Tops marks from students

Adeje Summer University students happy with courses

On the last day of the 2018 Adeje Summer University, as is the norm, participants were asked to fill in a short questionnaire on the courses they attended and evaluate their experience – and yet again the University scored top marks!

According to Adeje education councillor Adolfo Alonso Ferrera and the University of La Laguna (ULL) vice-rector Francisco García, the overall satisfaction rating was higher than last year and students also gave a high approval rating to changes in the modular format on offer this year. One of highest rated courses was that on sign language, with courses in art, literature and the environment also popular.

Interesting data was also available on the profile of students (over 700) who attended the university this year, with over 60% saying they signed up to improve their general knowledge and 23% to improve their CV. 96% of those matriculating were from Tenerife, 34% from Adeje itself, something very important to the local education department as it reflects a positive reception by the people of the borough. More women than men took courses; nearly 40% are employed, 22% looking for work and 23% in full time education.









Sport is a learning tool

Hugo Bustillo Onandia, lecturer on sports during the Adeje Summer University, told students that,  “Sport is a very potent tool with which we can change many things in society and if used well, the winning or losing will be circunstancial, but the values we learn through sport – respect, treatment of others, team work, training, healthy life-style habits – are what will stay with us.”

The title of the course “El Deportes desde otra perspectiva” (sports from another perspective) was also a forum for debate among sporting professionals, including members of the Adeje sports department, looking at sport as more than just a series of competitions.  “It’s about the vision of who is training, refereeing or taking part in sporting activities”.

During the three day course particiapnts  looked at adapted sports, asking how they can improve the area of special needs sports for all.  Diet was also discussed as was the issue of doping in sport, with discussions on both the latest methods for detection drug use in top professionals as well as looking at the reasons athletes turn to banned performance-enhancing drugs.

When teen relationships turn violent!

The goal is that these young people will become a reference point within their own communities

One of the free complementary courses during Adeje Summer University is for young people aged between 14 – 30 who live in the borough, and who are interested in become community volunteers in combatting gender violence, particularly among their peers.

The course has been run in the Adeje youth centre and is the second time the council have organised this form of training, with a high satisfaction rating among the participants. Previously 13 young people took part and the training is given by members of the ‘Federacion de Asociaciones de Mujers Arena y Laurisilva’, who have been working in the area of equality and gender violence prevention for over 20 years.

The reasoning behind the course, according to the councillor for equality Carmen Lucía Rodríguez del Toro, is “to continue with the basic training when the school term starts, developing a series of awareness-raising workshops in the borough’s secondary schools.  We believe it is fundamental that our young people are involved in training and awareness regarding this subject matter”.

The goal is that these young people will become a reference point within their own communities and share values of equality and the benefits of relationships based on social equality, and help any woman who needs to escape from a situation where she is suffering gender violence.  Students are also learning about the laws that apply to gender violence, the myths that society may perpetuate, etc.






















Dancing on the street in Adeje

Literature, music, and radio throughout the Adeje Summer University

The Adeje Summer University (UVA), as well as offering courses and workshops, is running a series of parallel events. Yesterday, Monday July 23rd, there were a number of book launches and a concert in the Calle Grande, with the ‘El Método Stanislavski’ group and their 80s sound.

Today, July 24th, La Cope radio broadcast a live programme from the UVA base, and in the afternoon there are more book launches, a concert with Fran Baraja & Parranda Blues Band. The Adeje library has been working with the Todo Hobbie La Calve bookshop in organising some of the book-related events.

Similar events are programmed for the rest of the week – more information online,





Post truths and workers rights today!

Adeje Summer University – Day 1

The rights of workers in the 21st global market place and the emergence of post-truth in politics were just two of the subjects under the spotlight during day one of the Adeje Summer University.

The University of La Laguna law professor, Gloria Rojas Rivero, is leading the course on “Globalización y empresas en red: organización empresarial y nuevas formas de trabajo” – globalisation and internet businesses and new forms of work. In particular she is looking at the consequences of this new form of business and employment for workers and their work conditions with workforces spread across many different national jurisdictions “We are examining how we deal with the main concerns of institutions dealing with workers’ rights and conditions given the phenomenon of global economy”, she explained.

Over the three days of the course students will examine delimitation, inter-company cooperation, franchising, sub-contract networks, unions, collaborative platforms, and how workers can identify and guarantee their rights. She said that to date “the rights of workers are not evolving to meet the new needs” and to date most of the new problems for workers haven’t been adequately dealt with. “The new business networks means that a company can make its products in over 60 different countries and those workers are subject to different labour laws and conditions”.

The highly regarded television correspondent Rosa María Calaf was the main speaker at the opening session of a conference on the history and social communication of Macaronesia, as part of the Summer University. She offered students a personal vision of journalism today, in particular ‘post-truth’ (in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from details, and by the repetition of talking points with speakers rebutting the presentation of facts). And while it might seem like a new development, she says post-truths have been around for a long time, but are more prevalent today.

The existence or peddling of ‘false news’ goes back over many years – she referred to Charles II of England in 1762 who had to issue an edict outlawing false news about the Crown circulating in taverns. Post-truths appeal to the emotion, and is nothing new, but what has changed, she argues, is that new technology increases the widespread impact and speed of circulation of post-truths. She named Brexit, the election of Trump, the recent Italian general election, and the Catalan situation, as examples of issues that had and are affected by the use of post-truths.

The Adeje Summer University runs all week with course, workshops and parallel cultural activities in the centre of Adeje town.


Summer University inauguration


Journalist Paloma del Río opened the university week with a speech on sexism in sport


The 26th Adeje Summer University was inaugurated at noon today in a ceremony in the Adeje Convent. The Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, praised the continuance of the summer school adding “we are meeting a real need, dealing with subjects that matter to the population as a whole”

The mayor said that educational institutions were there to deal with issues of common interest and this initiative had allowed Adeje to open new academic connections, which had led to the creation of a university campus here in the south of Tenerife, where today a full Tourism degree was now on offer. Third level education is a priority, he said, in particular in a tourism borough where, in the past, young people had left school to work without finishing their education, with the growth of the hotel and holiday sectors, and resultant jobs.

The vice-rector of the University of La Laguna (ULL) Francisco García, said the courses this year would offer “a feast of knowledge” starting next Monday, with 10 courses and 14 workshops in modular and flexible formats to meet the needs of today’s student as well as an international investigative congress. He also referred to the wide range of parallel cultural activities scheduled, with concerts, book launches, live radio programmes, etc. And with over 700 students already signed up, it shows “that those who will attend next week are not just looking for university credits but also reflect a thirst for information and education in many different disciplines”.

The ULL rector, Antonio Martinón, thanked Adeje for helping “the ULL complete one of its missions – the extending of knowledge into our society in general”. He also told those in attendance that tomorrow (Saturday July 21st) they would also be celebrating the graduation of the third Tourism degree class in South Tenerife, in Adeje, and from the next academic year a number of related post-graduate courses would also be on offer here. He made special reference to the Adeje mayor’s commitment to education, “it is a pleasure to see a politician defending such a basic need as education today”.

Women and sport
The Spanish television journalist Paloma del Río delivered the university inaugural address, and introducing her to the audience, Adeje sports councillor Adolfo Alonso said she was “an inspiration for hundreds and hundreds of people who have decided to take up journalism”. Del Río started her talk referring to the two things that had to be eliminated from sports – sexism and the invisibility (of the importance of female athletes). “We are all responsible for the current situation – from communication media to politicians and business leaders”, she said.

Too often, she said, the media forgets that there are women in sport, or talks about them in terms of their marital and maternal status, their figure or physical aspect, their personal lives, their appearance, something that is much rarer when they are discussing male athletes. Women are given ‘cute’ titles, or nicknames, while their male counterparts will often be labelled as superheroes. Del Río said that there were some sports federations now beginning to address the matter, but taking ‘timid steps’ still.

“Journalists continue to treat female sport as a ‘slave’ to male sports”, she argued, where even today you will find the success of a female athlete attributed to her adopting male physical attributes, for instance. “This kind of sexism is unacceptable in the 21st century”, she said”, “and the media are still a long way away from properly recognising the achievements of women in all aspects of life”. If the presence of women in politics or the economy or health circles is minimum, “in sport it is practically invisible” Del Río pointed out.

This is not just a Spanish problem but similar at international level, with the sexualisation of photographing female athletes, concentrating on their looks before their sporting successes. “Sporting journalism is still a man’s world, for male consumers” she stated, though she did notice that women athletes are using social media to work to shift the balance on their own behalf. She also praised the Adeje Summer University for including a course on sports journalism this year,


Who controls our cultural heritage?

Jagielska-Burduk: “The EU sees cultural heritage as a development catalyst”

Alicja Jagielska-Burduk, is a legal counsellor and head of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection Law at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland, and works for the Santander Art and Culture Law Review. This week she was one of the guest lecturers taking part in the Adeje Summer University, speaking on art, culture and the law, looking at the legal questions that arise during the marketing of art. She defended the need to protect heritage adding that in many instances, “the EU considers cultural heritage as a development catalyst”.

During her lecture she dealt with a number of legal and economic aspects related to the protection of cultural and historical artefacts, and the link between art, culture and economic development. The need to create industries and encourage education programmes related to heritage and culture was also discussed.

Jagielska-Burduk reckons the protection of art collections and historical sites is important, and European institutions can create a communal link, unifying the different ideas in the continent. At the same time though, the use of new technologies and assisting private initiatives was stressed, as was the public-private co-operation needed to set up new heritage projects.

“Of course it is important to respect the importance between public and private bodies and avoid potential conflicts. But, without doubt, the public interest takes precedence over the private, because there exists a responsibility to ensure as much of our cultural inheritance is preserved for and available to future generations.”

The movements within the international art market may see heritage art pieces held beyond public viewing, which is why she believes it is important to create co-operative programmes with private collectors. For example, she outlined how many private collectors open their doors to the public during summer months. “The dilemma then isn’t’ to choose between private and public but rather to work to help private collectors become a part of the cultural heritage team and see what we can do to encourage them to volunteer to do so”.

While there are differences in legislation regarding heritage and art in different EU countries, all share a common thread based on the rights of ownership and balances and restrictions. “The owner of the item isn’t important here – it’s irrelevant whether the work is private or public or semi-privately owned. What is of primary importance is the intention to protect it”.

Traditional tourism has to adapt to new technologies

Lucía Hernández

Lucía Hernández, a specialist in partnership tourism, has told students at the Adeje Summer University that the changes in traditional forms of tourism, with car and apartment exchanges now the growing norm in the industry, the new reality. Taking part in a course on (translated) ‘The collaborative economy: Is this the end of traditional tourism as we know it?’, she says the eruption of new, less institutionalised travel agencies, is creating friction in the more traditional sectors, but, she added, “when there are important technological changes taking place it is the traditional businesses that have to adapt to the new realities”.

Hernández told students that partnership or collaborative tourism was evolving on technological platforms which allowed individual users to contact each other to share cars – sites like Blablacar – or homes – sites like Airbnb. “The full gamut of traveller needs is being met, from when they arrive to their destination, where to stay and what to do during their stay. So, the ‘experiences’ subsector is the one with the most potential for growth, as both transport and accommodation are more or less covered”, she said.

This change in the tourism model has evolved and grown directly in line with the needs of travellers who are often looking to immerse themselves more into the lifestyle of the places they are visiting and to have greater contact with the local population, get to know the places they are visiting, the culture, the gastronomy.

The growth in this form of travelling has provoked a reaction from some of the bigger traditional tourism companies. In destinations such as the Canary Islands, where hotels continue to enjoy up to 100% occupation, they are not so worried, but in other destinations with lower rates “from the start they have seen this new form of tourism as taking from their market share but the reality is that people are travelling more and, rather than seeing their slice of the cake getting smaller, the cake itself is growing”.

It’s also, says Hernández, down to the fact that people who felt financially restricted from travelling in the past are now doing so. “A family who would have needed to find a hotel room for a couple and two children found it difficult in the past, and expensive. Today, they can find an apartment that they can afford with a kitchen where they can prepare meals for the family”. In Hernández’s opinion what will more likely happen in the medium term is that tour-operators and hotel chains will begin to adapt to the new collaborative economic models.

Hernández also referred to the reality that today there are many companies who control tourism apartments using these same platforms to sell their product, and “it is something that we cannot control, the market has its own evolutionary route and companies are also beginning to enter this collaborative economy”. What we are waiting for is for legislators to adapt and reflect the new norms, and, “there must be an adequate level of understanding of the market to apply necessary regulations”.

Hernández works for ‘Ouishare’, an independent international organisation that, according to their own website, “connects people and accelerates projects for systemic change. We experiment with social models based on collaboration, openness, and fairness.
Our mission is to build and nurture a collaborative society by connecting people, organizations and ideas around fairness, openness and trust.” The group works with and offers advice to public institutions and private companies on adaption to the new models of economic collaboration.

Ouishare believes that those economic, political and social systems based on the values of collaboration, fairness, openness and trust can solve many of the complex challenges the world faces, and enable everyone to access the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. Hernández points to the figures as proof of the change. “In 2015 the collaborative economy generated 4,000 million dollars in Europe, 85% of that going to private citizens. These individuals, empowered by technology, are generating new forms of income via this activity which will in turn have a positive impact in terms of income tax”, and in other ways, taking people off the dole, out of social welfare dependency. “All this has to be taken into consideration. We cannot go backwards”.

Adeje Summer University: Autism, evaluation and resources


Jiménez Navarro: “people with autism will continue to need help into adulthood”

On the opening day of the Adeje Summer University (UVA) Pedro Manuel Jiménez Navarro, a psychology major from the University of Salamanca, said it was important to increase the amount of resources available for people on the autism spectrum, not simply in terms of primary care but also in education, and into adulthood, because, he says, these individuals will continue to need help. “In Tenerife there are some existing resources, but they are in heavy demand and with a decreasing number of places, and I don’t see any plan in evidence to work with these people when they are finished schooling, when they are in their 20, and I see families unsure what the future holds for them”.

Jiménez Navarro was giving a lecture as part of the UVA course in Autism, learning difficulties and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder); resources for teachers and families. “There is a lot to be done”, he says.

The lecturer has been working on a new tool designed to evaluate intellectual disability, which is part of his work for his doctoral thesis. The assessment tool is based on a model designed by the American Society for Intellectual Disability, adapted to meet the situation here in Spain, and he has been working with a group of 250 people with autism and 50 more who have Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition considered a milder form of autism. He believes this evaluation tool will be very important in the coming years – it is still in its infancy as a working model and primary results are not yet officially published, but that will happen over the coming years, he says.

Jiménez Navarro, while acknowledging there are existing tools to detect and grade this form of intellectual disability and those with learning challenges, he says that specialised attention should begin at a much younger age, ideally for pre-school children with health care services taking responsibility. Asperger’s Syndrome, as it is a milder form, is often harder to detect and might not appear until a child is 5 or 6 years old.

“What is very obvious, as a result of the studies I have carried out for my thesis, is that the majority of those people on the autism spectrum need a level of attention that they are currently not receiving, fundamentally from the education authorities”, he has commented. The help needed would include education in daily life habits to improving learning skills, developing social skills, and helping individuals integrate more. In general, help is needed to allow these individuals “develop the highest level of independence possible into their adult lives!”
Jiménez reminded his students that autism doesn’t have a cure, so emphasis must be on improving a person’s ability to live with the condition. “There are people with Asperger’s who live a relatively normal life, they work, marry, have a family. And there are others who do not have such a life as their immediate environment does not properly understand their social and emotional difficulties”.

Making cities disaster resilient




With the projected increase in floods, hurricanes, heat waves and tornadoes worldwide, risk management is essential
As part of the Adeje Summer University, Abhilash Panda, from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction – UNISDR, gave a fascinating two hour lecture on managing and controlling risks – natural and human – risk reduction, increasing resilience, and also made specific references to the position of and part heritage plays in this equation, in particular in the case of tourism-dependent zones.

As he explained, the mandate of the United Nations and UN bodies is to concentrate their resources in areas that are developing, so plans and strategies are not geared towards major developed cities, where financial and human resources already exist, but on those in need of some external guidance and assistance, and often in conjunction or by encouraging the assistance of private institutions – insurance bodies, etc.

The campaign to develop resilience programmes in cities began in 2010, sponsored by the Rockefeller foundation (100RC) but has already grown to include 3,200 cities today, potentially affecting 1 billion people. The body has now adopted a strategy, the Sendai Framework, “which is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognises that the ‘State’ has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.” It works to achieve, “the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.”

The speaker outlined four priorities for action, understanding risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience (being resilient alone isn’t enough, you have to reduce the risk), and, ‘build back better’ – in other worlds learn from the past, and invest in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

He also made special reference to the relevance and role of heritage in tourist destinations and of including sites and monuments in risk management plans, given their importance to the cultural and economic life of the zone.

The use of credible reliable information regarding risks and how to deal with them is also hugely important and must be shared responsibly. He gave the example of Thailand after the 2004 tsunami. Today visitors to hotels are given a details sheet reminding them that there is a risk, but also telling them what to do in the event of an emergency, where to go, how to get there, etc. Everyone needs to be encouraged to be part of the risk reduction and resilience strategy, not just those in local government or the emergency services.