On the occasion of his official visit to Spain, the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, visited the Villaviciosa campus of Universidad Europea and participated in the official opening of the 2014–2015 academic year.
Universidad Europea was the first stop on the president’s official visit to Spain. The trip includes meetings with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Philip VI, with whom he will address issues on the country’s bilateral agenda, including investment and cooperation. He also plans to meet with senior leaders from Spain’s top companies.
In his speech at the university, President Hernández stressed the importance of education for the progress not only of specific countries but the whole world. "Countries have," he said, "the challenge of articulating and disseminating the knowledge that is needed for good governance and to improve the material and spiritual conditions of their citizens, because our cultures aim to provide people with dignity."
Hernández, a lawyer by profession, is 45 years old and the youngest-ever president of Honduras. Before becoming president of the country, he was president of the National Congress, where he helped pass the Basic Education Reform Act. This legislation aims to provide a better life for citizens by ensuring safety, education and employment. It is based on the belief that the creation and dissemination of knowledge through education will help us build a better world as education is highly correlated to improving the quality of life.
The president has spoken of his aspiration to create an ecosystem of science, technology and research that is in line with UN targets. "It is necessary," he said, "for the progress of nations, for political stability, for the continued functioning of the business sector and the protection of intellectual property." He also spoke of entrepreneurship as an engine of progress and as a necessary complement for the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
Following the conference, Universidad Europea students debated the educational policies that the president is undertaking in Honduras that began with the First Reform for State Universities, which aims to liberalize the higher education system, and the Fundamental Education Law, which is focused on improving basic education. His third reform will focus on enhancing institutional quality and technical – vocational education. He hopes in the next three years to have 250,000 Hondurans studying English and to make it the country’s second language.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.