Cantabria International Campus > Actions > Teaching improvement and EHEA adaption plan
2009 – 2014 Progress. Teaching improvement

During the academic year 2009/2010, the UC established the Degree language requirement, obliging all students to demonstrate a B2 level of the CEFR prior to defending their Final Project. While the UC designed the new Degree courses in line with European requirements, the University Teaching Plan was implemented, in which all Degrees include at least one English language course in its curriculum and offer various subjects in English. The university also established the UC-Vaughan Programme for English, unique among Spanish universities and aimed at the entire student body. Furthermore, an internal level testing programme was implemented, recognised by the Regional Department of Education to certify the linguistic level of students.

As a result of this internationalisation strategy, 100% of teaching plans within the UC include subjects taught in English. Since 2009, there has been an increase of 99% to a total of 89 subjects, with 19 times the number of students graduating with a certified B2 level of English.

In parallel, actions have been taken to ensure that UC teaching staff have sufficient level of English to impart bilingual courses, by providing English language training and an internal certification procedure to verify a level of C1 or equivalent. This internal quality system has permitted the university to augment the number of courses offered in English (22% of the teaching staff have a certified C1 level).

Regarding the virtualisation of teaching, CIC has contributed to the internationalisation of the UC course content through the closed e-learning platforms Blackboard and Moodle (through which over 70% of professors publish their course materials) and the open platforms such as Opencourseware (OCW) and Miríada X.

The UC has consolidated its participation in the OCW project, offering four complete degree courses and 173 academic subjects. These results have been outstanding, with over 1,300,000 international visits in 2013 (25% national and 75% international). Some 25% of the teaching staff has published their course material on open platforms. This effort has been recognised with 5 national and 2 international awards from the International Consortium of the OCW. The international profile of the UC has been reinforced through the Miríada X platform (2013) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with over 10 courses available and the participation of 84,038 students, principally from Latin-America .

The strategic decision of the UC to promote medical simulation training in Degree courses has had a significant impact on Health Sciences. CIC, in collaboration with the aggregate Valdecilla Virtual Hospital, has established a new methodology in Medicine and Nursing whereby students will use clinical simulators for their academic training at the HvV facilities. This represents a significant academic milestone for the Spanish university system.

Two strategic projects have been completed within the Post-graduate area. Firstly, the International Post-graduate Centre of the UC-UIMP, offering the first joint international degree programme of the two universities: the "UC-UIMP International Master's in Technology, Renovation and Edification Management". Additional Master's and Doctorate degrees will be added in the future. Secondly, the creation in March 2011 of the Doctorate School of the University of Cantabria (EDUC), the first centre of this type in Spain conforming to the new legal framework (Royal Decree 99/2011). From the academic year 2014/2015, all new doctorate programmes of the UC (19) will be managed and coordinated through the EDUC. There are currently 11 doctorate programmes with Mention of Excellence. Doctorate degrees of the UC are per se international, of the 490 theses presented during this period, 30% have mention of "International Doctorate" .

During this period the CIC, in partnership with its aggregates, has increased its offer of post-graduate degrees, notably its Master's in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language with the Comillas Foundation, the Master's in Emotional and Social Education and Creativity, with the Botín Foundation, the Master's in Entrepreneurship, promoted by the CISE in collaboration with Banco Santander, the Ibero-American Course in Technology and Environmental Management in Harbours, a degree programme of the UC offered in collaboration will National Port Authority, the Port of Santander and the UIMP or the Master's in Datacentre Management, developed in partnership with Banco Santander.

The international vocation of the UC is demonstrated by the number of international exchange positions available through the Erasmus+ Programme and with top universities in American (North and Latin America) and Asia. A balanced mobility policy has been implemented, despite the fact that more students are received than sent (Degree and Post-Graduates). There has been a 26% increase in the number of mobility and exchange agreements with American universities from 2009 to 2014.

The strategy has focussed on selecting partners of excellence, building solid relations with the most prestigious universities, primarily in the Ivy League (the Cantabria-Cornell Programme for Water and Energy).

The educational excellence of the UC has led to the creation of specialised training programmes at the request of North American universities, such as the "Marine Construction and Engineering Programme" for the University of North Florida or the "Hydraulic Engineering Programme" developed for the US Naval Academy. The STUDY ABROAD programme and summer courses for American students linked to the Areas of Excellence have also been carried out with great success since 2013. The number of strategic alliances with universities in Latin America and Asia has also increased, 65% and 300% respectively.