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80% of the university community believes that online training would facilitate disadvantaged social groups' access to the university

  • Over 9,000 members of the university community from 19 countries gave their views on the university of tomorrow in three areas: digitalisation, research and contribution to society. In Spain, there was a sample of 1,000 university students.
  • The survey, carried out by IPSOS, is part of the preparations leading up to the 4th International Universia Rector's Meeting which will make Salamanca the global capital of higher education on 21 and 22 May.

Madrid, 25 April 2018 - The university community, surveyed under the framework of the preparations for the IV International Rector's Meeting Universia to be held in Salamanca on 21 and 22 May, does not consider that the digitalisation of teaching methods is a priority objective, coming in behind other areas of the University's focus, such as employment, the updating and training of the teaching team and the promotion of entrepreneurship. However, 83% consider online training as a complement to face-to-face teaching, and almost 40% would opt for a mixed mode of teaching if they had to start again.

In addition, 80% of university students and teachers surveyed see online training as a good way to democratise education and facilitate the access of underprivileged social groups to education, a measure that would contribute to social inclusion and equal opportunities.

These are the conclusions of a survey conducted by IPSOS, an agency specialising in market research, to find out more about the university community's opinion about the University's digitalisation, research and contribution to society. More than 9,000 university students from 19 countries took part.

Online training versus face-to-face training
Nowadays, online training is still considered to be more a complement than an alternative to face-to-face training. This is because more than 50% of respondents still see much room for improvement in their online campuses, available media and equipment, the quality of connections, the use of digital resources and the digital training of teachers.

The majority of the university students who formed part of the sample study on campus. However, 66% of the respondents in the 19 countries believe that the future of university education will be based around mixed-type study plans.

Three discussion topics for the 4th International Universia Rectors Meeting
Coinciding with the 800th anniversary of the founding of the University of Salamanca, and under the slogan “University, Society and Future”, the 4th International Universia Rectors Meeting, chaired by Ana Botín, chair of Universia and Group executive chairman of Banco Santander, will provide a forum to discuss the three cornerstones for the university of tomorrow: "Training and learning in a digital world"; "Research at universities: a paradigm under scrutiny?" and "The university's contribution to social and territorial development".

In Salamanca, more than 600 rectors and academic representatives from 26 countries will participate in debates centred on these three key topics. The discussion will also use the results of the IPSOS survey which interviewed another 9,343 members of the university community.

This global debate can help build the university of tomorrow.
The 4th International Universia Rectors Meeting continues on from the events in Río de Janeiro (Brazil, 2014), Guadalajara (Mexico, 2010) and Seville (Spain, 2005). The debate can be streamed or followed on the Meeting's social media and on its official website – www.universiasalamanca2018.com. At the end, the "Letter from Salamanca" will be published and will include the main conclusions and proposals for helping to build the university of tomorrow and to make headway towards its mission as an engine for progress and social development.

The event has the backing of Banco Santander, the world's largest investor in educational support (Varkey/UNESCO-Fortune 500 report) through Santander Universities (www.santander.com/universidades), with partnership agreements with over 1,200 Ibero-American academic institutions through Universia (www.universia.net).

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