The inaugural ceremony of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics took place on October 15, 2007, at the school's Ciutadella campus. The ceremony was attended by the members of the Barcelona GSE community, including students, Affiliated Professors, board members, and a host of distinguished government officials and business leaders.
The inaugural lecture was delivered by Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and Honorary President of the Barcelona GSE, who emphasized the need for the Barcelona GSE to produce “economists of the highest caliber with an international outlook” in order to “reinforce our efforts to understand and interpret the increasingly complex economic and financial processes of a globalizing and interdependent world”.
EU Commissioner Joaquín Almunia delivers the inaugural lecture
Members of the audience applaud during the ceremony
Almunia also expressed his conviction that the Barcelona GSE will soon occupy “a distinguished place among the international schools of economics”. Though it is a new school, the Barcelona GSE is ranked between 2nd and 3rd in economics research output in Europe when the research of its founding universities, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, is combined.
In her comments at the ceremony, Spanish Minister of Education and Science, Mercedes Cabrera, stressed the importance of Barcelona GSE as a point of relation “between universities, research centers, and private initiatives”, in addition to offering “proven excellence” in teaching. The President of Catalonia, José Montilla, showed also the Government’s support. The cooperation between the school and its four supporting academic institutions, which share both faculty and resources and collaborate on projects, has earned the city of Barcelona its reputation as an emerging powerhouse in economics research and postgraduate education.
Mercedes Cabrera, Spanish Minister of Education and Science, speaks about significance of the creation of the Barcelona GSE
The inaugural class of the school consists of 99 students, of which 91% come from outside Spain. There are 31 different nationalities spanning five different continents represented, with the most common nationalities being Italy (16%), Germany (14%), Spain (9%), France (7%), and the UK (4%). The four master programs are taught entirely in English by an international faculty; 81% of the Affiliated Professors received their PhD outside Spain.
Professor Andreu Mas-Colell, Chairman of the school, declared that the inauguration of the Barcelona GSE signifies an important event in the life of the school. Above all, the ceremony is “a moment to reflect on all the hard work that resulted in the successful creation of the school, as well as a celebration of the very bright future that awaits both the school and its graduates."
Andreu Mas-Colell, Chairman and Founder of the Barcelona GSE, welcomes the audience
The ceremony also featured welcome speeches by Carlos Martínez Alonso, President of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Lluís Ferrer, Rector of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and Josep Joan Moreso, Rector of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Other distinguished attendants at the inauguration ceremony include the Ministers of Economy and Finance and of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Catalan Government; the two former Presidents of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol and Pasqual Maragall; the Head of the Opposition and the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona; the President of Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, Presidents and CEOs of several economic and business organizations and companies, the consul of the United States of America and even the President of Futbol Club Barcelona.
The event also brought together many supporters and friends of the Barcelona GSE, both from its four supporting academic institutions, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Institute for Economic Analysis (IAE-CSIC), and Center for Research in International Economics (CREI), as well as from its supporting private institutions, Agbar Group, Banc Sabadell, Caixa Catalunya savings bank, "la Caixa" savings bank, and the FemCAT Foundation.
From left to right: Carlos Martínez Alonso, President of CSIC; Lluís Ferrer, Rector of UAB; Josep Joan Moreso, Rector of the UPF; José Montilla Aguilera, President of Catalonia; Mercedes Cabrera, Spanish Minister of Education and Science; Joaquín Almunia, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs; and Andreu Mas-Colell, Barcelona GSE Chairman
The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Ciutadella Campus of the Barcelona GSE at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra