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Letter from the President and the Director

Narcís Serra & Jacint Jordana

The year 2021 was especially demanding for IBEI. The pandemic and its consequent conditions did not begin to subside until the end of the year, obliging us to move almost all activities for academic year 2020-2021 online – with all the challenges that entailed. Nevertheless, the academic course progressed normally and IBEI achieved all its teaching objectives, including all planned complementary activities. In the end, we were able to hold our graduation ceremony at the beginning of September, this time in person. We also included a special ceremony for graduates of the 2019–2020 academic year, who had been unable to celebrate their graduation at that time.

 

Throughout the course, the entire IBEI community, including teachers, researchers and administration staff, went above and beyond to ensure the quality of our educational programmes despite these adverse conditions, and to offer students a comprehensive learning experience in their chosen international studies fields. We would like to thank you wholeheartedly for your effort and dedication during this very trying period.

 

Beyond its educational offerings, the Institute also carried out a large part of its other academic and research activities virtually, including scientific seminars, academic debates, summer schools, researcher network meetings, and so forth. However, intellectual life and research activity never wavered. These remained vibrant and dynamic despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic.

In one of our most outstanding milestones of 2021, the CERCA network of the Government of Catalonia accepted IBEI as a research centre of excellence.

Even during this challenging year, the IBEI team acquired new competitive projects and launched numerous academic initiatives, including the new Erasmus Mundus programme coordinated by the University of Glasgow and the ETHNICGOODS project, an ERC Consolidator Grant that began in October 2020, during one of the most difficult moments of the pandemic.

 

Another major achievement of 2021 was the elaboration and approval of IBEI’s new strategic plan for 2021–2025. Through a broad participatory process involving all groups connected to the Institute, we established new objectives and key strategies aimed at promoting IBEI as a high-level research centre and graduate school so the Institute can become one of the best in Europe in the near future. Together, we hope to consolidate and advance the quality of the Institute and reinforce our capacity to impact on public policy-making in IBEI’s fields of expertise.