Welcome Speech of the Rector

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Welcome Speech of the Rector


As the rector of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), I would like to welcome you to the web page of this public institution of higher learning. Maintaining an academic tradition of more than 500 years, the USC aims to provide students with high-quality learning and research. These high standards also extend to its different services as well as to its social and environmental needs. Organised into two campus, one located in Lugo and the other in Compostela, the USC ranges over the whole five areas of knowledge: Experimental Science, Health Science, Social and Legal Science, Technical Science and Humanities. Moreover, the USC is an institution that shows an intense research activity, developed by its 72 departments, 18 research institutes and by more than 1600 researchers, all of them coordinated by the Innovation and Technological Transfer Centre (CITT).

The history of the USC constitutes a legacy we are proud of, represented in its architectural, art and bibliographical heritage, which is still alive as nowadays continues to do great service to our society.

From Galicia, our university is projected to the European technological and scientific development. Thus, its main aim is to play a relevant role in the framework of European Higher Learning Space, which is made in agreement with the Bologna Declaration, as well as to achieve closer bonds with the Latin American University community. In relation to this, it is worth mentioning that during the 2004 academic year, our university is organizing activities related to the programme The Ways of the USC in America, the already held Iberoamerican Conference of Rectors and Responsibles of International Relationships being an outstanding example of it, that resulted in the Declaration of Compostela, signed by more than 200 Iberoamerican Universities.

The USC is directly committed to the quality of learning, research and services, as stated in its Strategic Plan, by means of which it aims to project itself to the future in order to transform its present and to solve the different demands of society. The efforts made in these last years justify the existence of a Vice-rectorship of Quality and Strategic Plannig which allows for the promotion of a higher quality quota in the different fields and activities of the USC. However, it is the joint work done in our centres, departments, institutes of research and services what ultimately guarantees our progress in quality matters.

We must be aware that a new model of university is being created with the intention of reflecting the "post-industrial" world. At the USC, this model implies the preservation of the characteristic features that define our university as an educative institution committed to the transmission both of knowledge and of the innovative results that emerge from research, thus helping to surmount those results left behind by the social, cultural, economic and technological transformations. In this way, the USC aims to go on being a model for our society that contributes to a sustainable development. In line with this, this web soon became a promotor of education, research and services. Besides this, it is an excellent letter of introduction to the USC, showing its identity, its work and its projects. The different pages of this website will show you an evolving university that does not forget the richness of its history, profits from its five-century heritage, and tries to go further so as to consolidate itself as a prestigious university within the current dynamic world. In essence, our University puts its knowledge and leadership in the service of the demands of our society.

5.4. Fill in the scheme “Sand watch” on the activity “to study successfully”

5.5. Instead of the conclusion of Module 3 read the story which took place with one of the author of this book.


I will tell you a story that really happened in my life and in the life of a group of 3rd year students from the Faculty of Journalism. What is this story about and what does it teach us?

Meanwhile, I am giving just a remark to you. A teacher is a person who really wants to share students their knowledge. A teacher, as you understand now, is also such a person who is always engaged in self-education. Besides a teacher is such a person who is ready not to get offended at students, as students sometimes do not understand what messages their sentences really contain. Planning to send one message, they are sending quite an opposite one.


So here is the story. Once the faculty invited a lecturer from abroad (an expert in journalistic writing, that is in printed mass media production) for the students who have a good command in English as a foreign language. (And it was not an exclusive practice for this institution). The classes for this particular expert’s visit took place in a sport base outside the university campus and outside the town as well, so that during 3 days the students could spend some time at a resort place having both extensive experience of training and a rest in a beautiful place.

The classes were quite extensive: a lot of information and some practical activities were proposed to the students. The trainer shared her knowledge with students in a very quick and lively manner, as she wanted to cover many different topics she considered especially important for a contemporary reporter. That is why each new task, as for example knowledge about how to compose lead for a news story was followed by only one practical task and its check on the lead structure. The trainer did some critical remarks to those fulfilling it; the students accepted criticism easily and gratefully: it seems they were on the point of grasping the whole idea how to fulfill the task, but it was no time for a second attempt and so the group were proposed to switch to a new equally important topic.

A part of the material of the training course (as for example a journalist ethics) was proposed exclusively in the format of lecturing, though the lecture was really well illustrated with examples of what is right and what is wrong. The key rule of a journalist from one’s ethical behavior was formulated in the following way: “Don’t make splashes!” The rule was supported with the following interpretation: “When one writes about some event or situation critically handled, the even itself (or the situation) is under consideration, but not the people involved”. Otherwise one is not writing in this case about people being good or bad, as if one switch into evaluating participants, they will make splashes. It may be explained also with a focus on a message content: every message has its explicit (surface like) and implicit (depth) meaning. The explicit one is “I’ve said what I’ve said”, while the implicit one is “By saying this I mean that but also something else” (and it may be “By saying this I meant quite the opposite”). A professional (and a reporter is to be a professional) is to know that this implicit (potential) can always be manifested in this or that audience. If such things happen, a reporter should know that s\he can be sued for personal injury.

So it came the time when the days of this training course were over and the students had a final meeting with their trainer and also the faculty members who organized this 3-day course for them, brought them to the sport base and were regular visitors of the course just as the students themselves. It was expected somehow that the students would express their thanks to the trainer of the course. There were several students who pronounced the speeches of gratitude. Within those speeches of gratitude there appeared to be the following one: “Thank you very much for your classes: for these 3 days we’ve learnt even more than we’ve learnt for 3 previous years at our faculty”. (A pause…. Splashes…). So here is a question for you: What is it that the speaker has learnt for these 3 days of classes?

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