Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Who are we?
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is a state-of-the-art technological research university based in Barcelona. Founded in 1994, it was the first university ever to run exclusively online. In June 2021, it had 77,549 students, more than 89,000 graduates and 5,159 researchers and teaching staff; and it was one of the youngest and largest universities in Spain.UOC’s research is focused on areas where technology and social and human sciences converge. The UOC bolsters its international R&D profile through initiatives and partnerships around the world and through international students and mobility-programmes. From 2016-2021, the University participated in more than 250 R&D projects and around 50 European initiatives. In parallel, it established over 150 international agreements for joint research and more than 1,000 alliances for knowledge transfer. The UOC is an established higher education institution, recognised as a pioneering and leading player in the focal context of online education. The University has a highly innovative student-centric model that has been its most distinguishing trademark since its beginnings.In response to the educational, lifelong learning needs of people, UOC’s bachelors and masters programmes provide excellence and maximise digital technology for higher education. The UOC is a worldwide powerhouse in research into online higher education while ensuring its educational model evolves at speeds aligned with cutting-edge technological and pedagogical advances. During the COVID-19 crisis, the UOC helped more than 9,000 university lecturers and schoolteachers to transition to remote teaching.
Why we are Participating in the Project
The UOC firmly believes that higher education is a universal right that everyone should be able to access. The UOC’s community is diverse, inclusive and fully committed to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to stomp out inequalities and bridge the social divide. Accordingly, the UOC adopts an equal-opportunity and inclusive approach to higher education and endeavours to provide quality higher education for all and ensure that no one is left behind.
The UOC’s online education model offers quality higher education to people that may otherwise be excluded from on-site university systems. Additionally, the UOC produces new knowledge that contributes to our societies’ progress and UOC’s undergraduate and masters programmes help students to become socially responsible citizens with a global outlook.
Our Role in the Project
The UOC’s main contribution to the project will translate into the design and implementation of an online course, which will be aimed at lecturers and university managers alike and will provide them with competencies-development opportunities and a deep understanding of diversity and inclusion in online higher education. Specifically, the course will prepare them to deal with diversity in online education environments and to create inclusive nurturing learning environments.
This online course will be built upon the unique and innovative UOC’s online educational model, so it will take into consideration the latest trends in online higher education. Its starting point will be a series of predefined challenging situations – all relevant within the focal context of diversity and inclusion in online education – with the learning activities at its core. It will be highly flexible for the participants to create their own knowledge at their own pace.
The learning resources available in the course will adopt a mosaic structure and will be presented in an attractive and innovative way to capture the participants’ attention and engage them in the learning process. Each resource will be provided with information that helps the participants to navigate within the resource, plan their work and learn how to use it to perform a particular learning activity.
Dr Inma Rodríguez-Ardura is a full professor of Marketing and the director of the Digital Business Research Group at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. She has served at the University of Oxford as a visiting fellow; at Babson College, Boston, as a visiting professor; and at the University of Miami Herbert Business School as a part-time lecturer. She is co-editor of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research and associate editor of Behaviour & Information Technology. Her research gravitates towards digital marketing, online consumer experience and marketing for e-learning and has been published extensively in scholarly journals and books.
Dr Josep Lladós-Masllorens is an associate professor of Applied Economics at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He has had several academic positions at the UOC, including Vice-Rector for Faculty and Academic Organisation and Director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute. He is a member of the Catalan College of Economists. His work on international economics, innovation processes and the labour market has been published in many scientific journals. He has also published several book chapters and books on these topics.
Dr Antoni Meseguer-Artola is a full professor of Quantitative Methods and the director of the Doctoral Programme in Business Administration at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. He is a member of the Catalan Statistical Council (Idescat), and a founding member of the Catalan Statistical Society. His work on digital marketing, consumer behaviour, e-learning and game theory has been published in numerous JCR and Scopus indexed journals, with high impact. He has also jointly published several book chapters, books and handbooks on these topics.
Iviane Ramos de Luna
Dr Iviane Ramos de Luna is an associate professor of Marketing at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. She has served as a visiting researcher at the University of Potsdam and has collaborated on a number of competitive research projects. Her research is situated in consumer behaviour and focuses on the adoption of new technologies, e-commerce and social media. The results of her research have been published in many international scientific journals of impact, and she has also authored books and book chapters on e-commerce, mobile commerce and collaborative economy.
Gemma Xarles i Jubany
Gemma Xarles i Jubany is the director of the Department of Globalisation and Cooperation at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), where she oversees the internationalisation strategy as well as the implementation of policies to widen access to higher education for underrepresented social groups. She is a PhD candidate in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University. She conceives e-learning as a pathway to access and deliver higher education to refugees and migrants. Before joining the UOC in 2015, she was coordinator of the Human Development Virtual School for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme.