More than 600 rectors and academic representatives from around the world, together with politicians and business people, and representatives of Spanish and international institutions, will meet in Salamanca on 21 and 22 May.

Salamanca, 26 March 2018.
Coinciding with the University of Salamanca’s 800th anniversary and under the theme “University, Society and Future”, the Universia IV International Meeting of Rectors will make Salamanca the world capital of higher education on 21 and 22 May.

The event, which will be chaired by Ana Botín, chairman of Banco Santander and Universia, was presented today at the University of Salamanca (the institution hosting the event), and was led by the rector of this university, Ricardo Rivero, president of Santander Universities of Banco Santander, Matías Rodríguez Inciarte, and the mayor of Salamanca, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco.

The rector explained that the University of Salamanca will host the meeting of Universia as part the 800th anniversary of its foundation, “which marks the origin of the Ibero-American space for higher education and knowledge. The roots of the Ibero-American university system are in Salamanca, as the first American universities, such as Mexico, Santo Domingo, Lima, Córdoba..., were founded with our statutes and follow the Salamancan model”. He also emphasized that, from then until now, every one of these universities “shares the values of the School of Salamanca, such as the defence of human dignity, human rights and democracy.”

Rivero also pledged to work together “in pursuit of the United Nations development goals: environmental sustainability, gender equality and commitment to the equitable development of the nearest social environment, commitment and university responsibility.”

Matías Rodríguez Inciarte stated that “Santander Universities’ commitment to the 2018 Universia International Meeting of Rectors represents Banco Santander’s commitment to higher education, universities and university students. For us, Salamanca means coming together, collaboration, exchange, collective intelligence, and highlighting the value of the work carried out by universities. A great opportunity to help generate common responses to the challenges faced by universities.”

In his speech, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco referred to Universia, the University of Salamanca and Santander Universities, and thanked them for making the city of Salamanca the world capital of higher education for two days. According to the mayor, “The city of Salamanca goes hand in hand with its university; these 800 years of history serve to project Salamanca and its studies and to be able to light the way to a better future from this union, the joint efforts of the University and the city,” and he noted that “Salamanca is a historic city, a World Heritage Site, but it is also an innovative city, a city of research, a modern city that has grown and progressed together with its University.”

Two days of university debates

Over two days, more than 600 rectors and academic representatives from 26 countries will discuss three key themes: “Training and learning in a digital world”; “Research at universities: a paradigm under scrutiny?” and “The university’s contribution to social and territorial development”.

The debate can be followed via streaming, through the event’s social media and its official website: It will conclude with the publication of the Declaration of Salamanca, which will include the main conclusions and proposals to help build the university of the future and contribute to its purpose as a driver of progress and social development.

The Universia IV International Meeting of Rectors will follow on from the meetings held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 2014), Guadalajara (Mexico, 2010) and Seville (Spain, 2005), and is backed by Banco Santander, the company that invests the most in supporting education worldwide (Varkey/UNESCO Report – Fortune 500) and which has more than 1,200 collaboration agreements with universities and academic institutions in 21 countries through Santander Universities, and which brings together more than 1,300 Latin American academic institutions through Universia (