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Words in Anniversary 45 ° of the INTEC

Dear friends, dear friends

Our institution is turning 45 years old. Surely, some of you will still keep in your memory the image of a small building in the middle of weeds, and you will be amazed at the road traveled to reach the point where we are today. If a simile is established with the life of a person, it could be said that INTEC is in an early stage of maturity, in which a good number of realizations with equal number of aspirations. Let me then take this opportunity for a quick recounting of both.

On the achievement side, I have no doubt that each stage of INTEC's institutional history has been a setting for new steps forward. In recent years, the greatest achievements have been made in the accreditation of a large part of our programs and in the beginning of a far-reaching curriculum reform, based on competencies, which will progressively transform the way of learning and teaching in our university and will serve as a model for others.

Similarly, investigative activity has continued to strengthen over time. Between 2014 and 2017, for example, more than 20 research groups were launched and the number of research projects submitted to the last FONDOCYT call tripled the number of proposals submitted to the previous call. This is not by chance, but the result of a well-defined strategy to attract and motivate first-rate human capital, which is evidenced by the fact that the percentage of INTEC professors with doctoral level is more than double the percentage in any another university in the country.

In another order, INTEC has continued to advance towards its positioning as a space for social reflection. In this sense, the implementation of initiatives such as the Business Forums and the INTEC Dialogue for Action, whose activities generate great media coverage, stand out. And just as an additional illustration, the First Report on the Analysis of the Dominican Economy, prepared by teachers and students from the Economics and Business Area, generated more than three editorials in the country's written press and a front-page display in some these means.

As a result of all this, it can be said that the university has already created the necessary conditions for a great leap forward and that we are now ready to take on challenges that previously seemed insurmountable. I am confident that the next few years will allow us to reach even more ambitious goals in our never-ending and exciting journey of continuous improvement. That then leads me to briefly ponder our aspirations.

As you all know, we have recently started the process of preparing a new Strategic Plan, which will guide the university's actions for the next 5 years and will precisely establish institutional priorities for the near future. However, I dare to advance some goals that I sense will be present in one way or another in our strategic guidelines.

A first aspiration is the deepening of the competency-based curriculum reform process. In this regard, it should be achieved that all programs incorporate essential innovations to guarantee continuous evaluation and improvement processes, greater linkage with external sectors, systematization of appraisals at the end of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as greater linkage of students with research work, among others.

A second aspiration is the sustained growth of enrollment, without compromising quality and preserving equity. This should lead to an in-depth analysis of the pull factors in the target population and the strengths and weaknesses of the institution. As instruments in this task, we are working on the implementation of an Educational Loan Program that allows access to low-income students, and an ambitious Academic Counseling program to contribute to the retention of students who are already with us.

A third aspiration is the significant improvement in the quality of our services. The ultimate goal is to turn INTEC into a service model for all those involved (students, teachers, graduates and others) in the course of the next three years. And before the end of the triennium, INTEC must be in a position to apply for the National Prize for Quality in the Private Sector.

The fourth aspiration is an effective and sustainable relationship with the productive sectors, Government and civil society. With that end in mind, each academic area should have functional Advisory Committees, whose contribution should be strengthened over time. Likewise, each postgraduate program must clearly identify a matrix of social needs that it will seek to address, together with verification and monitoring mechanisms to ensure significant achievements in this regard.

Incidentally, this should lead to the diversification of our sources of income, to limit dependence on enrollment income. Experience shows that a quality university cannot depend exclusively on payment from students, and that it is necessary to broaden the support base with other sources of income. At present, we have set the aspiration of 30% of non-enrollment income, but we have not exceeded 20%. This constitutes, therefore, a fifth aspiration.

And finally, a sixth aspiration is to have an improved In other words, the campus capacities should continue to increase with the construction of essential facilities contemplated in the Infrastructure Master Plan. These facilities are clearly identified and the biggest challenge is to identify forms of financing, to which we are dedicating a good deal of effort.

As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, the challenge is to continue transforming an excellent institution into an even better institution. In its first 45 years, INTEC has shown that continuous work pays off, and we have achieved perhaps unsuspected local and regional prestige. In the next 10 or 15 years, the general ambition must be for this regional prestige to translate into global recognition, and for the name of our institution to be justly recognized among the best in the world. I have no doubts, and I know neither do you, that this will be the case thanks to everyone's work.

Thank you very much, friends.