#YTGlobal Faces: Professor of International Trade And Strategies At The University Of Pompeu Fabra Josep Bertran

We are continuing to present to you #YTGlobal’s prominent speakers and experts. You recently had a chance to take a close look at the trainer and NGO president from Italy, Silvia Crocitta. This time meet Josep Bertran. You will meet him on the third day of the forum, when he will give a speech at the plenary session on «The Future of Education». Professor Bertran will be the guest expert at the Education project presentations.

Professor, let’s start with the most general question: what are your views about education in modern Europe? What are the core issues that the European educational system faces today?

There are two main educational systems in Europe.  One is provided by highly selective universities where students are supposed to pay elitist fees and exhibit outstanding talent.  Those universities provide highly qualified teachers and aim to develop individuals who will lead society to excellence.  The other model in Europe is the university that seeks excellence through balancing individuals so that they will be increasing the general measure of equality in their societies.  The Individuals applying to those universities are not required to have economic advantages, and upgrading their knowledge is the task of the university no matter how talented the students are.  These universities will give tools to everyone to make a solid education available to all.

We have heard that you will offer a presentation on the role of identity in educational systems. How can the educational system actually contribute to eliminating conflicts related to identity or society?

The model of the university that I consider excellent is the one that increases the level of balance in society.  That model is just a copy of the society, so identities and cross-cultural realities are supposed to be dealt with in a way that will reflect that society.  Respecting identity-generated conflict, debate is the starting point to solving them, and mutual commitments to tolerance are the solution.

What is your point of view on the ambitions of modern young people – how healthy are they?

Ambition is needed as a value to increase our will to prosper, but we have to re-define what prosperity is. It is important to define what we want but learn to respect and value what we have.

The modern education environment in Europe is fully multicultural. Generally, people used to think that that must be a great, life-changing opportunity. What is your point of view on this issue? Is multiculturalism an opportunity or a risk?

Nowadays, multi-culturalism is seen by many as a threat, and they point to tragic events happening in our countries to prove the need to control multi-culturalism, even to eliminate it.  From my point of view, there is no empiric evidence that multi-culturalism creates conflicts.  I believe that multi-culturalism creates conflicts in societies that are not multi-cultural, and we have examples of functioning societies that have been able to integrate different approaches to life fully and that are leading the world.

The last question will be about the Youth Time Global Forum. What will the keynotes of your speech be?

Well, to be brief, I am going to talk about the various models of education and the connections between identity and crisis, and about conflict and debate. So I expect to convey some of my ideas, upgrade my knowledge, and meet interesting people.

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