Ada Colau fifth-most influential person in Europe according to ‘Politico’

December 7, 2016 06:59 PM | ACN

The Mayor of the Catalan capital, Ada Colau, is the fifth-most influential person in Europe for 2017, according to ‘Politico’. “The future of Spain could well rest on [Colau’s] shoulders”, foresees this renowned publication and notes that “with a referendum on Catalonia’s independence on the cards for next year”, Colau’s condition as a “popular, outspoken and independent leader gives her a powerful voice”. However, ‘Politico’ emphasises that Colau’s “vague” position regarding Catalonia’s independence, which according to the publication is “the hottest issue in the region”, “may be hard to maintain” and predicts that “she will not be able to avoid choosing sides as the debate heats up”. The ranking of the 28 most influential people for 2017 also include London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who tops the ranking, and other personalities such as Turkey’s President, Recept Tayyip Erdogan and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

‘El Celler de Can Roca’ ranked world’s second-best restaurant, down from first place in 2015

June 14, 2016 02:33 PM | ACN

Girona’s ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ is considered the world’s second-best restaurant by ‘Restaurant’ magazine. Thus, the establishment run by the three Roca brothers has ceded its crown, which it obtained in 2015 and 2013, to the Italian restaurant ‘Osteria Franciscana’. The gala event, moved from London to New York for the first time, also awarded chef Joan Roca as best chef. “This is very important, because it represents mutual understanding and recognition from chefs that I truly admire” stated Roca. Catalan restaurant ‘Tickets’, by Albert Adrià climbed from the 42nd position it occupied last year to 29th this year. Adrià was dessert chef at El Bulli, which was run by his brother Ferran Adrià and was recognised as the best restaurant in the world on five occasions.


Three Catalan business schools amongst top 50 in the world

May 23, 2016 07:30 PM | ACN

Three Catalan business schools were ranked in the fifty best in the world category, according to the the 18th edition of the elaborate analysis by the Financial Times (FT) Executive Education 2016. The three schools that received the highest scores were the Iese Business School (in first place), the Esade Business School (in eighth place) and the Eada Business School Barcelona (in 44th place). The final analysis was a composite of two separate rankings, a combination of Customised Programmes and Open-Enrolment Programmes. The Iese Business School was placed as number one in the Customised Programmes Ranking and number two in the Open-Enrolment Programmes Rankings, “coming closest of any school since the survey was launched in 1999 to topping both rankings”, according to the Financial Times. 

Barcelona El Prat Airport leads passenger growth in the EU

April 7, 2016 06:32 PM | ACN

20.4% more passengers used Barcelona El Prat Airport’s facilities this past February than in the same month last year. According to data released by the European airport trade association (ACI Europe), Barcelona’s airport leads the ranking of EU airports in terms of growth and tops group 1, which includes those airports with more than 25 million passengers per year. Dublin holds second position, with a registered growth of 17.2% in February, followed by Copenhagen (+16%) and Madrid Barajas (+15.5%). Regarding those European airports which are not within the EU, Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen is the only airport whose increase in the number of passengers surpassed that of Barcelona (24.3%). The increase in the number of passengers using El Prat is double the average growth registered for February in the EU overall, which was 10.3%. 

Four Catalan universities ranked among the top 150 schools under 50 years old

April 7, 2016 06:29 PM | ACN

Four out of the ten Spanish universities included on the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) list of the top 150 universities under 50 years old are native to Catalonia. The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) was named 12 out of 150, with Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) ranked 15th. Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) as well as the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) were included among the rankings. Though the universities are young, THE’s editor-at-large and the editor of THE’s World University Rankings, Phil Baty, cites Catalonia’s “strong sense of civil engagement” as a driving force in the universities’ growth and stand-out performance in this year’s rankings among educational institutions both young and old. 

World’s Best Restaurant award goes to Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca once again

June 2, 2015 04:51 PM | ACN

Catalan cuisine is continuing to gather top international distinctions and the restaurant run by the 3 Roca brothers, El Celler de Can Roca, is the flagship of this trend, following the path opened by Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli in the 1990s and 2000s. Each year the London-based ‘Restaurant’ magazine compiles a ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants. El Celler de Can Roca tops the prestigious list for the second time, after already doing so in 2013. In fact, since 2011, the Girona restaurant has been either the world’s best or second-best establishment, competing with the Danish restaurant Noma, which falls to 3rd position this year. As well as this, Catalan Albert Adrià, who is the younger brother of Ferran Adrià, has been recognised as the World’s Best Pastry Chef, an award created last year. In 2014, the World’s Best Pastry Chef was Jordi Roca, the youngest brother of El Celler de Can Roca trio. In addition, Adrià’s restaurant Tickets, which is located in Barcelona, is included among the top 50 for the first time.

Barcelona Southern Europe’s most attractive city to invest in, according to EY

May 27, 2015 09:26 PM | ACN

The Catalan capital is Europe's 8th most attractive city to invest in and the highest-ranked city located in the southern part of the continent, according to the international consultancy firm Ernst & Young. London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels and Munich come first in the European ranking and are followed by the Catalan capital, ahead of Madrid, which comes in 10th position. EY highlights the fact that Barcelona has attracted "enough" international business projects to confirm its place among Europe's top 10 most attractive cities for foreign investment. Catalonia ended 2014 with 108 direct foreign investment projects, a 27% increase on 2013 figures. These projects created 7,089 new jobs. EY stressed that none of the 7 cities ahead of Barcelona were able to transform direct investment into the creation of so many new jobs. London was the closest contender, creating 3,470 jobs, half of that of the Catalan capital.

Financial Times: Barcelona-based IESE and ESADE among world’s top 10 business schools

May 18, 2015 09:23 PM | ACN

The Barcelona-based business schools IESE and ESADE have been ranked among the 10 best business schools in the world according to the Executive Education Ranking 2015 by the ‘Financial Times’. For the 17th year, the British newspaper rated the best 85 customised programmes (tailor-made for corporate customers) and the top 75 open programmes (available to all working managers) in the world. With regard to the customised programme ranking, IESE came top worldwide while ESADE (part of the Ramon Llull University) is ranked 12th. As for the classification of the open programmes for executives, IESE ranked 3rd globally while ESADE was 7th. Among the top 100 educational institutions in the ranking, one can find another Catalan business school as well: Barcelona’s EADA is in 61st position for its customised programmes, and in 56th for the open ones.

3 Catalan universities and 3 colleges among world's best, according to QS and Times rankings

April 30, 2015 08:58 PM | ACN

The 2015 QS World University Rankings by Subject has ranked Barcelona’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) 22nd in the world in the field of Architecture and 35th in Civil and Structural Engineering. According to the same prestigious ranking, the University of Barcelona (UB) performs well too, ranking as one of the top 50 globally in Philosophy and among the top 200 in 27 of the 36 subject areas. Moreover, The Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 Rankings 2015 lists three Catalan universities - Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona; the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB); and Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona– among the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years old.

Bachelor's degrees to last 3 years instead of 4: new university reform stirs Catalan students' anger

April 7, 2015 06:03 PM | Valentina Marconi

In times of shrinking public funding, higher tuition fees and fewer scholarships, a controversial new university reform has been approved by the Spanish Government. The so-called "flexibilisation" of Bachelor's degrees or the "3+2" system has been introduced, provoking a wave of protests and criticism across the university community. The new reform allows universities to choose an undergraduate programme length that ranges from 3 to 4 years, abandoning the 4-year scheme adopted in 2010. Then, a one- or two-year Master's will follow. Many fear that it will devaluate undergraduate degrees, obliging students to undertake a Master’s in order to find a decent job. Moreover, as postgraduate tuition fees are substantially higher, some think that the overall price of education is likely to rise, pushing the Spanish university system towards the US model. Other arguments against the reform are: the lack of democratic discussion on the new text, the temporal proximity of the previous reform and the potential increase in disorder within the system.

Barcelona among the world’s top 15 cities regarding foreign investment, global competitiveness and scientific production

May 22, 2013 12:07 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In addition, in 2012, the Catalan capital was the world’s 5th best ranked city in the area of life quality and urban prosperity, after Tokyo, Stockholm, Paris and Oslo. Barcelona was also among the international centres regarding tourist figures, being the 4th European city which receives the highest number of foreign tourists. It is also the second best city in Europe for shopping and it is among the best in Europe for doing business, after gaining competitiveness by reducing life costs. Barcelona is the 13th world city in global competitiveness, the 12th in the number of foreign investment projects and the 10th in scientific production. Furthermore, it is the only European city with 2 business schools ranked among the continent’s top ten (IESE and ESADE).