21 April 2023

Josep Maria Garrell, member of La Salle-URL and former rector of URL, is the new president of the European Association of Universities

70% of the members of the General Assembly of the European University Association voted for Garrell's candidacy

Josep Maria Garrell, a member of La Salle-URL and former Rector of Ramon Llull University, has been elected as the new President of the European Universities Association (EUA) during the entity's General Assembly, held on April 20 in the Polish city of Gdańsk. Garrell was presented as the candidate of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and obtained 70% of the votes, surpassing the other two candidacies. The new President will replace in July Michael Murphy to serve for the next four years, between 2023 and 2027.

The EUA integrates more than 850 higher education institutions and organizations from 49 European countries, including 35 Rectors' conferences. During the Assembly, five new members of the EUA Board, which Garrell will chair, were also chosen: Vicent Blondel (University of Leuven), Marcin Palis (University of Warsaw), Astrid Söderbegh Widding (Stockholm University), Maurizio Tira (University of Brescia) and Wim van de Donk (Tilburg University). Garrell thanked for the support he has received from the entire Ramon Llull University community and CRUE.

In line with the manifesto that he presented with his main proposals to consolidate the evolution of the association, Josep Maria Garrell spoke of leading a "profound" change in teaching and learning to respond to the expectations of the students, favoring their inclusion, implementing innovative practices and technological disruption, personalized learning approaches or constant learning. He also thanked the trust placed in him to lead the association and took the opportunity to make an appeal to keep the dialogue and work alive to ensure that the EUA is "the voice of the universities in Europe".

Professor and researcher at La Salle-URL since 1993 and rector of URL between 2012 and 2022

Graduated in Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in 1992, Josep Maria Garrell has been a professor and researcher at La Salle-URL since 1993, where he obtained his PhD in Electronic Engineering (1995). He is a URL professor specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition, he was one of the founders of the research group on Intelligent Systems at La Salle-URL, where he was the principal investigator in numerous projects and publications.

In 2012 he was appointed Rector of Ramon Llull University, a term that ended in September 2022. Before being Rector, he was Vice Rector for Research and Innovation (2002-2010), General Secretary (2006-2012) and Vice Rector for Policy University (2010-2012). He was Vice President of the CRUE (2021-2022) and member of its Standing Committee (2015-2022), as well as first President of the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU) between 2020 and 2022, among other positions and responsibilities.

Josep Maria Garrell, as Rector of URL, led the university's candidacy to be a member of the Alliance of European Universities ENGAGE.EU, financed by the European Commission. Finally, it should be noted that in 2019 he was elected a member of the EUA Board, the association that he will now preside over.