What is your strategy based on so that the CEU continues to be a benchmark in 2027?
The mechanics of the strategic plan is very simple, the objective comes from our own foundational vision. We want to make an excellent education that allows us to form better people and better heads that lead us to a better society. The CEU has to be the reference of the Spanish educational sector due to its commitment to quality, to excellence, to values, to employability, to connection, with the social sectors, with the business world, with institutions, welfare, cultural… For an educational institution of the 21st century it is key because universities and colleges should not work for society, they should work with society. We want the CEU in 2027 to be an institution with the greatest possible educational offer. Someone who thinks about the CEU in 5 years, has to think about the global educational operator.
Although the strategy is based on 5 pillars, could it be said that employability and internationalization are the pillars?
Employability is the commitment of educators to the vital project of the young person, we do not work only to make people employable, we work to train the person as a whole. The problem we have with employability is that there is beginning to be a gap between the demand for talent and what comes out of Spanish universities.
The vocation for STEM careers is in decline. What implications does it have?
The sciences have been in decline for many years and that implies several things, but fundamentally two. In the first place, comprehensive training, that is, that the head integrates certain knowledge and forms of reasoning and for this, mathematical thinking is a key piece that confers the ability to analyze, reason and solve problems. The second is the reality of the labor market that clearly gravitates towards the scientific and technological world and is where there will be more job opportunities, of higher quality, long term and better paid. If that is the labor market, we will have to work for it and that is the commitment of institutions with a humanist vision.
One of the problems of the society of the new generations in employment is the resistance to failure. How do you work it?
We have to confront them during the degree with situations similar to those they are going to find in their professional life, which means that we have to get them to work on projects and challenges in which they are going to fail and learn to get back on their feet. We educators are there so that they know that stumbling is not the end, that falling is not the last chapter and what forms someone the most from the inside is getting up many times.
You have created the Employability Advisory Council, made up of 13 top-level managers. What does this alliance consist of?
It is a very generous commitment on the part of 12 large Spanish companies from 12 different sectors (EFE Agency, Airbus, BBVA, Cepsa, Deloitte, Garrigues, GSK, Ilunion, Mapfre, Microsoft, Randstad and Vodafone), whose head of Human Resources has incorporated into the council to work on the approximation between the talent that we try to create in educational institutions and the talent that the real world, business, professional, industrial, from the public sector, will demand in the future and, which is not always a question of technical knowledge. Many times what is lacking is resistance to failure, leadership, commitment… Every quarter there is a plenary session of the council and between every two plenary sessions certain major matters are worked on that are brought to conclusions. One of the points that we are trying to implement is the ‘entrepreneurship’ of the students, that is, when they leave the university, they must know, have had contact with or have discovered, the keys to the reality of the business ecosystem, the great consultant, of the public administration, of the judicial system…
Your students have more than 90% employability…
90% employability is something to be very satisfied and proud of, but never complacent. We are working to be at 99.9% employability and that this employability be of quality, long-term and that allows deep careers. Employability is the key that unlocks the personal project of each student.
What is your 6-year investment plan?
We have planned an investment of 180 million over 6 years for physical facilities and new faculties. A university of any type of discipline is an ecosystem in which the student can develop their full potential. A university that wants to be at the forefront today has to invest in top-level facilities.
CEU pillars. Strategy Together+
Impact on society. Train future generations by inspiring them with the values that create a more humane society.
Inclusion. The CEU is the educational institution in Spain that grants the most scholarships and study aids. This course will distribute more than 15 million euros.
students in the center. Through innovative teaching that further favors the learning of its contents.
Employability. Specific development of soft skills, an issue demanded by companies.
Internationalization. Strengthening of language programs, offering of the International Baccalaureate and university classrooms with different nationalities and origins.