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The number of new access registrations for official qualifications at the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia has increased by 6% in the 2016-17 academic year (to a total of 2,632 new students) and by 12% if total registration for official qualifications is taken into account. This increase includes all the registrations for degree courses at the UVic, UManresa, those for official master's degrees and doctorates at the UVic-UCC, the Professional Campus, students on the Degree in Translation, Interpreting and Applied Languages offered jointly by the UVic and the UOC, and the BAU, EADA and ESERP affiliated centres.
These figures were presented today by the rector of the UVic-UCC, Jordi Montaña, at a press conference that took place in the Joviat hostelry school in Manresa. According to Montaña, the registration figures this year are "especially good bearing in mind the overall decline in demand for university courses". As a result, he said that registration for this 2016-2017 academic year, the second with joint registration with the UVic-UCC, "is grounds for optimism about the consolidation of the knowledge space in central Catalonia".
The rector also highlighted the 78% growth of the Professional Campus, the range of vocational training available in the area around the university. According to Montaña, this initiative is having a very positive reception and "addresses a real need in our country".
New access registration on the Manresa campus this year amounts to 415 people, which is an increase of 12% compared to the previous year. The increase is concentrated in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Welfare, and especially on the courses in Speech Therapy (128%) and Podiatry (35%). In the same faculty, Physiotherapy and Nursing have consolidated their position as the courses with the highest demand, with annual growth of 12% in both cases. Students joining the Faculty of Social Sciences, courses in Business Administration and Management and Pre-School Teaching this year account for 11% of the total registration on the new campus in the capital of the Bages region.
UManresa has a total of 1,479 undergraduate students for the 2016-2017 academic year, 3.2% more than the previous year. Physiotherapy, with 196 new students, is the degree course with the most students. The high level of demand for these courses has meant that the number of places available is completely covered, and a cut-off grade for access has been established.
Profile of new students
59% of students joining this course at UManresa are women, although the gender distribution is uneven, depending on the course. Women are a majority on the courses in Speech Therapy (where 100% of the new students are female) and Pre-School Teaching (with 93% of the total). However, the majority of new Podiatry and Physiotherapy students are male, with percentages of 66% and 60% respectively.
37% of the students joining UManresa this year come from outside Spain - mostly from France, but also from Italy. They mainly choose studies in Physiotherapy and Speech Therapy, and Podiatry to a lesser extent. There are also students from elsewhere in Spain - the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja, the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Castile and Aragon - who are mainly registered for health studies.
Valentí Martínez, Vice-rector of the Manresa Campus, pointed out that the positive results "for registration in the last two years dispel doubts about the benefits of the university federation". He also referred to the appeal of studies at UManresa such as Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and Podiatry in the international market, and above all, to students from France and Italy. Finally, he stressed the good reception for Higher Level Training Cycle courses in Dental Prosthetics, "with a 56% increase in new access registration that has meant that the groups have had to be divided".
The UVic has registered 1,100 new access students for the 2016-2017 academic year - 56 students fewer than last year. This decline is due to the voluntary limitation on new students which has been applied to the degree course in Physiotherapy to ensure good educational care and supervision. According to Cristina Vaqué, the Vice-rector for Academic Affairs at UVic-UCC, the limit "enables us to maintain the educational model based on individualised care based on proximity that defines us". If it had not been implemented, there would have been a 16% increase in the admission of new students compared to last year.
The number of first-choice registrations was 80% this year - a figure which has remained stable compared to last year. At present, 83% of the places available have been covered and a cut-off grade has been implemented in the Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Physiotherapy and Psychology courses, which proves that these there is more demand among students than places available on these three degree courses.
Considered in terms of faculties, the Faculty of Education, Translation and Humanities accounts for 35% of total new access registration and has the most new students registered, followed closely by the Faculty of Health Sciences and Welfare. Registration in the Faculty of Education, Translation and Humanities has increased by 6% on Teaching degree courses, which is a significant increase considering that the overall demand for these courses in Catalonia has fallen by 7%. The Inter-University Degree in Translation, Interpreting and Applied Languages has been offered with the UOC for the second year, and 59 new students registered this year. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies accounts for 15% new access registration.
The Faculty of Health Sciences and Welfare accounts for 34% of overall new access registration - the same figure as last year, despite the checks on entry for students to the Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy. Three degrees, in Physiotherapy, Nursing and Nutrition have covered all the places available and in the case of the latter, the number of registrations has doubled to 43 students. This Faculty has the highest number of international students, mostly from France; and considered in terms of degree courses, 68% of new Physiotherapy students, 16% of new Occupational Therapy students and 3% of the new Nursing students are French.
Finally, the Faculty of Sciences and Technology has experienced the effect of the overall decline in demand for engineering, which fell this year by 7% compared to last year. However, the 130 places available on the courses in life sciences, Biology and Biotechnology have been covered. This faculty accounts for 16% of new access registration.
Profile of new students
If we consider the profile of these new students at the UVic, the majority are women - with 59% compared to 41% who are men. Women outnumber men in all faculties except for the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, where there are more men. In terms of geographical origin, 21% come from Osona, 13% from France, 10% from the Barcelonès and 10% from the Vallès Oriental. According to the data collected in the survey completed by recently admitted students in July, those who do not live in Vic travel to the University mostly in their own car (37%), by train (31%) and by bus (21%). This year, there has been an increase of two points in carpooling (19%) following the implementation of the Fesedit system. This is an application that connects students who have requested it, and enables them to share their journey and vehicle with others with the same timetable and destination. As for accommodation, 59% of the new students live at home with their parents. Those who do not live in student residences (11%) or student flats (9%).
The general manager of the Balmes University Foundation, Joan Turró explained the progress made on the degree course in Medicine. He announced that the University Quality Agency (AQU) received the report on the qualification last Friday, and it is now only necessary for the Government of Catalonia to complete the procedure establishing the Faculty and for the Ministry of Education to authorise the places for registration to begin. According to Turró, "the project has earned respect due to being a reality" and he is convinced that on 1 September "we will be authorised to start classes".
Turró also announced that the UVic-UCC's new facilities in Barcelona will be inaugurated for next year. The premises are located on Via Augusta, at the Institute of North American Studies, and will host the postgraduate training courses moved from the two campuses.
Finally, he also announced that next year the Rector's office will move to the Casa Convalescència, a building in the centre of Vic.