Valencia, World Capital of Universities

  • Web and Marketing Unit
  • May 19th, 2023

The 5th Universia International Rectors’ Summit took place in Valencia on 8, 9 and 10 May. More than 700 universities from 14 different countries took part in the event. Valencia thus became, for a few days, the world capital of universities, following in the footsteps of cities such as Salamanca (Spain, 2018), Rio de Janeiro, (Brazil, 2014), Guadalajara (Mexico, 2010) and Seville (Spain, 2005).

The Rectors’ Summit takes place every four or five years in a relevant university city, and it is organised by Santander Universities, the Banco Santander global division that promotes Universia, the world’s largest university network in the world.

Universia is a network consisting of 1.216 universities of 23 countries of Ibero-America (Andorra, Argentina; Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama; Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela). 

Under the slogan ‘University and Society’, more than 700 academic leaders from 14 countries attended the 5th edition of this international summit in the City of Arts and Sciences. 58 students from different nationalities also participated in the summit. They were selected from among 35.000 submitted applications for the ‘Young Leaders’ internships, promoted by Santander Universities and the University of Valencia.

Before the summit, the Academic Committee, chaired by the principal of the University of Valencia, Mª Vicenta Mestre, carried out preparatory webinars.

The Committee established three main themes of discussion based on previous works: lifelong learning, entrepreneurship and innovation and promotion of networks and interconnectivity.

The summit held many activities, in which leading figures from different fields took part; Tim Barners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web; the former Treasury Secretary of the US President Bill Clinton and Chief Economist of the World Bank, Larry Summers; the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific Research, Ingacio Cirac or the head of conversational AI research strategy at Google AI, Pilar Manchon, among others.

In addition, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez; the president of Banco Santander, Ana Botín; the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig; and many other Spanish and Valencian politicians and academics took part in the summit.

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