The diverse university with social commitment is the designer of the future
July 27, 2022

Begoña Gómez Fernández , director of the extraordinary chair of Competitive Social Transformation ; Joaquín Goyache , rector of the Complutense University , and Juan Carlos Doadrio , vice-rector for Institutional Relations , have agreed that an inclusive and diverse university is not only an ethical and necessary obligation, but is also stronger, transforms the world and designs the future . This was expressed in the inaugural session of the course “The management of diversity in work environments: Training in skills, commitment to the 2030 agenda” .

Before an international audience (Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Spain), the three speakers have highlighted the relevant role that the university has in social transformation and in achieving the SDGs . Begoña Gómez has added to the equation the participation of companies, fundamentally SMEs that “represent 99% of the business fabric of our country”.

For the head of the extraordinary chair, companies must move away from the extractivist economy “which has led us to collapse” and seek another way of doing economy, for which it is essential to work “side by side” with the university . From this result, from this alliance, it is necessary to ensure that the social commitment spreads across all the departments of the companies and not that it remains compartmentalized in just one.

According to Gómez Fernández, “companies can be indifferent or they can act”, and the European Commission has already warned that indifference does not imply any competitive advantage that will make them last over time . In fact, according to the speaker, investments are directed more and more to companies that are socially responsible, because “ sustainability is listed on the stock market ”. It is a trend that will probably deepen over time, since today “76% of young people are committed to working in companies that incorporate equality, inclusion and diversity policies”.

The rector Joaquín Goyache has stressed that a public university , and especially one that includes practically all areas of knowledge, such as the Complutense, does not differ much in the social aspect from what it should do in a company. Although it is true that the university goes further, because it is based on four main pillars . On the one hand, obviously, training , followed by research , transfer and, finally, social commitment.. For this reason, the UCM trains “great professors and researchers, but also responsible and committed citizens”, although it may be done in a “somewhat fragmented way, with many scattered initiatives that should be unified”.

He ratifies the words of the rector, vice- rector Juan Carlos Doadrio , who also recalls that ” the results accounts of the public university are made with society, not with a bank or a vulture fund .” He adds that apart from knowing everything that is done at the Complutense, in the social aspect, to support it, it would be very positive to start making it known to the university community itself through conferences and exhibitions.

Goyache concludes by acknowledging that the university “is a pole for attracting talent from all social classes , and also that talent, students and researchers, are the ones who are going to develop the SDGs in a forceful way .” This objective “forces the university to be better so that society can be better”.