Impact of the University of Catalonia on Society

It will be published in two formats: one for an academic audience with knowledge of the Catalan university system, and another aimed at the general public

The study is an exercise of at social responsibility and accountability of university activity to society and representative public bodies

The Catalan public universities analyse the impact of university activity on society and the economy. It is a pioneering initiative in Catalonia and the rest of Spain that seeks to provide extensive information on the impact of university activity on society and the economy of Catalonia.

This initiative comes from the Catalan public universities and aims to be an exercise in social responsibility and accountability of university activity to society and public representation agencies. The study incorporates the elements that expres this contribution, including the two traditional aspects that have characterised the role of universities for centuries: teaching and research (human capital training, research and innovation) and other more recent aspects which refer to the social and cultural transfer from universities to their environment and their importance to the Catalan economy. The study was conducted using data already available. The analysis is supported by more than thirty specific experiences of the Catalan public university system illustrating the diverse activities taking place in universities.

Being the first accountability exercise of this nature, the study highlights the lack of systematic data, of analysis in various fields of university activities (especially with regard to their social and cultural impacts) and of studies that compare data clustering and the level of regional interaction. In this regard, the ACUP, with this first study, aims to continue analysing the contribution of universities to the cultural, social and economic development of Catalonia with specific and more in-depth studies.

The study is published in two formats. The first, consisting of a complete analysis, is aimed at an academic audience and/or knowledgeable in the Catalan university system. The second format is more informative in nature and will be aimed at the general public (web portal). This format will present the results in a short and understandable form to an audience not specialised in university matters. The study has an Advisory Board which helped with the orientation and methodology used. The Advisory Board consists of experts in different fields of study. In addition, it has been reviewed by a Committee of Representatives from each ACUP member university. The study will be publicly presented in February 2011 in Barcelona and aims to include conclusions and recommendations arising from the OECD study in the framework of the Higher Education in Regional and City Development programme.