Current life and society are not what they were some years ago, and the university should adapt to all the changes that have occurred. Especially since the workplace now demands new professions for which students should be prepared.
The appearance in 2008 of the European Higher Education Area brought about the first revision in study plans by Spanish universities. In an effort to adapt to changes in global surroundings, they began to offer new disciplines and methodologies to integrate students into the new professional sphere that was opening up, while at the same time diversifying the possibilities of access to markets that were increasingly competitive, demanding and changeable.
Previously, and in spite of the economic crisis that began in 2007, it was necessary to develop studies that would explain this global development in society, where public opinion was becoming an increasingly important factor, with the power to influence decisions. There were studies that dealt with things like progress and the impact of technologies and digital communication, the multiplicity of social and international actors, and economic and cultural interdependence.
The Communication Area of Universidad Europea created an academic work group to reflect on the need to create a new university degree that would include a coherent, rigorous and innovative study plan.
Sector research studies such as the Global Communications Report by the University of Southern California’s Center for Public Relations in collaboration with other academic and professional institutions such as Dircom, had already noted a future growth in demand for professionals from the communication and public relations sector. “The overall agency business will grow from its current size, estimated at $14 billion, to around $19.3 billion over the next five years. To accommodate that growth, agency leaders anticipate their headcount will increase over the same period by about 26%,” according to this report. In light of this, there was a need to update study plans at Universidad Europea by creating an academic working group.
This working group was made up of specialists in economics, international relations, international business, international law, corporate and political communication, journalism, digital communication and languages, and intercultural communication. They were given the task of producing a proposal for integral training in global and strategic communication.
Global, because studies would include a range of international and intercultural relations. The aim was to incorporate new knowledge that will give the student communications skills and the formats common to digital communication. And to also reinforce the contents of political communication that are centered around the study of the strategies, leaders and messages that different international players use to transmit projects, ideas and actions, as well as around the effects that they have on the people on the receiving end.
And strategic, because it would present in an integrated way the analysis of how current companies and institutions develop their communications campaigns and reinforce their image so as to position themselves in digitalized and global settings. The course is aimed at strengthening understanding of corporate and institutional communication, the learning of formats of digital design and devising strategies for managing communities and social networks.
Because that is what a graduate in Global and Strategic Communication will have to do: meet institutional, international and intercultural communications challenges that have profound socio-political and economic links. Challenges that could not be met by someone who is only good at a single communications aspect, such as journalism, advertising or audiovisuals.
Universidad Europea meets this challenge by including this degree in its study plans. The students who successfully finish it will be qualified to start their professional career in Spanish or multinational companies, as well as in public institutions and departments, communication firms, government foreign services and international organizations.
But also in pressure groups oriented toward economic or intercultural cooperation, in consulting firms and those engaged in international business, in public affairs and institutional relations departments, in tourism operations, events organizing, strategies and protocol management, citizen activism, and translation and cultural mediation companies.