Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Desafío Programm. A rural version of Erasmus for depopulated areas.
Luis Antonio Sáez-Pérez, Nieves García-Casarejos, Marta Rincón-Pérez

Last modified: 25-06-2019


In remote rural areas, economic and social life exits, although young universitarian don't believe it. Dynamic companies, innovative administrations and creative third sector need talent, the most decisive input, but it is scarce and it is difficult to compete with cities to attract it. Public Universities linked to local communities could match each part, students and employees, facilitating their respective knowledge through summer internships, improving the human and social capital on both sides.

That’s the objective of Desafío Programme, the experimental policy which we analyse in this work. It is implemented by the Provincial Council of Zaragoza and its University to do it reducing transaction cost by giving information and offering grants to the students who decide to work and live in very small villages. Thanks to it they obtain a professional experience in which to apply their knowledges, but, more important, they enrich themselves through an exceptional experience, learning by doing and learning by living. We expose the main points of Desafío, the kind of studies required, the type of company and organization, and the relevant costs. In base to the polls and interviews made before and after, we can deduce a very good valuation of students and employers.

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