Social science

University of Girona

Institutional description

The University of Girona is a public institution devoted to excellence in teaching and research and to participating in the progress and development of society through the creation, transmission, diffusion and criticism of knowledge related to the sciences, technology, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

The University of Girona traces its history back to 1446 with the foundation of a school known as the Estudi General by King Alfonso V of Aragon, who granted Girona the privilege of awarding degrees in grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and theology, law and medicine. The current incarnation of the university was founded in 1992 after multiple efforts to bring higher education back to Girona during the latter half of the 20th Century.

The University of Girona, deeply rooted in Catalonia and Catalan culture, is one of the primary economic and cultural motors of the region. At the same time, it pursues a vocation of universality and openness to all traditions and cultures. The University, located in the city of Girona, is a part of the Catalan public university system.

UdG has 3 campuses, including the Edifici Les Àligues, a building erected in the 16th century to host Estudi General classes, which is now the university’s headquarters. It is part of the university’s campus in Girona’s old town. UdG has two further campuses in the city, one in the centre of town and the newly built campus in the southern neighbourhood of Montilivi. There is also a technology park run by the university in La Creuta on the outskirts of Girona.

UdG has 9 faculties, 24 departments, and 12 research institutes. UdG offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 23 master´s degrees and 14 doctoral programmes. As of 2019, the university had over 15,000 students (including 800 PhD students enrolled), 1,200 teaching and research staff, and 600 administrative and support staff.

According to the global performance tables from the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings assessing universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the University of Girona was ranked within the top 100 in the world, out of more than 450 universities from 76 countries worldwide. Furthermore, the latest GreenMetric index produced by the University of Indonesia placed the University of Girona in the 109th position in the world, and 12th within the categories of energy management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, out of 619 universities from 75 countries worldwide.

Principal investigator: Prof. Albert Sabater

Albert Sabater is Serra Húnter Associate Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business at the University of Girona. He received a PhD in Census and Survey Research from the University of Manchester (2008), following the completion of a MSc degree in Social Research Methods and Statistics (2003) from the same university, and a MSc degree in Demography (2002) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has been Marie Sklodowska-Curie researcher of the European Commission at the University of Manchester (Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research), and Juan de la Cierva Fellow of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Centre for Demographic Studies). He has held research and teaching posts in England (Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, University of Manchester), Scotland (Centre for Housing Research and Centre for Population Change, University of Saint Andrews), and Spain (Centre for Demographic Studies, Autonomous University of Barcelona). He has also enjoyed visiting fellowships at the Office of Population Research (Princeton University) and at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing (University of Oxford). Albert Sabater’s postdoctoral research and contribution to interdisciplinary research (collaborations) have been supported by a total of nine project grants from competitive calls, from funding bodies such as the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Catalan Agency for Research and LaCaixa Bank Foundation. In addition to these, some of the work undertaken by Albert Sabater has been commissioned by prominent third sector organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Shelter and Runnymede Trust, as well as by local authorities such as Birmingham City Council and the Provincial Government of Barcelona. The work carried out by Albert Sabater since completing his PhD in Census and Survey Research has featured in several publications, including international peer-reviewed journals and a co-edited book. His research interests cover methodology and substantive research in urban sociology, social demography, migration, social research methods and social big data.

Technical science

University of Girona

Principal investigator: Prof. Beatrice López

Beatriz López is Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Electrical, Electronic and Automatic Engineering and Head of the eXiT research group (Control Engineering and Intelligent Systems) at the University of Girona. eXiT focuses its work on decision support systems, case-based reasoning, machine learning and optimization. An important line of research is the improvement of the quality of healthcare through innovative applications of artificial intelligence. eXiT is also working on research projects and technology transfer and working closely with clinicians and health service providers. Beatriz López holds a Computer Sciences degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1986), a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia (1993), and a degree in Information System from the Open University of Catalonia (2003). She joined the Artificial Intelligence Research Group of the Spanish Scientific Research Council after receiving her PhD in Computer Science, where she carried out the work “Case-based reasoning of strategic plans”. Since then, her research interests have revolved around case-based reasoning and planning and scheduling, and now also include optimization and learning in distributed environments. She was Assistant Professor from 1992-1995 and 1998-2000 at the Rovira Virgili University and has served as a Computer Science Engineer in several private companies. Since 2000, she has been an Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Automatic Engineering at the University of Girona, where she teaches courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In February 2011, she co-founded Newronia, S.L., a spin-off company from the University of Girona. Since 2017, she belongs to the Advisory Board of MJN Neuroserveis, S.L. She is member of the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence (member of, Catalan Society of Technology (belonging to the IEC), and several scientific committees. On 2018, she received the accredited advisory seal on “Technology, healthcare industries and life sciences” granted by the Generalitat of Catalonia through ACCIÓ. Beatriz López has been involved in several international projects and has published widely in specialised journals and collective volumes.

Intermediary institution

Abadia de Montserrat

08199 Monestir de Montserrat (Barcelona), Spain