Premios Manuel Castillo 2015

Premios Manuel Castillo 2

El Patronat Nord-Sud de la Fundació General de la Universitat de València convoca la séptima edición de los premios Manuel Castillo sobre Cooperación y paz. Estos galardones buscan premiar la labor investigadora y divulgadora de la cooperación para el desarrollo humano, la paz y la cooperación, realizadas desde las instituciones académicas españolas, así como a través de los medios de comunicación.

La convocatoria 2015 de los premios se estructuran en 4 categorías con sus respectivos premios.

– Monografía de investigación: 3.200€

– Reportaje periodístico: 2.000€

–  Monografía de investigación inédita: edición

–  Iniciativas de cooperación al desarrollo de la Universitat de València: “Premis Lluís Vives”

El plazo para la presentación de trabajos es hasta el 18 de diciembre de 2015. Más información sobre las bases de estos premios en el siguiente enlace o contactando con

UNESCO Chairs chart new paths to increasing global and local engagement of universities

Last September 29th we participated in the 1st meeting of the UNESCO Chairs Working Group organized by GUNI. The event, held in Barcelona at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, gathered around 30 representatives of UNESCO Chairs in Education from different regions of the world. They discussed global and local impact that UNESCO Chairs have on higher education institutions. They also analyzed how to contribute to the 17 new  Sustainable Development Goals just passed by United Nations last September 25th, that aim to guarantee an inclusive, equitable, and quality education for everyone.

Read more about the meeting via GUNI press release:


UNICEF warns of a children generation deprived of schooling in Middle East

Education under fire _pict 2

Around the world millions of children are living violent conflicts leaving them both physical and psychological scars. In this context, attending to school is no longer a viable option, condemning their future opportunities and the chances of their entire nation. A recent report by UNICEF provides a new vision on Middle East and North Africa wars focusing on its impact on children’s education. According to UNICEF, today more than 13 million children, 40 percent of the affected areas’ school aged population, are not going to school due to violent conflicts in the region. This scenario differs from the situation the region held a few short years ago in which the goal of universal education was well within reach.

As a response to this situation several initiatives have been launched by United Nations, non-governmental organizations and international donors.  Some of these programs are the No Lost Generation Initiative or the Back to-learning Campaigns, focused on establishing schools where children can catch up on classes they missed or distributing education supplies. Also, e-learning tools are permitting children to study without having to travel and exposing themselves to dangerous situations. Actions on promoting schooling are essential because the hopes and chances of a generation are at stake.

A message from the Executive Director: One award, a welcome and a farewell

We are proud to share that this UNESCO Chair’s Academic Director, Albert Sangrà, Professor of UOC, received the Excellence in e-Learning Award by the Global Learn Tech Congress (GLTC). The GLTCis part of the renowned World Education Congress, a  not -for-profit that identifies best worldwide practices in education and brings educational world leaders together on a yearly basis. The Excellence in e-Learning Award is the highest honour which an individual can receive for his or her contribution, and recognizes outstanding achievements and innovative pedagogical approaches in the field of online education. The Award Ceremony took place in Mumbai (India) on July 23, 2015.



We also have to announce that Gerard Domínguez, Coordinator of this UNESCO Chair for the last 2 years will leave the UOC to undertake Master studies in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Starting in September, Albert Garrigós enters as the new Chair Coordinator. We wish Gerard good luck in his new adventure abroad and we welcome Albert to the team. The world keeps spinning, and so do we!

Emma Kiselyova

UNESCO launches a fundraising campaign to bring relief to Nepal


On April 25 and May 12, Nepal was hit hard by two earthquakes that brought about awful consequences to the country and its citizens. The first earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8-8.1, killed more than 8,000 people and injured other 23,000. The second one, with a magnitude of 7.3, killed 117 people and left 2,500 injured.

To help the country recover from this natural disaster and the humanitarian crisis it is sunk into, UNESCO is leading an international fundraising campaign. In addition, UNESCO is assessing the damage at the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley, which is composed of seven groups of monuments and buildings. The seven monuments and sites include the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. To donate, go to:

In addition, UOC (Open University of Catalonia) has teamed up with the Red Cross to raise money for the cause. The donations will be devoted to alleviate the damages caused by the earthquakes in homes, schools and health centers. The goal is to raise €1,500 and you can donate here and spread the campaign on twitter with the hashtag #UOC4Nepal. The twitter campaign will start on June 22.

Catalan UNESCO Chairs call attention to the Government with the Palau Robert Manifesto


The Catalan UNESCO Chairs held a meeting on May 6 in Barcelona to discuss the challenges Catalan UNESCO Chairs face in the economic crisis. A paper was presented summarizing the activities of Chairs in research, training and advocacy fields. In fact, UNESCO Chairs are the ones most severely hit by the cuts of the Catalan government and host universities.

One of the objectives of the meeting was to call attention to the Government of Catalonia. The regional government had been co-financing the UNESCO Chairs within its territory until 2013, when it stopped co-financing due to the harsh financial conditions of La Generalitat. To show strong concern with the government’s decision and to stress the importance of assistance to maintain existing UNESCO Chairs alive, the Palau Robert Manifesto was prepared and signed.

P.S.: Fortunately, there are some experiences of universities which know the value of UNESCO for ademica and society: this month, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is inaugurating a new UNESCO Chair on the Use of Technology for Multilinguism – TECLIN.

Lifelong learning may help tackle the ageing challenge, a study suggests


This UNESCO Chair made a presentation on ageing policy in the Congress of the Social Policy Network of Spain, held on February 5-6. The research analyzed the policies for the elderly enabled by the City Council of Barcelona and how these could be improved to more efficiently meet the elders’ needs.

The research found that older persons interact with public administration differently according to the items that shape identity. The stronger the items of identity are, the less likely older people are to need assistance. This is especially relevant in a context of budgetary constraints in most European governments.

One of the items of identity is “knowledge”, which tends to become increasingly obsolete as we age, particularly in the field of ICT and technology in general. Knowledge obsolescence damages the sense of identity and increases the feeling of vulnerability, thereby raising the likelihood of demanding public assistance.

Local Councils today have tools to prevent knowledge from getting obsolete. Public facilities offer courses at low or zero cost, many of them focused on technology and ICT or other cross-cutting skills. For example, older people can learn to read an electricity bill, which today poses a challenge to many older people who were unable to attend school in their childhood.

However, the study suggests that the Council’s work is too output-oriented and leaves the outcomes unassessed. If public sector analyzed its performance in terms of “how much the knowledge increases” instead of “how many facilities we build”, the challenge of ageing could be more efficiently met.

Therefore, public orientation should be revisited to foster not only active but also decent, skilful and sustainable ageing.

The research can be read and download here (in Spanish only).

*Slides will be available soon.