The first event of UEG 2018 took place on Thursday 12th July in the capital of La Safor region. The UEG will organise events and activities until the 20th July. The event has been presided over by the Principal of the Universitat de València, Maria Vicenta Mestre; the Mayor of Gandia, Diana Morant; and the Provincial Representative, Mercedes Berenguer. They remarked this year’s slogan: “A caballo entre dos siglos” (in the border between two centuries).
Mavi Mestre expressed that she was happy for being at the event, not only for commencing a Summer School created in 1984 and that had grown up with Spanish democracy, but also because she was in her home region acting as a top authority alongside other two courageous and determined women. Mestre stated, “We are living a period of time which is in the border between two centuries. The 20th century was complex and had many nuances. It was a century of progress, but also brutality. New ideas and movements that were looking for freedom were born, such as the May 1968 protests in France or the Prague Spring. The 21st century is also characterized by important advances but it is full of doubts, challenges and risks. This reality is in the classrooms of our public and Valencian university, which is opened to a the world that is demanding active policies to transform our society in order to build a democratic, free and fair 21st century with a greater level of wealth.”
The Mayor of Gandia, Diana Morant, defined the Summer University as a new learning space: “We are living in a more and more globalised world where citizens are interconnected. Therefore, we must promote creativity and shared environments to ameliorate debate and the exchange of ideas. The Summer University definitely improves our city.” The representative Mercedes Berenguer also attended the institutional event. This year, the UEG is sponsored by the Valencian Provincial Council.
The Vice-principal for Territorial Projection and Society, Jorge Hermosilla; the Manager of the UV General Foundation, Cristóbal Súria; the Representative for Students, Meme Elizalde, and representatives of the business associations of the region attended the event.
Ana Noguera is a member of the Valencian Council for Culture. She was in charge of the first conference, whose title was “El siglo XXI: dilemas morales para una reconstrucción social” (21st century: morale dilemmas for rebuilding our society). Mrs. Noguera mentioned that our society is A caballo entre dos siglos, which is the slogan of this year’s edition. It celebrates the 70 years since the Declaration of Human Rights, the 100th anniversary since end of WW1, 40 years since the Spanish Constitution and the 50th anniversary of May 1968 protests in France.
Mrs. Noguera will address the main challenges of the society in the 21st century including matters such as women’s revolution, immigration, people becoming more and more disillusioned with the democratic process, climate change and hedonistic consumption. According to Ana Noguera, these problems should be solved politically and will lead to an important social change.
Mrs. Noguera has a large career. She is a member of the Valencian Council for Culture, a professor of Philosophy of the Universitat de València, a member of the editorial board of the magazine Temas para el Debate and a critic of the magazine Sistema. In addition, she is a member of the literature associations Concilyarte and Clavo.
Prior to the first event of the Summer University, there was an institutional event held by the City Council. The Mayor of Gandia, Diana Morant, received the Principal of the Universitat de València, Maria Vicenta Mestre. It is the first time that Mestre has visited the city since she took office. The Principal signed the guest book of the city and talked with the Mayor and the representatives of the political local parties.