The UB doubles the number of students from outside Catalonia enrolling in Catalan courses in one year
Among the actions carried out as part of the Reception Plan, a letter from the Rector has been sent to 1,565 students who have come to the University through a mobility agreement, providing information on the UB's teaching languages and resources for learning Catalan. Another statement has also been sent by the faculties, with more detailed information, to students who may be interested in the actions of the plan, and welcome sessions have been held in all the centres. These and other dissemination tasks have had an impact on students from different backgrounds. Of the 604 students who have enrolled in Catalan A1 level courses, 472 are international students on a temporary or long-term stay at the UB, while 132 come from various parts of Spain. The two groups of international students with the highest number of students enrolled in the courses are Germans (77), and Italians (73).
The vice-rector for Institutional Relations, Communication and Language Policy, Jordi Matas, highlights the pioneering and model nature of the UB's Language Plan: "The Catalan Language Strengthening Plan of the Department of Research and Universities already provides for all universities to have one", explains Matas, adding: "The importance of linguistic and cultural welcome for mobility students is key to making internationalization compatible with preserving the UB's own language as a university language. It is therefore the job of all universities”.
Jordi Matas also stresses that the Reception Plan demonstrates the current government team's commitment to the language and that its positive results show the students' interest. "So far, we can speak of success, but we still have a lot of work to do" —he says—, "and we will do it. As a government team, we are committed to promoting knowledge of the Catalan language and to making it present in all university activities”.
Promoting knowledge and use of the language
This Reception Plan also incorporates cultural and exchange activities that are well established at the UB, such as the CATClub and the weekly meetings for cultural activities and visits, which have maintained a similar number of participants (238 students) to the previous year. The CATClub organizes activities to discover the city and the culture of the country while practicing the Catalan language, with the help of local student volunteers and language experts who go with them. For example, visits are organized to see the History Museum of Catalonia, the Pavilion of the Spanish Republic, the Parliament, the Gothic Quarter and the district of Gràcia, among others.
Another initiative is the Language Exchange Program (borsa d’intercanvi lingüístic), which consists of creating conversation exchange pairs between a mobility student who is learning Catalan and a Catalan-speaking student who wishes to practice another language. It is a non-formal, peer-to-peer learning activity to promote knowledge and exchange of languages and cultures between students. This year 339 students registered, a similar figure to the previous year.
Teaching staff accreditation
In line with the aim of normalising the use of Catalan in the university life, the UB is also implementing the Language Plan, which includes a campaign to regularise the language accreditation of the University's teaching staff. Last year —from the start of the campaign on 9 March until 31 December 2022— 1,501 lecturers were accredited and 296 more were regularised. Thus, a total of 1,797 members of the teaching and research staff were accredited or regularised. This high number of teaching staff accredited in less than a year is unprecedented both at the UB and in the Catalan university system. Furthermore, it is very positive that, more than twelve years after the approval of Decree 128/2010, the UB has managed to regularise almost all the teaching staff who had pending accreditation.