Wellesley Announces a Partnership with Universia

November 7, 2016
Wellesley Announces a Partnership with Universia

As part of Wellesley’s ongoing efforts to provide students with a world-class education and international opportunities, the College has announced a partnership with Universia, a network of 1,401 Ibero-American universities in 23 countries that serves 19.2 million students and faculty members. Universia, which began as an Internet initiative in Spain in 2000, facilitates the sharing of academic resources and provides support for member-institution projects in the areas of employment, training, and online marketing.

The agreement will allow Wellesley and Universia to share resources, beginning with 10 hour-long Albright talks that will be translated into Spanish and Portuguese and disseminated through Universia’s portal.

Representatives of Universia traveled to Wellesley for a signing ceremony on September 20.

“The Albright Institute for Global Affairs has provided a truly extraordinary opportunity for our students and our faculty to learn differently, to think differently, and to address global problems,” said President Paula A. Johnson. “So we are very pleased to begin what we hope will be a multifaceted partnership enabling us to showcase Wellesley’s distinctive liberal arts education model in new ways and with a broader audience.” 

Initial correspondence between Wellesley and Universia began in December 2011. In April 2012, Andrew Shennan, provost and dean of the College, and Joanne Murray, director of the Albright Institute, began drafting an agreement with Universia; Antonio García Padilla, former president of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, served as interlocutor.

“The partnership took a while to put together because it involved such careful thought,” said Shennan, who praised Universia’s deep understanding of what makes Wellesley unique, from our extraordinarily diverse liberal arts curriculum to the Wellesley Centers for Women, one of the oldest and largest women-and-gender research and action institutes in the world. 

Shennan said Wellesley has been a leader in the instruction of Spanish languages and literature since 1883, with a faculty that has included some of the most prominent figures in Spanish and Latin American culture. The College began offering Portuguese courses in 2013.

The partnership with Universia will give Wellesley students, faculty, and alumnae access to Universia’s projects and programs and will assist the College with outreach during the admission cycle and faculty recruitment. Universia’s resources include Miríada X, a MOOCs (massive open online courses) reference platform in Spanish and Portuguese that has registered more than 2.6 million enrollments, and an employment service that has 17.3 million active student curricula vitae and published 1.5 million national and international job vacancies in just the first half of 2016.

“Wellesley aspires to be a truly global institution, and having strong connections throughout the world is essential,” said Shennan. “This agreement allows us to connect in crucial ways with crucial parts of the world.”

Jaume Pagès, CEO of Universia, said the path and international prestige Wellesley has maintained over time provides great value to Universia and to its patron, Banco Santander, which has supported Universia since its inception.

“I am convinced that this alliance, and the first initiative in which we started a major partnership with the Albright Institute, is only the beginning of a series of projects and services which we will implement together and where Universia wants to invest efforts,” Pagès said. “Our experience of over 17 years working with Ibero-American universities helps us to understand well the needs of students and lecturers to which we provide value.”