From BSR to USR

University social responsibility

As mentioned in other sections, the specific terms used to talk about social responsibility vary depending on the type of organisation. For many years universities, including the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, have been pursuing numerous policies and actions (in teaching, research and knowledge transfer) that are underpinned by the principles of respect for the environment, social commitment and transparency.

For universities, social responsibility involves broadly integrating these principles in strategic planning and ensuring that they are reflected in processes for monitoring outcomes.

Interest in social responsibility in higher education is evident within institutions and in the forums, networks and associations to which they belong.

Since 2009, the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) has had a Committee for Environmental Quality, Sustainable Development and Risk Prevention (CADEPA), which grew out of a working group set up in 2002 to share experiences related to these concerns.

At the national level, the University Strategy 2015 (EU2015) initiative places particular emphasis on university social responsibility. A document recently drafted by the EU2015 technical committee defines the social responsibility of the university system as a “transversal strategic principle that should be taken into account in all mission statements developed, and in relation to capabilities, people, internal management, and external relations.” (Social Responsibility and Sustainability of Universities, University Strategy 2015 Technical Committee, September 2011)