Dec. 3, 2021


José Muñiz Fernández

Spain

José Muñiz Fernández

Dean, University Nebrija

University Nebrija's missions are to focus on teaching, research, transfer to society, and the transmission of culture.

What is the mission and long-term vision of University Nebrija?

The origin of the university dates back to 1985. It started out as a center of Hispanic studies for the teaching of Spanish, which gave rise to the name Nebrija, an eminent philologist and humanist. As a result, in 1995 it became a university, and that philological origin is one of our main foundations of our teaching and research, which has opened to other areas and degrees. It is a private university with a friendly style. We follow the classic missions, including teaching, research, transfer to society, and the transmission of culture. Our hallmark and values are excellence, academic, and scientific rigor. We want to awaken a passion for knowledge and continuous learning. We also want to add growth values to teach students that they have to give back some of what society has given them, and to do so responsibly and sensibly. One cannot be a complete professional in a society that is neither equitable nor just; you have to look for that balance between the academic, the scientific, and the human. We have always had value and we like to follow excellence with values, that is our philosophy.

University Nebrija offers 30 undergraduate and 30 master and doctoral programs among the three campuses. Among them, which are the most in demand?

We work extremely well in terms of engineering. Computers and automobiles are the most prominent. Languages are also an important area. Lately, we have been boosting the health sciences in the Berzosa campus, in addition to bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics, in which we are making solid progress. Our challenge is to unite and attract women to STEM specialties in order to promote diversity in gender and nationalities in order to enrich ourselves. In June, we signed a smart tourism contract with Telefónica. We have a strong research group on tourism, new technologies, new destinations, and new ways of doing things.

University Nebrija has adapted to new technologies with new systems such as the hybrid education system. How was this moment of change for you?

It was extremely easy. We did not miss a day of class thanks to our applications like global campus, run by our researcher Cristina Villalonga. We developed an effective methodology in which mistakes were made initially, since the technology was not suitable for teaching. We have the adapted classrooms technologically, and we record all classes. Students prefer to attend classes in person. In addition, the biggest impact was on students who were unable to study the first course in-person. In 2021, the situation has been normalizing, and we are pleased with the progress made. We have done face-to-face graduation, a rite of passage that many enjoy. This technology has been a positive consequence of the pandemic—what we thought we would do in 10 years we did in one.

What is the difference between the educational model of University Nebrija and other private Spanish universities?

The power of technological development, having dedicated campuses and, above all, having great teachers with a great education, great students, and great means for teaching to flourish. The important things are simple. Of those who complete their degrees with us, 85% find jobs within 12 months. For those who complete a postgraduate degree, the figures rise to 87%. This is all in addition to the symbiotic relationship we have with companies. Students do internships in companies where research is carried out.

What are your priorities for the upcoming year?

We want to continue progressing on our path to excellence without losing sight of that, taking everything into account. Everything counts. Maintaining a familiar style and showing interest in those who enter and leave our company are important. What projects the future best is the past.