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Goodbye, Erasmus

erasmus phixrThe future of the Erasmus scholarships is an uncertain future. Even though, of course, this only depends on who are we asking to. As we all know, the Secretary of Education, José Ignacio Wert, announced only two weeks ago the withdraw without previous notice of the state assistance for this year to all the students who weren’t beneficiaries of a general scholarship, measure that had to be abandoned after the strong protests and the opposition on behalf of the educational sector, the Autonomous Communities and the European Committee.



UAB Delegation participates in the Euranet Debate in Brussels

Politicians and citizens from all over Europe met on June 19th in the European Parliament in Brussels for the official launch of Euranet Plus, the radio and Internet network for EU news. Among those present were the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, three Vice Presidents of the European Parliament, and Juana Lahousse-Juárez, the highest ranking Spanish civil servant in the EU.



Feminine sport in the shadow of the mass media

patinatge vs futbol phixrThe feminine team of artistic skating Club Patí Olot celebrated in November their seventh gold medal in world championships that they succeeded in Chinese Taipei. The following day of the victory, 15th November, some Catalan media mentioned that new but it’s a well known fact that, compared with the male sportive events, women sports still being in second plane. Almost everybody knows the German club who won the football champions league last year, but only a few of them know that there is a Catalan skating team who wins world championships since 2006.


2014 FILMED Learning Experiences in Europe

10367179 693058457408267 4500136115144919248 nIn the heart of the “Raval” neighborhood -next to “La Rambla”- a multicultural event was set in the “Filmoteca de Catalunya”. “FilmEd Learning Experiences 2014” took place on the 12th and 13th of June with the main purpose of sharing experiences, discussing strategies, creating and developing international cooperation links where experts, Edu-communicators, journalist, film and television professionals from all over the world could gather in. It was a practical workshop, which reported on a hundred studies and initiatives adopted in Europe and other continents related to Media and film literacy.

Esteve Riambau, director of the Filmoteca, welcomed more than a 100 people from countries from all over the world like Egypt, Dominican Republic, Spain, Korea and China, accompanied by speakers from all over the globe as well, like: Alton Grizzle (UNESCO, France), Alfonso González Hermoso de Mendoza (former General Director of Evaluation and Cooperation, Ministry of Education, Spain), Jordi Sellas (General Director of Creativity and Cultural Companies of Generalitat de Catalunya), Matteo Zacchetti (European Commission, Italy) and José Manuel Pérez Tornero (Communication and Education Cabinet of the UAB, who collaborates with the organization of the event in Catalunya). Pérez Tornero put on the table the main discussion about the FilmEd (Film Education in Europe) seminar: “schools need cinema and cinema needs schools.” This is the topic that Zacchetti -who thinks that audiovisual products are getting more interesting for education year after year- was mostly concerned with. In the session, the most important idea that speakers talked about was the relationship between schools and new technologies.

Rather than a formative encounter, it was a meeting of literacy experiences about cinema and audiovisual practices developed over the years in European schools. During the sessions of both days, international cinema experts exposed the initiatives they had promoted in their own countries in order to approach audiovisual experiences to students and schools. But is introducing cinema into classrooms a solution for future education? Monsieur François Campana answered this complex question by simply stating: “we are in a new world”.

Some of the presented works highlighted an interesting subject to improve how media and cinema literacy can make people get more knowledge about the market and the reality, so citizens will be empowered to10302273 693058954074884 8034268991663012968 n take conscious decisions in their lives. Some case studies exposed by the panelists –which were elaborated in Spain– present outstanding results. Carmen Buró, co-creator of “Mucho (+) que Cine” (Much more than Cinema) –an educational  project part of the European Network “Yeff!”, said: “we have been working for more than a decade, building critical thinking through educative projects, using film as a tool for cultural rapprochements, equality and diversity in schools”.

Jordi Orts presented “The 400 Blows”, a blog and a collaborative network that covers two areas: education and audiovisual contents, in order to encourage participation and generate connections. Núria Aidelman exposed “Cine en Curso” (Ongoing Cinema) and Jacqueline Sánchez shared Telekids, a plan of movies, advertisings, television and news productions done by and for kids between 8 to 11 years old, and among other things.

The assistants of the event learned about other experiences and case studies from other countries of the world, like Brasil, United Kingdom (with “Zoom Cymry”), Portugal (with “Ao Norte”), Slovenia (with “Society od Allie for Soft Landing DZMP”), Belgium (with “Jekino”), France (with “Les Enfants de Cinéma”), Austria (with “EU XXL Film”), etc.

The workshop was co-organized by FilmEd Project and the Filmoteca de Catalunya, and it was supported by Communication and Education Cabinet of the Autonomous University of  Barcelona, the Catalan Department of Culture, “THINK TANK” of the European Film and Film Policy, the European Commission, and UNESCO’s Media Literacy.


Growth this year will be higher than initially forecast. The unemployment rate, whilst still much too high, has stopped increasing

Jose Manuel Barroso


Social Media: A “gamechanger” for young people

By Lucciana Rupp & Sandra Hernández, Dominican Republic

Mass Media and Social Communications students from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (Egypt) and from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (Dominican Republic) discussed the role of social media and young journalists in order to drive change in their communities. Follow their ideas in this article.

a man during the 2011 Egyptian protests carrying a card saying. Photo credits: Essam Sharaf

In our recent conversation with Mass Communication students from Egypt, we noticed that both countries have a few things in common in terms of journalism.

In the Dominican Republic and in Egypt journalists sometimes face conflicts of interest. Owners of media outlets and employees try to profit from a work that should be primarily social. That has been the common issue that stops achieving freedom of expression in both nations.

In Egypt, there are far more mechanisms of repression, but in the Dominican Republic there is no other than the censorship journalists impose on themselves (auto censorship) in order to “not bite the hand that feeds them".

Also, the economy affects the whole population. Mass Communication student Sohaila Hussein says that in Egypt the majority of people are just trying to survive. With such low wages Egyptians cannot think about freedom. “When people are hungry why would they want a change?” Sohaila adds.


Despite the general resignation, Egyptians won a massive victory after expressing their will through social networks. By 2011, President Hosni Mubarak had been ruling Egypt for almost 30 years. It seemed that his dictatorship would last longer because of the succession plans of his son Gamal Mubarak. Egyptians were fed up with their situation and started to summon their friends and family to take action.  Web messages, tweets, Facebook statuses, announced their disappointment on high unemployment rates, corruption, and lack of freedom, police brutality, and impunity.

When the government authorities tried to stop them by restricting the access to those platforms it was too late. People from around the world were following the strong protests and expressing their support.

Finally, Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011.

Dominican citizens wave their hands signaling a number four as they demanded during

However, according to students from Alexandria, the situation somehow remains the same. In spite of this, Mohamed Gharbia, a Mass Communication student from Alexandria, believes that he and his colleagues can help society through social media projects. “We as people that study the ways of broadcasting, the ways of giving people an information, should be agents of change”, Gharbia said.

During the conversation he referred to citizen journalism. But, as our teacher Merybell Reynoso said, that kind of journalism includes obstacles like unsustainability, and unverified information that could lead to confusion. Moreover, it could serve to vile government interests.

4 por ciento Jos Rodrguez

Mohamed Gharbia agreed on that, but emphasized that even though there is “powerful people” who try to crush that kind of projects, “we have to face them with our morals and beliefs”. It means that as journalists, we should generate our own information to confront and defeat corruption and other social issues.

Some may argue that social networks in themselves mean nothing, but people in Egypt and in the Dominican Republic know how powerful they are. Something similar to the Egyptian Spring happened in the Dominican Republic, not necessarily to overthrow the government but to hold it to account. Until 2013, the Dominican Republic had invested just 2 percent of the GDP in education - one of the lowest levels in Latin America.

Dominicans, especially young people, were aware of the educational system´s shortcomings, so they used social networks to demand their rights to a better education. With this, they demanded that the government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education.

Facebook and Twitter were the platforms through which people agreed and reminded each other to wear yellow every Monday and to gather in key places from Santo Domingo to protest. On December 2013, Dominicans succeeded; the 4 percent investment for education was approved.



This is just an example of what countries (even if geographically distant) around the globe and the new generations are doing: digitally demanding their rights and influencing others to do so through social media.  

Gharbia, has faith in citizen journalism and dares to conclude with strong motivational words for aspiring journalists: The worst thing that can happen is that things stay the same. What do you have to lose? Your life? I think that, personally, my life is a small price if I'm going to do something that is going to change the world”.







Special Thanks to:

Sohaila, Mohamed, and Alaa. 

Photo credits:

Photo 1: A man during the 2011 Egyptian protests carrying a card saying "Facebook, #jan25, The Egyptian Social Network" illustrating the vital role played by social networks in initiating the uprising. Photo credits: Essam Sharaf 

Photo 2: Dominican citizens wave their hands signaling a number four as they demanded during "Voces Unidas por la Educación (2011)"  that the government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education.  Photo credits: Merybell Reynoso

 Photo 3: Dominican man participates of "Voces Unidas por la Educación" a concert and popular manifestation that back in 2011 demanded thatthe government invest 4% of its annual budget on improving primary and secondary school education. Photo credits: José Rodríguez