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24 · OCTOBER · 2018

The Secretary for University and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya inaugurates the IBEI academic year 2018-19

On October 24th, Francesc Xavier Grau, the Secretary for University and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya, gave the Opening Lecture of the Academic Year 2018-19 at IBEI.

The talk explored the Internationalisation of Higher Education and Research, as well as the engagement to local and global challenges.

The Secretary presented an overview of the internationalization of the Catalan universities and research, with seven degrees and 112 master's programmes taught entirely in English and some research centers which are competitive worldwide. Quoting Francesc Xavier Grau, one of the key features of this internationalisation is "to work in a coordinated and collaborative way; no agent can succeed for himself without operating with the rest".

Internationalization can be addressed from the perspective of the activity of the centers, the competences, the culture of the institutions and their processes. Some of the factors mentioned to be key for the internationalisation of higher education are student mobility, study abroad, degrees seeking international students, programs taught in English, international staff & faculty, among others. 

According to the Secretary, “The universities and research centers must export expertise, improve transnational regional collaboration, support a knowledge economy, open the science, open to the world and have a global responsibility towards our society". It was pointed out that internationalising university and research only makes sense when it helps to improve the quality of the system and make a valuable contribution to society.

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Francesc Xavier Grau is the Secretary for University and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya. He is has a PhD by the Universitat de Barcelona (1986) and he is Professor of Fluid Mechanics at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. He has worked as a researcher at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics of Toulouse, at the NASA Turbulence Research Center in Ames and at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Stanford.

His research has focused on physics, mathematical modeling and control of heat transfer, matter and quantity of movement in industrial facilities and fluxes and also in the environment. In addition to being active in basic research in his field (he has authored more than 100 articles and scientific communications and has directed 12 doctoral theses), he has an experience of more than 30 years in applied research and projects with the industry. He has also been actively involved in the establishment of training programs on scientific topics, aimed at the general public, and particularly children and young people. He has been involved in the relations between university and society and between industry and society, as coordinator of the Public Advisory Panel of Dow in Tarragona.

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