Some 700 university rectors and administrators, political and business leaders, and domestic and foreign institutions from 14 countries will come together in Valencia on 8, 9 and 10 May.

The International Rectors Meeting will also welcome the father of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, Spanish physicist and 2006 Prince of Asturias Prize winner, Ignacio Cirac, and former US treasury secretary, Larry Summers.

Madrid, 04 May 2023.
Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and the chair of Banco Santander and Universia, Ana Botín, will open the fifth annual Universia International Rectors Summit on 9 May in Valencia, Spain. Sánchez and Botín will be joined by Enrique Graue, rector of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and chair of the Meeting’s international committee.

The meeting, expected to attract some 700 rectors from 14 countries, will take place at the "City of Arts and Sciences” (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències). Programming will kick off on Monday, 8 May, and continue until Wednesday, the 10th.

Prominent speakers include several renowned figures in science and academia: Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web; former US treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and Chief Economist at the World Bank, Larry Summers; 2006 winner of the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific Research, Ignacio Cirac; and Senior Director of Engineering and AI Research at Google, Pilar Manchón.

University and society

Under the theme “University and society”, the fifth annual Universia International Rectors Summit will become a great forum for debate. Speakers will address key matters for universities to continue being a driver of progress and sustainable growth in society.

The Summit aims to get answers, grow synergy and devise strategy on three themes that relate to many challenges society is facing and where universities can make a major difference: lifelong learning, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation; and networks and relations between universities, businesses, government and institutions.

The Summit will also host a number of parallel activities where students and entrepreneurs will share thoughts. Some will even get to meet Ana Botín for a friendly chat with athlete Pau Gasol. They will also get to make proposals and attend the Santander X Global Award ceremony for university entrepreneurs, where Banco Santander CEO Héctor Grisi will announce the best entrepreneurial projects of the year.

The resolutions from the International Rectors Summit will appear in the Valencia Declaration, which will reflect rectors’ commitment to universities’ progress in specific areas to help society move forward.

The 5th Universia International Rectors Summit will build on its previous iterations in Salamanca, Spain (2018), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014), Guadalajara, Mexico (2010) and Seville, Spain (2005). Meeting organizer Banco Santander is firmly committed to progress and inclusive, sustainable growth. Through Santander Universities, it has been a pioneer and stalwart in education, entrepreneurship and employability for 26 years, standing out among the world's financial institutions. Santander has deployed more than €2.2 billion and supported more than a million students, professionals, entrepreneurial projects and SMEs through agreements with nearly 1,300 universities across 25 countries (

The Meeting can be live-streamed on Banco Santander’s corporate website.