No. 4 - December 17, 2014


Today I would like to raise a topic that is of special interest to all of us: the use of the English language as a medium of instruction at our university.

In my few months as Vice-Rector for Internationalisation, I regularly have to present our university programmes to the many different international delegations who visit our university, as well as explain the characteristics of these programs in international meetings which are held in other towns or countries. In these presentations and meetings, many institutions express an interest in sending their students to us and therefore repeatedly ask the question: “Which URV programmes are taught in English?”

A simple question but with a not so simple answer.

I am aware that many of you are already teaching a subject in English. I must congratulate you for this effort (particularly if you are not a native speaker of English) because I really believe that this is a very positive action.

Currently, we have several programmes taught in English:

1)    Five Masters’ Programmes taught in English: one at the Faculty of Arts (Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language), two at the ETSE (Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering: Computer Security and Intelligent Systems; Master’s Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering and Technology), and two at the ETSEQ (Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Production, and Masters’ Degree in Nanosience, Materials and Processes: Pioneering Chemical Technology).

2)    A minor at the Faculty of Economics and Business,

3)    The Bachelor’s Degree in English (Department of English and German Studies), which is  taught entirely in English.

My questions is: would it be possible to increase the number of programmes or subjects taught in English? I am absolutely convinced that the answer is yes.

In the last meeting of the CICUE (Spanish Universities Commission for Internationalisation and Cooperation) I found out that a number of universities in Spain are offering programmes which use English as a medium of instruction on a daily basis. I believe that we cannot allow ourselves to fall behind regarding this new development. Nowadays our competitors are not our neighbouring universities in Catalonia or Spain, but rather foreign universities. For this reason, we must make the most of our special qualities (territoriality, specific and unique programmes, etc.) and of our desire to share our knowledge at an international level.

Since this is going to be our last Newsletter for this year, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope that you have a joyous time with your family. Don’t let the Tió and the Three Wise Men disappear under an avalanche of red coats and hats!  


Mar Gutiérrez-Colon Plana   

Vice-Rector for Internationalisation 

>> The call for EMINENCE II Erasmus Mundus scholarships (both students and academic staff) is now open until the 31/01/2014; these scholarships are awarded to applicants from the partner institution in European Union and Eastern neighbouring region.

>> The URV is in the Erasmus Mundus project IMPAKT strengthening ties with Asia.

>> Soon the call for applications will be open for the upcoming URV's International Staff Week to be held in March 2015. The topic is "Train the trainers".
2014 International Center - Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
Av. Països Catalans, 17-19
43007 Tarragona
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Briefing session about Mobility Programs for students
On November 13th the International Center has organized the annual briefing session addressed to URV students wishing to participate in a mobility program during the academic year 2015-2016 such as Erasmus+, MOU, ISEP, Erasmus Mundus, DRAC or SICUE.
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25th anniversary of SGroup
The Santander Group of Universities (SG) Network celebrated its 25th anniversary at a joint General Assembly and Liaison Officers meeting on 7-8 November at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, one of the founding member institutions.
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The CEICS organises six days of workshops on transformative competencies
How to acquire the key competencies needed to build a better future. This was the maxim of the "Southern Catalonia International Workshops on Transformative Competencies" which were organized by the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia from 20 to 26 November and attended by over a hundred people.
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Intensive cooperation between JMU and the URV

On 6 and 7 October the URV received a delegation from JMU comprised Dr Bob Kolvoord, Dean of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering, and Dr Ken Newbold, Associate Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship.
This November, between 9th and 12th, was the delegation of the URV who attended the INU Staff Training at JMU in Harrisonburg (Virginia, USA).
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Connecting Spanish and Russian universities

The CRUE (Spanish Rector’s Conference) organized on 6 - 7 November a meeting between Russian and Spanish universities. Several delegations of Russian Rectors, Deans, researchers and professors gathered in Madrid in order to search for partners among the Spanish universities.
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Strengthening links with Indian universities

On 25th November, the Punjabi Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University visited the URV as part of a tour in which they visited several Catalan universities. The visit of the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gurmohan Singh Walia and the Dean of Academic Affairs of the SGGSWU, Dr. Kanwaljeet Singh was organized by the DGU (the Catalan Government’s General Directorate of Universities), an assistant of which accompanied the delegation. A representative of AGAUR (Catalan Agency for the Management of Scholarships and Research) was also present.
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2014 International Center - Universitat Rovira i Virgili.