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Universidad de Navarra

The new strategic plan at the University of Navarra is structured on three axes

Entitled “University and sustainability”, this new roadmap runs until 2025 and focuses on sustainable development and care for people and the environment

Descripcion de la imagen
FOTO: Manuel Castells
Descripcion de la imagen
FOTO: Manuel Castells
25/01/21 10:55 María Salanova

Sustainable development, care for people and the environment are the keystones of the projects that the University of Navarra will carry out in the coming years.  The President, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, presented the University of Navarra 2025 Strategy to the university community, the aim of which is “to contribute to addressing the challenges that society faces through its research work, teaching and healthcare, in collaboration with other people and institutions”, he said.

Entitled “University and sustainability”, this strategic plan builds on the Horizon 2020 project, a plan which started in 2015 and was structured around 21 initiatives to improve teaching, internationalization and social responsibility at the University.

A threefold understanding of sustainability – environmental, economic and social – is the transversal purpose of the University of Navarra 2025 Strategy as a whole, and the projects framed by it will be aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Within this framework, the 2025 Strategy is divided into three axes, as explained by the President: 1. Transformative education, 2. Focused research that makes an impact and 3. Interdisciplinary university. In relation to the third point, the University is committed to helping the Museum of Natural Sciences to boost its activity in the service of science, society and the environment by building a new dedicated space for its activities.

Educational and training experience with new programs and financial aid resources

In the first axis, transformative education, the objective is to ensure that students have a profound educational and training experience. “In addition to the necessary professional and scientific knowledge, another priority is that they develop the qualities that make them responsible citizens, with a questioning outlook and capacity for critical thinking, an international perspective and an ability to see their work as a service to others and society,” noted the President.

To this end, new measures to finance studies will be launched and talent programs to attract and train outstanding students will be developed. Educational initiatives such as integrated curriculum and service-learning schemes and mentoring will be promoted. Finally, the University also aims to enhance the study programs it offers and its continuous professional development programs for graduates and other professionals and is committed to developing a life-long learning program capable of meeting the ongoing educational and training needs of professional sectors in which the University carries out teaching and research activity.

Focused research that makes an impact

Secondly, in this new stage the University of Navarra wants to advance focused research that makes an impact. “We have increased our scientific output over the past twenty years. The inauguration of new research centers, the development of the career of the researcher as a professional role, and an increase in the capacity to attract funds for research projects and groups are among the key initiatives undertaken in this regard,” said the President. In the University of Navarra 2025 Strategy, in addition to maintaining its current research range, the University aims to focus in a special way on research relating to care of people and the environment.

Research in Personalized Medicine will be enhanced, particularly in relation to cancers, rare diseases and palliative medicine. The bioethical dimensions of healthcare provision and research will also be addressed focusing on the threefold understanding of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.

Interdisciplinary projects

The third axis of the 2025 Strategy is to foster an Interdisciplinary University. According to Professor Sánchez-Tabernero, “the University of Navarra’s culture of dialogue and collaboration makes it possible to progress in projects enriched by the contribution of various areas and approaches”. The University aims to integrate teaching, research and care in healthcare initiatives; and further enhance collaborative work between different Schools, research centers and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra to promote interdisciplinary projects.

A key initiative in this area is the further promotion of the Museum of Natural Sciences, which will have its own dedicated space. This center has a threefold mission: teaching, research and scientific communication, and draws on the participation of students, professors and researchers from a very wide variety of fields, united by their common interest in nature.

“Having a plan helps us set priorities and synergize our strengths,” the President emphasized. The 2025 Strategy is the result of the contribution of working groups, as well as suggestions received by the university community over the last academic year. “I want to continue asking university employees, students, alumni, and Friends for their support to get started and make further significant progress in the coming years,” concluded the President.

Horizon 2020: summary of results

Vice-President María Iraburu made a presentation about the results of the Horizon 2020 project.  “Thanks to the involvement of all, a high level of successful completion has been achieved in the projects we designed in 2015. Given this positive experience, we are now launching new projects to run until 2025,” said the Vice-President.

Among the outstanding results from these five years of work are the teaching projects that led to the launch of 10 new degree and 11 master’s programs, the inauguration of the Postgraduate Center in Madrid, and the Museum of Natural Sciences. Innovative teaching was also promoted through collaborative work, new methodologies, service-oriented teaching and online learning.

At the same time, the University became part of IdiSNA (the Navarre Healthcare Research Institute) and obtained the Green Flag, among other achievements related to social and environmental responsibility. In addition, during this period, the proportion of international students registered at the University grew by almost 8%: from 19.9% in 2015 to 27.8% in 2020. The University was ranked third in teaching for Europe, according to the Times Higher Education ranking, after the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.





  • Ten new degrees and eleven masters

  • New postgraduate campus in Madrid where 23 programs are taught

  • Innovative teaching: 16 integrated learning projects and 32 subjects with a service-learning dimension

  • Creation of the Core Curriculum Institute, offering 157 subjects

  • Fostering online learning: 1,889 subjects and 24,640 class-hours delivered online during the first few months of the pandemic.

  • 500 continuous education training activities for former students

  • Ranked 1st in Spain for employability (QS Ranking)

  • Creation of a fund worth €8.5m for entrepreneurship projects

  • More than 200 Entrepreneurship Projects




  • Increase in international students from 19.9% in 2015 to 27.8% in 2020

  • 13 bilingual degrees introduced and 7 master’s programs taught in English

  • Ranked 3rd in teaching in Europe, according to the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching ranking, after Cambridge and Oxford

  • Ranked 1st in Spain in Teaching and Learning according to the Spanish CYD Foundation ranking



  • €23 million budgeted for research projects in academic year 2019/20, thanks to contributions from over 10,700 individuals and companies

  • Between 2015 and 2020, 503 students participated in 25 international cooperation programs in 18 countries

  • 106 people with a disability have completed internships in the university since 2015

  • Ranked 94 among most sustainable universities in the world according to GreenMetric ranking

  • First Spanish university to obtain the Green Flag certificate

  • In 2018, the Museum of Natural Sciences was launched, containing 25 million samples from over 10,000 animal species

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