass in the crypt of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. They then took a private tour, guided by the rector of the Basilica, Mn. Josep M. Nurul. Afterward, they traveled to the Gothic Quarter, where they visited the Basilica of Santa María del Mar and other places of interest. It should be noted that the construction of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, by architect Antoni Gaudí, began in 1882 and is still underway. The Basilica is the greatest example of Catalan modernist architecture, and its crypt, the home of Gaudí’s tomb, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. In its crypt is the tomb of Antoni Gaudí, which in 2005 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The church of Santa María del Mar is a minor basilica, built between 1329 and 1383 by the architect Berenguer de Montagut, and has been listed as an "Asset of Cultural Interest". 

“This visit reaffirmed the recognition and esteem our university and academic community garner and the keen interest other institutions have in working with us. It seems to me that opportunities for international collaboration continue to open up, which is very important for the development of the university” - President Ignacio Sánchez. 

This meeting with the authorities of Ramón Llull University was an opportunity to analyze the state of the relationship between the two institutions, in particular their joint presence in the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU Alliance). The connections with specific areas of the Catalan university, organized as an association of thematic faculties, previously merged into a single institution, were also emphasized. These topics highlight areas of interest to be developed, such as administration and economics. The visit ended with a lunch. 

President Ignacio Sánchez said "It was very important to visit these two universities with which we have had ties for many years and a shared presence in important international networks in the area of teaching and research. This visit reaffirmed the recognition and esteem our university and academic community garner and the keen interest other institutions have in working with us. It seems to me that opportunities for international collaboration continue to open up, which is very important for the university's development.” 

University of Barcelona (UB)

University of Barcelona front.
University of Barcelona. Credits: Mister No, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The University of Barcelona is a public university based in the city of Barcelona. Founded in 1450, it is considered one of the oldest universities in Spain. It has seven campuses and a clinical hospital. Over 77,000 students are enrolled in the university, including nearly 10,000 international students. Its current academic offerings consist of 73 undergraduate and 173 graduate programs. 

UC Chile has been collaborating with this university since 2006, which has resulted in various student exchanges (56 UC Chile students have gone to UB, and more than 60 UB students have gone to UC Chile). Around thirty UC Chile professors are UB alumni. Regarding international collaboration networks, both universities are members of IAURECLA and CINDA. UB ranks 164th in the QS World University Rankings.

Ramón Llull University (RLU) 

Faculty of Philosophy of the Ramon Llull University.
Faculty of Philosophy of the Ramon Llull University. Seminary building. Credits: Oliver-Bonjoch, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1990, Ramón Llull University is a private university located in Barcelona, named after Blessed Ramón Llull. It has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students, 5,000 of whom are international students. It offers 48 undergraduate programs, 60 master programs, and 13 doctoral programs. RLU currently has 8 higher education and research institutions and 1 affiliated center. 

UC Chile has been linked to RLU since 2002 through bilateral collaboration and cooperation agreements (Faculty of Economics, Social Sciences, Law, and Communications, among others). There is also significant student mobility, with 50 UC Chile students having visited RLU and almost 80 RLU students having come to UC Chile. The two universities have also worked together on joint projects and publications through the SACRU and FIUC,  international networks. 

Since its creation, the RLU has had a federation structure that enhances the character of its member centers. Over the years, Ramon Llull University has steadily expanded its activities and incorporated new affiliated institutions. 

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