Tres Torres building

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Cantabria International Campus > Actions > Transformation of the campus and environment interaction
2009 – 2014 Progress. Transformation of the campus
Campus transformation

In the area of CAMPUS TRANSFORMATION, the UC and UIMP, in partnership with aggregate institutions, have achieved the principal goals in the creation of an Integral Sustainable Campus, aimed at creating a "high-value scientific-technological, architectural and environmental area which accessible and is functionally integrated with its social and territorial environment".

Firstly, there has been a significant expansion of the spaces, infrastructures and services of the ICE since 2009. The total area of the UC campus has increased by 25.7%, with 53,145m2 of additional construction. This increase corresponds to the new Tres Torres-Student Services Building, dedicated entirely to student services and housing the first Social Learning Spaces  project in Span (8,507 m2 in 2011), the completion of the new Physiotherapy School and the Torrelavega Campus Square (6,276 m2 in 2009). Other projects include the provision of research and knowledge transfer infrastructure to three of the institutes leading the strategic areas of the ICE: the expansion of the IFCA (700 m2 in 2014) at the Las Llamas Campus, the development of the Environmental Hydraulics Complex (21.910 m2 in 2011) and the construction of the IBBTEC (5.770 m2 in 2013). These last two projects represent a natural expansion of the campus, creating new university headquarters in the Science and Technology Park of Cantabria (PCTCAN). Finally, the tender for the construction and operation of the University Residence has been published (with a public-private partnership management model), while an agreement has been reached for the shared use of the residential and sports facilities by the UC and the UIMP  optimising equipment and facilities on campus.

Secondly, the CIC has given a qualitative leap in the urban planning of campus spaces based on environmental and accessibility criteria, in accordance with educational and research needs. From January 2011 to May 2012, in coordination with the City of Santander, the Master Plan of the Las Llamas Campus (C2.1) was drafted, including the Greening and Environmental Plan. Some 65% of this plan has now been completed, with 85 actions undertaken with the incorporation of the UIMP. The University Agenda 21 has also been implemented with the participation of interest groups and ordinary citizens with the support of the Ecocampus Office. An Energy Efficiency Initiative has also been undertaken with advances being made in waste separation and management. Established goals have also been achieved in improving health and safety on campus and implementing the Sustainable Mobility Plan.

Thirdly, the UC has structured the territory of the campus improving connectivity with the city, in close collaboration with Santander City Hall, by executing landscaping and infrastructure initiatives. These initiatives are designed to enhance the physical environment of the UC and UIMP campuses, both integrated within the Las Llamas Park river bed, an extensive green area of over 250,000m2, which is also the location of singular facilities within the city.

CIC has achieved its goals in providing effective and efficient services for the university community, such as the University Library meeting virtually all of its stated objectives. It has maintained high levels of satisfaction among users and developed innovative projects to provide open access to educational content. Established objectives have also been achieved in the expansion of communication networks which have seen substantial improvements. An agreement was reached with the City of Santander in 2012 for a fibre optic network connection to the UC.

Additionally, the CIC is making advances in practically all areas of the Social Campus project, one of the hallmarks of the UC. Among the specific results of the Social Campus, policies for equality and work/life balance continue to be the priority. The Equality Plan, the Concilia Plan as well as a series of activities offered through the Nursery School, together with the Children's Campus and summer camps are good examples of this.

In the area of International Cooperation and fair trade, CIC has significantly exceeded expectations, diversifying and undertaking cross-cutting activities. Thus, in addition to the design and execution of the Strategic Plan for Cooperation and Development and the Fair Trade Plan (both from 2010 to 2014), the UC has also developed a Volunteer Programme (2012/2013) and launched a series of Social Responsibility initiatives. During this period two annual reports of the Global Pact were presented as well as two Reports on University Social Responsibility, in February 2012 and May 2014. For the first time these were presented for public consultation with the active involvement of the Social Council.

Another component of the Social Campus is the Student Attention Programme. This received a strong impetus in March 2012 with the creation of the Vice-Chancellor's Office of Students, Entrepreneurship and Employability, establishing the integrated development of students as a strategic priority. These services are centralised in the Tres Torres Building. Through an integral conception of student services, the programme coordinates and tailors its initiatives, improving and diversifying the range of services provided. Thus, CIC has exceeded expected results by 25% in terms of informative actions, with the Orientation System alone duplicating the number of enquiries it attends (SOUCAN-D4.3). With an annual average of 1,000 requests taken care of by the Student Council (CEUC), the enormous effort made in providing student services is evident. Furthermore, the Inclusion and Diversity Programme has increased its number of consultation and psycho-pedagogical sessions by almost 35%.

Finally, the Campus for Employment, the creation of CISE, and the orientation provided by COIE, has produced tangible results in improving the employability and entrepreneurial capacities of students: 1,500 academic internships in companies per year (177 international), over 1,500 job offers (86% increase in 2009-2013), a 32% increase in the number of entities with educational cooperation agreements with the UC (some of them as a product of the Santander-CRUE-Cepyme programme with 230 internships in three years). These figures demonstrate the efforts being made to address a pressing social demand in this area. 

Civic engagementWith regards to INTERACTION WITH THE BUSINESS, SOCIAL AND TERRITORIAL ENVIRONMENT the evolution of this area represents a significant step forward in the aggregation of institutions and the involvement of the university in the region.

 Firstly, the CIC has continued its intense involvement in the region in terms of the dissemination of knowledge, in coordination with the UIMP, through seasonal courses. With parallel programmes of conferences, workshops and music recitals, over 28,700 people participated in 5 editions of the UC Summer Courses held in 14 locations, increasing the number of students per course (+36% since 2008). Over 70 public entities (Government of Cantabria as well as councils) foundations and private entities have participated in these events. Since 2010 joint UC-UIMP courses are being developed in the Strategic Areas of the ICE called "Summers of Excellence".  Secondly, the ICE has exceeded expectations in its actions for cultural dissemination of the University Extension activities, scientific dissemination and the promotion of artistic endeavours, strategically integrated since 2010/2011 within the scope of the Cultural Campus initiative.

In total, from 2009 to June 2014 over 86,000 people participated in these actions, an increase of almost 30% from 2008. An intense effort has been made in the dissemination of scientific advances. This has permitted an increase in the number of participants and activities as well as the diversity and impact of these actions (an estimated 10,000 people during 2012-2014). Additionally, this critical mass facilitates fundraising and allows the CIC to participate in European initiatives, such as the two editions of the "Researchers' Night" (2013 and 2014), as well as new and larger scale activities such as the Cantabria Nobel Campus (June 2012). Thus, CIC is bringing science into the streets, schools and local communities and attracting the general public to the university.

Thirdly, the dissemination of knowledge has been reinforced through the impact of university publications. The University of Cantabria Press has met its objectives with three prestigious publishing lines, new collections and new formats, including digital books and mobile applications. The number of publications has increased and new distribution channels have been set up (including its own online sales platform). There have been increasing international sales through participation in trade fairs and an English language publishing division.

One of the most important CIC programmes in terms of integrating the university in local communities is the Institutional Communications Programme, with a clear strategy and message delivered in coordination with aggregates, emphasising internationalisation and specialisation.

Since 2009, CIC has made a notable impact, both in online and offline communication, raising its profile in the national and international media, developing its own channels of communication and organising special events. It is precisely the strategic areas of the ICE that have achieved the greatest impact in the international media, including Reuters, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, France2, TF1, Al Jazeera, TVE, El País, Cinco Días, National Public Radio (NPR) in the US, The Guardian, Le Monde, or Der Spiegel. Furthermore, the international dissemination and projection of knowledge generated in the UC has been achieved through the production of audio-visual content. During 2011 – 2014, a total of 260 hours of video content was produced, an increase of 120% reaching a total of 86,000 views on YouTube.

Finally, the participation of CIC in strategic events in the region and the city of Santander, such as the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2014 the participation in the inauguration of the Botín Centre (F3.7), the launch of the UC-Empresas Forum or the Distinguished Alumni Programme ensure the awareness and recognition of CIC within the university community and beyond.