United Nations University to open in 2012 in Barcelona

The university will be located in the historic Hospital de Sant Pau area, an Art-Nouveau gem and a hospital until two years ago. The United Nations University will centre on research in education, migration, youth and the role of media.

CNA / M. Bélmez

November 17, 2010 11:35 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The first United Nations University of Southern Europe and 11th in the world will open in Barcelona in 2012. It will be located in the historic Hospital de Sant Pau, an Art-Nouveau set of pavilions that was used as a hospital until two years ago. The UNI-IIAOC Institute will promote research and training in education, migration, youth and the role of media. Today the institute is officially born. The agreements ensuring the budget and juridical viability have been signed today, as well as the historic rehabilitation of the old Sant Manel pavilion, formerly a surgery facility and now host of the institute. The president of the Catalan Government, José Montilla, said that the future of Catalonia will depend on establishing relationships with the rest of the world and that the university will be especially important for the Euro-Mediterranean area.

The United Nations University (UNU) is an autonomous body of the UN that fosters research and postgraduate education in the working areas of the intergovernmental organisation. The institute in Barcelona is UNU’s answer to the Civilisation Alliance, proposed in 2005 by the Spanish and Turkish Government.

The UNU works as a regular postgraduate college but also as a think tank and it helps the UN bodies researching on concrete policies. Barcelona’s institute of the UNU will focus its work on four main research areas: education, youth, migration, and the role of media. It will offer postgraduate courses to students from all over the world, with a particular focus on developing countries’ nationals. Grants will be offered to many of the students. The forecast is to start with one postgraduate per working area. In total, there will be hundred students across the four fields. In addition, permanent professors and researchers will lead working groups, also open to visiting staff.

The ceremony at Sant Pau

The president of the United Nations University, Konrad Osterwalder, chaired today’s ceremony, together with the Catalan President, José Montilla, and the Spanish Minister for Education, Ángel Gabilondo. Also present were Barcelona Mayor Jordi Hereu, and administrator of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Foundation, Josep Maria Turull. They presented the project this morning in an official ceremony. Earlier, the agreements that were ensuring the juridical and economic viability of the project were signed, together with the agreement on the funding of the building rehabilitation. The agreements have been made between the Catalan Government and the Spanish Government, as well as the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Foundation.