UNICA Rectors Seminar Shaping the University of the 21st century, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The UNICA Rectors Seminar: Shaping the University of the 21st century was hosted by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28 February – 1 March 2019

The UNICA Rectors Seminar gathered about 50 Rectors, Vice-Rectors  and other representatives of Academic Leadership from 19 UNICA member universities who had the opportunity to discuss about the internal and external (re)shaping that universities have undergone and that will surely continue to experience in the future.

Despite the common belief that universities are very traditional, static institutions, universities of the 21st century are in constant transition: the Seminar addressed the challenges and the opportunities of different models of nternal and external (re)shaping: from the inner re-structuring of departments and faculties, to the complex and multi-step merger processes that many universities engaged in to meet the new political, economic and social contexts. A panel discussion was also devoted to the European universities initiative, which calls for higher education institutions to adopt new, innovative ways of organising their international & strategic cooperation and has made a discussion on the pros and cons of different structural and organisational changes even more necessary.

The discussions focused on the following topics:  

  • The different strategies and models for the internal re-structuring of universities
  • The challenges and opportunities of the merger processes
  • Transnational Campuses: towards a European University

Target audience:

Rectors/Presidents, ViceRectors/Vice-Presidents, other representatives of academic leadership & university top management


Download the programme


Key note speech: Reforms and alliances in European university systems, by José Manuel PINGARRON CARRAZON, Secretary General of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Research, former Vice-Rector for Knowledge Transference, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Session 1: Internal re-structuring: Faculties, Departments and Government units. Centralized or decentralized model?

Restructuring departments at UCM, by Juan TEJADA, Vice-Rector for Planning and Institutional Evaluation, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The challenges of university internal restructuring, by Ivanka POPOVIC, Rector, University of Belgrade

Shuffling Domains and Fusing Faculties, by Philippe MOREILLON, Professor Emeritus, former Vice-Rector, University of Lausanne 

Collaboration and structure at the University of Edinburgh, by James SMITH, Vice-Principal International, University of Edinburgh

Session 2: Merging of universities: challenges, risks and opportunities

Mergers & change management in universities – a European overview, by Enora BENNETOT PRUVOT, Deputy Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development, EUA 

Building a World-class Comprehensive University, by Véronique PERDEREAU, Vice-President for Europe, Sorbonne University 

The merger process at the University of Lisbon, by Joao BARREIROS, Vice-Rector, Universidade de Lisboa 

Tallinn University – The biggest merging project in higher education in Estonia, by Tiit LAND, Rector, Tallinn University 

Session 3: Transnational Campuses: towards a European University 

Keynote speech: European Universities. Building the universities of the future, by Vanessa DEBIAIS-SANTON, Head of the Higher Education Unit, DG EA 

Presentation by Carmela Calés, Chancellor of Internationalization, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 

List of participants

Download the list of participants 

Biographies and abstracts of speakers and chairs


Should you have any questions, please contac Laura Brossico (UNICA Secretariat): office@unica-network.eu.Dates: Thursday, 28 February, 2019 to Friday, 1 March, 2019

UNICA Rectors Seminar Shaping the University of the 21st century, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Rectorate Building, Avenida de Séneca 2, Madrid