The university has always played a determining role in the advancement of society. In their classrooms and laboratories, the great questions that concern us have been formulated. Through teaching, research and the transfer of knowledge, the university has never ceased to offer answers to all kinds of challenges. It even prepares us to get ahead of them.
We live in an interconnected and complex world, where technology advances exponentially. Before us we have enormous social and environmental challenges that urgently demand creative, innovative and transformative solutions.
Society has always seen in the University a beacon that illuminates the path to progress.
In it, the citizens who have to lead the changes are trained. Professionals who need to continually update their knowledge and skills throughout their lives in order to function successfully in unpredictable environments. To do this, they have to complement technological skills with other disciplines of a higher order, such as emotional intelligence, flexibility and global thinking. Along with all this knowledge, the relevance of the humanist perspective, which promotes values such as solidarity and ethics, is increasingly necessary in a world that aspires to be fair, equitable and sustainable.
In addition, from their research mission, universities are in a privileged position to lead us towards societies based on knowledge and innovation. The knowledge and technology generated in the university must be transferred in a way that guarantees its acceptance and widespread use.
The university has a great capacity not only to contribute, but also to lead sustainable development with rigor, critical thinking and social commitment. The rectors, together with their government teams, are key to successfully guiding the necessary adaptations in their institutions. They promote development towards a sustainable future, which has been part of their mission.
In this V International Meeting of Universia Rectors, held in Valencia (Spain) on May 8, 9 and 10, 2023, under the slogan "University and Society" and focused on the thematic axes (i) learning throughout the life, (ii) entrepreneurship and innovation and (iii) networks and interconnection, the rectors of the universities represented here commit to:
1. Reinforce the mission of the university so that teaching, research and the transfer of knowledge integrate social, environmental and economic challenges, thus redoubling the commitment and actions towards the well-being and progress of our communities, the planet and of society as a whole.
2. Extend the learning offer to the different stages throughout adult life, expanding and making the educational formats of our universities more flexible so that they adapt to the different training needs of numerous and diverse audiences.
3. Provide our students with a comprehensive education, which includes multidisciplinary knowledge, transversal skills and values that prepare them both to integrate and shape the future labor market, and to develop and lead future societies.
4. Cultivate in our students innovative and entrepreneurial skills that increase their employability, and allow them to devise, develop and manage sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives that respond to present and future challenges.
5. Integrate global and local challenges into the research agendas of our universities; increase interdisciplinarity in research and promote the transfer and wide dissemination of its results for the benefit of society.
6. Facilitate different forms of mobility for students and academics from our universities -including geographic, virtual and intersectoral mobility- in order to promote cultural exchange and enrichment, as well as open and inclusive education.
7. Increase collaboration with other universities, governments, industry and society in general, both in teaching, research and transfer, creating synergies, complementing resources, scaling initiatives, strengthening alliances through common higher education spaces and learning together to create greater value for society.