Oriol Amat, Dean of the UPF Barcelona School of Management
What does your institution specialize in?
We specialize in postgraduate education (masters, postgraduate diplomas, management training, and programs for companies) in on-site, partially on-site, hybrid, and online formats. In addition, the school conducts research and disseminates knowledge through talks, articles, case studies and company studies, etc. It also works closely together with institutions and companies through its company professorships.
In which year was it founded and who were the founders?
The UPF Barcelona School of Management is a private foundation and was founded in 1993 by the Pompeu Fabra University and a number of leading private institutions and companies.
When did you start working at the foundation?
I started working at the Pompeu Fabra University in 1993 and in the same year I began to collaborate with the UPF Barcelona School of Management. This means I have been working together with the school since the first day it started operating, some 27 years ago.
What do you like most about your job?
The opportunity to play a part in improving the well-being of society and the condition of the business sector through training, research, and knowledge transfer.
And what do you like least?
There is nothing I don't like, but I would really like to get back to face-to-face classes and more direct contact with students, teachers, and other staff.
What do you think the School of Management excels at?
The school was founded by the UPF, a university that is known nationally and internationally for its research excellence and the high quality of its teaching; graduates and companies take confidence from the fact that the school's degrees are from the UPF. The School has three main objectives: Firstly, it promotes the improvement of society by fostering public-private collaboration, a consequence of our belief that the world would be a better place if there was more public-private collaboration. Secondly, we have an all-embracing interdisciplinary and humanist approach to management which is backed up by solid scientific research. Thirdly, our teaching model is based on personalized, project-based learning, and a series of compulsory core courses in a range of subjects such as ethics, culture, humanities, sustainability, data analysis, and story-telling. management basada en el humanismo y la interdisciplinariedad con las sólidas bases científicas que aporta la investigación que realizamos. En tercer lugar, nuestro modelo pedagógico se basa en la personalización, el aprendizaje basado en proyectos y una serie de cursos transversales que siguen todos los alumnos (ética, cultura, humanidades, sostenibilidad, análisis de datos, storytelling…).
What is your main challenge?
Like most sectors, the world of education is undergoing major change; students are learning differently and new information and communication technologies are revolutionizing everything we do. One of our main challenges, therefore, is to adapt our courses and the way students study to the new needs of society, companies, and students.
¿Where is the UPF-BSM located? Why was that location chosen?
The School is located in Balmes Street, in the heart of the Eixample, a stone's throw from Diagonal Street. Numerous companies are located here and it is superbly connected, with the underground, bus stops and car parks within minutes of the school.
What do you like most about the neighborhood in which you work?
The Eixample and Diagonal street have outstanding services (shops, restaurants, and car parks), while cultural sites such as La Pedrera (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Fundació Tàpies, and the Casa Batlló are just a five-minute walk away. It is a very safe neighborhood with a high quality of life and outstandingly beautiful urban design.
How important is Barcelona for UPF-BSM?
Barcelona is one of the school's main assets as between 30% and 40% of the student body are from abroad, attracted both to the country and to this city in particular. It is a very open, cosmopolitan city with an excellent range of cultural facilities and events, while it also attracts many international companies and has a strong start-up ecosystem.
Which cities would you compare Barcelona to?
Barcelona has some similarities with cities like Boston and Milan, which, despite not being capitals, have a vigorous university and business ecosystem and excellent quality of life.
Which other cities should Barcelona model itself on?
We should keep working to become more like Boston and Milan.
Which practices in other cities could Barcelona learn from?
We should explore all the opportunities that public-private partnerships offer and which contribute to a better public sector, a better private sector and many more public-private partnerships. And we need a more social economy in which the economy is at the service of people and not the other way round.
What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?
More collaboration and consensus amongst government bodies and with the various political, social and business organizations with regard to the improvement of citizens' welfare, which is the objective of both the economy and of our school.