Rector of UAlg makes a «positive and encouraging» assessment of this year’s results

Solemn session of the 43rd anniversary took place this Wednesday, December 14

Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

«The results obtained in 2022 are frankly positive and encouraging», said Paulo Águas, rector of the University of Algarve, at the solemn session of the 43rd anniversary, which took place this Wednesday, January 14, in the Great Auditorium, on the Campus de Gambelas, in Faro, and where an assessment of the year that is almost over was made and where the future was looked into.

«In 2021/22, we once again surpassed 9.000 students enrolled in degree-granting courses (9.244 to be precise), which had not been the case since 2010/11», explained the dean, referring that it was the 6th year consecutive increase in the number of students.

In addition, until November of this year, research revenues exceeded last year's figure by 40%, and the percentage of students of foreign nationality also increased again.

"In the ranking of Times Higher Education, we continue to be the national HEI with the highest score in Internationalization, to which not only teaching, but also research contributes», stressed Paulo Águas.

Despite the fact that the lack of accommodation continues to be one of the biggest problems faced by students, the dean made a point of highlighting that efforts are being made in this regard, having, last September, signed eight financing program contracts within the scope of the program national accommodation for higher education supported by the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR): six related to the renovation of residences, two related to the construction of new residences (one on the Penha Campus, with 125 beds, and another on the Gambelas Campus, with 162 beds), a financing amount of 13,7 million euros.

One of the objectives, which, according to the rector, was also achieved, was to improve the facilities, investing in more equipment, not forgetting the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Municipality of Portimão and the Commission for the Coordination of Regional Development of the Algarve to The construction of the university campus in Portimão, «with the purpose of increasing and diversifying the training offer, in order to triple, in 5 years, the current number of students».

With the objective of gathering «relevant information so that the managers, and respective teams, promote the continuous improvement of the services provided», this year, for the first time, an evaluation of the perception of internal satisfaction with the services was carried out and «the results show that, globally, perceptions are positive», said Paulo Águas.

«Today we are 361 non-teaching workers, 14 more than at the end of 2021, which, we believe, also has an impact on improving services», he continued. However, Sofia Nunes, representative of non-teaching staff, who also spoke at the ceremony, said there was a need to hire more.


Sofia Nunes, representative of non-teaching staff. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«The University has grown in number of students, which is very good and, once again, congratulations to all of us for that! But the number of employees has not increased, spaces have not increased, teachers have not increased... We are perfectly aware that in 2021 some tenders were opened but that, even so, do not fill the outputs and current needs».

As for the career progression of teaching staff, «continuity was given to the career development plan started in 2018, with 2022 competitions for intermediate and top categories being authorized in 40» and «for the beginning of the career, 11 competitions were opened, the highest value in recent years".

Also, the financial situation, once again, continued «to register a positive net result for the year», with the year expected to end with a revenue superior to the 62 million euros of 2021 and with an expense also superior to the 59,5 million euros last year.

With eyes on the future, Paulo Águas stresses that, in 2022/23, the UAlg will «continue to increase the number of students, it is foreseeable that it may exceed 9.500, with more than 2.000 of foreign nationality.

The offer of higher professional technical courses in 2023/24 will also be extended to the Escola Superior de Saúde and, in compliance with the program contract to expand and modernize the teaching of medicine and clinical and biomedical research signed with the DGES, the Clinical Academic Center ( ABC) and the municipalities of the Algarve, in the 15th edition of the MIM, the course starting in September 2023 will have 80 vacancies.



«In the area of ​​internationalization, we will start a new stage, with the formal entry, from January 1st, in the Alliance of European Universities of the Sea», revealed the dean, stressing that this is a project with funding for 4 years and that considered "of extreme importance for our future".

«It seems clear to us that this is the European Commission initiative that will have the greatest impact on the competitiveness, on a global scale, of the European higher education space», he shot.

In terms of infrastructure, one can also expect intervention in the new spaces where ICAREHB is now installed, «with funds raised by the research center itself», to carry out renovation works in the residences, «assign the construction of two new residences , start work on the Nave das Artes».

«Building maintenance works will continue, which were absent for a few years due to the institution's financial weaknesses. We also intend to complete the execution of the funds from the Impulsos programs destined for equipment», stressed the dean.

Fábio Zacarias, president of the Academic Association, was also proud of «the political and social work that has been defended by the students».


Fábio Zacarias, from the Academic Association. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«Whether through a tireless struggle to increase the supply of decent housing at controlled costs, through the need for a more diversified mobility offer, through the development of the sports offer, through the urgent need to mitigate any and all social inequality, through teaching tending to be free and universal or even the decentralization of the University in the region, ensuring an increase in its positive impact in the Algarve», he said.

Addressing the dean, Fábio Zacarias thanked the work done throughout the year and stressed that «communication was, without a doubt, a reflection of the cordiality between students and the institution».

The ceremony also included the delivery of medals from the University to employees who completed 25 years of service at the institution, the University of Algarve Award to graduates with merit in the academic year 2020/21 and the Manuel Gomes Guerreiro Award (with the support of the Municipalities in Faro and Loulé), attributed to Graça Maria dos Santos Palma and Susana Calado Martins, for the work “RED BOOK, Red List of Algarvian Handicraft Activities”.

For the first time, the UAlg Researcher Award was also awarded, awarded to Ana Margarida Moutinho Grenha.



Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação