The UVic-UCC strengthens its ties with the Catalan Government by signing a new programme agreement


  • The UVic-UCC and the Catalan Government have signed a new programme agreement. With annual funding of 13,050,000 euros, the agreement establishes the framework for the relationship between both institutions over the next four years
  • The new programme agreement means that almost 25% of the university’s budget will be contributed by the government. It replaces a previous agreement, from 2015, which was initially set at 7,300,000 euros, although this figure had been increasing in recent years
  • The agreement provides UVic-UCC with long-term financial stability. It allows important decisions to be made for the near future of the institution, and strengthens and tightens ties with the Catalan Government

As a territorial initiative designed to serve society and privately owned, the University of Vic - Central University of (UVic-UCC) is exceptional within the Catalan University System. There is no other university that is organized in a federated structure like the UVic-UCC’s, made up of four foundations; that complements the offer of public university education in Catalonia and participates in the university pre-registration process; and that is such a strategic tool for the present and future of a territory, central Catalonia, where it provides balance, captures and retains talent, and generates opportunities. Its uniqueness and successful trajectory make UVic-UCC a strategic reality for Catalonia.

In this context, with the passing of the years and the consolidation of the university project, the links with the Catalan Government have been strengthened and tightened, to the point of positioning the UVic-UCC as another agent in the Catalan University System. This relationship of recognition and trust is shown in the presence and participation of the Catalan Government in the governing bodies of the UVic-UCC, as part of the Board of Trustees of its titular entity, the Balmes University Foundation. It is also shown in the successive programme agreements that the government has signed with the aforementioned foundation, the first of which dates back to 2002. Through these agreements, the government has contributed to the stability and growth of the university and the development of its strategic projects.

The successive programme agreements that the government has signed with FUBalmes have contributed to the stability and growth of the university, and to the development of its strategic projects

This November, after a period of extensions since the previous agreement expired in 2018, the UVic-UCC and the Catalan Government have signed a new programme agreement, the fifth, for the period 2023-2026. The new agreement was signed with the Balmes University Foundation and includes the Vic Campus. It puts the university’s public funding at 13,050,000 euros a year, a figure that represents close to 25% of its budget.

Progressive growth

The previous agreement, signed in 2015 and valid until 2018, established an annual contribution of 7,300,000 euros. Since 2019, the Catalan Government funding received by the UVic-UCC through a transfer has increased progressively. In 2022, the initial contribution ended up being 10,700,000 euros, although later, and as part of the negotiation of the new program agreement, the figure was increased to 12,050,000 euros.

The financing of the programme agreement is divided between the University’s ordinary expenses and capital expenditure, that is, its investments. Out of the 13,050,000 euros per year, 12,550,000 correspond to ordinary expenses (and 10% of this funding is linked to the achievement of established objectives), while the other 500,000 correspond to capital expenditure. The agreement also establishes that the planned resources may increase in successive years in accordance with the Catalan Government’s budget availability and the National Pact for the Knowledge Society, which foresees a progressive and continuous increase in public investment in universities.

The resources provided for in the agreement may increase in subsequent years in accordance with the budget availability of the Catalan Government and the National Pact for the Knowledge Society

Outside of the programme agreement, it is foreseen that the government will contribute to the financing of the BETA Technology Centre, and allocate around 400,000 euros for the basic funding of research within the framework of a Grant for the Promotion of the Research from the Department of Research and Universities.

Long-term growth and stability

“The new programme agreement gives UVic-UCC long-term financial stability, which it has not had for a long time and towards which it was working,” said President of the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation (FUBalmes) and Mayor of Vic, Albert Castells. Castells considers that it also “reinforces and tightens ties with the Catalan Government and demonstrates this government’s commitment to UVic-UCC as another agent of the Catalan University System, a key element for the country’s territorial balance, and a generator of new opportunities for young people, especially in central Catalonia.” The President of FUBalmes noted that “the new agreement is the result of a long, thorough negotiation process, in which various governments have participated and many people from the university. It required many hours of work, a joint effort and great willingness of all parties.”

According to the rector of the UVic-UCC, Josep Eladi Baños “this agreement is an element of great importance for the internal cohesion of the university. At the same time, it allows the planning of actions of enormous relevance in this moment of change for the System Catalan University.” Baños pointed out that UVic-UCC has changed substantially since the previous agreement was signed in 2015: "In these eight years, three new foundations have been fully incorporated, research has grown significantly and student numbers have increased in all areas,” stated the rector. He also noted, “to maintain this situation, the university needs to have stable resources that allow it to make the investments required to secure its future, which the current programme agreement will provide for the next four years.”

"Since the new agreement was signed, UVic-UCC has incorporated three new foundations, grown significantly in research and increased student numbers in all areas"

The General Director of FUBalmes, Jordi Baiget, considers that the agreement is highly satisfactory for the UVic-UCC because the stability it provides “guarantees the right working framework to continue developing projects that were underway and to promote new ones in a context of solidity.” Secondly, he pointed out, “the agreement establishes the highest minimum public funding levels for the institution in the thirteen years of programme agreements with the Catalan Government, and therefore signifies very positive growth and evolution.” Baiget also noted that the agreement recognises the work done by the UVic-UCC over the years.

Like all the previous agreements, this programme agreement is limited to a set of strategic objectives of the UVic-UCC in the areas of teaching, research and knowledge transfer, and in the organization, structure and management of the institution. These objectives include the consolidation of an offering of official degrees that is strengthened within the Catalan University System; the development of its own unique model of training with a focus on competences, the employability of graduates and international attraction; the promotion of quality research and alliances with leading research centres; and the promotion of knowledge transfer that contributes to the socio-economic development of the territorial environment.

Albert Castells
“The programme agreement represents recognition and stability that allow us to face the coming years with much more peace of mind and optimism”

Albert Castells

The signing of the new UVic-UCC programme agreement was one of the recent challenges of FUBalmes. Now that it has been finalized, what do you think of the achievement of this milestone?

Obviously, it is very positive. This is our fifth agreement but it is also the most important that we have ever signed, due to its magnitude and the Catalan Government's budget allocation. Beyond the 52 million euros in four years (13.05 per academic year), it represents long-term recognition and stability that allow us to face the coming years with much more peace of mind and optimism. I am aware that getting to this point has taken a long time and has involved the work of many people. As the current president who has had the honour of being the agreement’s signatory, I deeply appreciate the efforts of all those who have made it possible and who have invested so many hours of work.

What will this new agreement allow?

From now on, the public contribution to the university will be close to 25%. Beyond the aforementioned stability and recognition, this allows us to plan for the longer term. In teaching, for example, I am thinking in terms of the deployment of new university courses or the consolidation of those that we already provide. We will be able to continue to promote growth in research and knowledge transfer, as a key pillar of the university and of the territory, which connects with the business and production sector. And, finally, the structural organization of the university will be protected.

In fact, this is stated in the text of the programme agreement. The document specifies that it is necessary to ensure that the structural weight of the university is financially sustainable over time, which guarantees the new funding.

One point that you have already requested is that this should be the last agreement that encompasses only FUBalmes and that the next agreements must take into account the federated reality of our institution. Does this mean that we have to start working on the renewal of the recently signed agreement already?

Indeed, this has to be the case. The sixth agreement must contemplate the broad and unique federative framework of our institution and for this to be the case we must set ourselves the duties of working on it from today. This is particularly true if we consider that we are about to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the university federation, that is, of the first agreement between the Balmes University Foundation and the Bages University Foundation. This anniversary will take place in January. Furthermore, since 2018 we have been working on the renewal of the agreement, which had expired. In this decade, UVic-UCC has grown and changed a lot. Many things have happened to the institution that the coming agreements will have to consider.

Five agreements in just over two decades

First programme agreement


600.000 euros

It established the framework for stable relations between the university and the Catalan Government, and led to preparation of the first UVic-UCC Strategic Plan.

It was signed in May 2002, with Ricard Torrents as Rector, Jacint Codina as President of the Board of Trustees, and Andreu Mas-Colell as Catalan Minister for Universities, Research and Society.

Second programme agreement


Initial funding of €2,4 million, which gradually increased to reach €6,01 million in 2007.

This was signed on 14 May 2003, with David Serrat as Rector, Jacint Codina as President of the Board of Trustees, and Andreu Mas-Colell as Catalan Minister for Universities, Research and Society.

Third programme agreement


Initial funding of €8,8 million, which gradually increased to reach €11,3 million in 2012.

Signed on 17 December 2009, with Assumpta Fargas as Rector, Josep M. Vila d’Abadal as President of the Board of Trustees and Josep Huguet as Catalan Minister for Innovation, Universities and Business.

Fourth programme agreement


Initial funding of €7,3 million, which gradually increased to reach €7,85 million in 2018. After it expired, the successive annual extensions were accompanied by an increase in the contribution up to €10,7 million in 2022.

Signed on 23 December 2015, with Jordi Montaña as Rector, Anna Erra as President of the Board of Trustees and Andreu Mas-Colell as Catalan Minister of Economy and Knowledge.

Fifth programme agreement


Initial funding of €13,05 million per year, with the possibility of increasing, depending on the Catalan Government’s budget allocated to universities.

Signed in November 2023, with Josep Eladi Baños as Rector, Albert Castells as President of the Board of Trustees and Joaquim Nadal as Catalan Minister for Research and Universities.