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Universidad Camilo José Cela
Mission / Vision
Universidad Camilo José Cela (UCJC) is one of the youngest and fastest-growing universities in Spain and in Europe. It was founded in the year 2000 as part of SEK Educational Institution and its mission is to serve society by training future professionals and preparing them for new challenges. SEK has two foundations; Fundación Felipe Segovia and Fundación Universidad Camilo José Cela, whose work is on social projects and initiatives.
Focused on innovation and constant evolution in accordance with the world of business and the reality of society, UCJC is characterised by its application of the highest levels of rigour and excellence. Its strategic axes are entrepreneurship, technology and digitalisation, social commitment and well-being. UCJC believes in developing a strong sense of social commitment in all of our students through an ethos of civic mindedness, diversity, inclusion and solidarity, which is embedded in the curriculum and integrated into student life.
There are four faculties at the university, Communication, Education, Health & Technology and Science, in which both undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered. There are approximately 3,500 face-to-face students at bachelor, masters and doctoral level. UCJC is the first Spanish university to commit to a socially aware, humanitarian and international academic education.
The UCJC Foundation (Fundación UCJC) facilitates and supports initiatives that, within the framework of education, propose solutions to the challenges of our society based on cohesion, civic commitment, diversity, solidarity and healthy living. Through these dynamic initiatives and research, the university educates its students in a transversal way, in social values. One such project is the Integra Project, which since its launch in 2017 has welcomed young refugees who have fled war in countries including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan. This pioneering programme has helped them adapt to life in Spain, learn the language, integrate into the culture and allowed them to start or resume their studies at third level, through full scholarships at the university.
The International Relations department is responsible for the internationalisation of the institution, which is one of its strategic pillars. It has organised several initiatives for students, such as study abroad trips, virtual exchanges, international weeks at partner universities, short-term study programmes, etc.
Curricular innovation in higher education institutions (HEIs)
La Colmena or The Hive, the first of its kind in Spain, offers various interdisciplinary modules for students to take parallel to their degree, which prepare them for the post-university world. These include Entrepreneurship, Business English, Social Responsibility and more.
Opening up higher education to society
The above-mentioned Integra Project welcomes young refugees who have fled war in countries including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan. The programme has helped them adapt to life in Spain, learn the language, integrate into the culture and allowed them to start or resume their studies at third level, through full scholarships at the university.
The SFERA Project is a collaborative space for social innovation in which interdisciplinary students from Latin American universities can work together to address challenges that involve social and environmental transformations in favour of the local or global community.
The Global Education Forum is a movement created with the aim of bringing change and alternatives to the traditional education model. Free from political dogma, it is not a “standard” educational conference, but generates enthusiasm and a will to innovate. The pandemic added a new facet to the crisis in higher education models and necessitated the assimilation of hybrid models, accelerated the erosion of traditional education and financing systems, and opened the door to the incorporation of new actors. UCJC developed a 12-point manifesto setting out our objectives in education to be used as a guide in everything we do.
Higher education's role in addressing major global challenges
The Peace Campus project is made up of a multidisciplinary team which includes psychologists, educators and experts from the university. They work on the emotional development of children and young people who are victims of or are affected by terrorism.
Higher education's contribution to sustainability
UCJC is a certified BCorp, and is growing our current sustainability initiatives, such as green energy, recycling, etc. An organic vegetable garden has been planted on our campus, to be maintained by students as part of their learning outside the classroom. It also promotes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Social responsibility within higher education
UCJC teamed up with Fundación Mujeres por África (Women for Africa Foundation) to bolster and develop the skills of refugee women who teach children from eight different nationalities in the Kakuma camp. This pioneering project allowed people with refugee status to travel to Europe for education for the first time. The project is the culmination of over two years’ work from both entities, and with the collaboration of UNHCR Spain and Kenya, as well as the Spanish embassy in Kenya. In addition to the academic training provided by UCJC, the three teachers who travelled were able to apply their new skills in the classrooms of SEK International School El Castillo to complete their professional development in teaching and education, guided by mentors from the university and the school. Together with their academic and professional training, the teachers were provided with access to support and integration schemes, with their stay in Spain fully financially covered. They were also provided with a psychosocial and emotional monitoring and evaluation plan, given their refugee status.
EachTeach is a Global Learning Community for teachers that combines online training offered from a multichannel digital platform (mobile phones, tablets, laptops) with virtual and face-to-face mentoring. The platform has been designed to work in low connectivity environments. This makes it ideal to scale up educational initiatives that until now had limited their field of action due to the lack of technology adapted to vulnerable contexts.