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Interview with the Director General of Fundación SEPI, Mr. Ángel Díaz Chao

“At the Hall of Residence of Fundación SEPI we train, educate and provide support on educational issues”

21/06/2015 - Madrid
Interview

What does the Hall of Residence mean for Fundación SEPI?

Fundación SEPI was incorporated 51 years ago in order to manage a state-owned Hall of Residence; so that the first thing for which it stands for is the reason for its incorporation. The second issue is that 50% of the workforce of Fundación SEPI is engaged at the Hall of Residence. And third, it is the stepping stone in the value chain which today is the Foundation.

In perspective, the Foundation has the Hall of Residence, scholarships, a training campus and as its main axis, research; that is to say, first we train at university level, then once this stage is over, the following link in the chain is gaining access to the labor market (scholarships) and once they are within the labor market, we have a training campus for managers which on the one hand is used as the corporate training campus for Grupo SEPI and on the other, for those companies which do not belong to Grupo SEPI. At the same time, we have a research department which studies which kind of public policies are more successful and which are less successful, and which makes a follow-up of the labor market and studies it.

Which are the main features of this Hall of Residence?

One feature is that everything is new while at the same time with a 50-year operating experience. Although the main feature is that it is not a mere hall of residence, but a training center in which every year we put on the table a cultural, educational and training plan so that the students are successful both in their studies and can enjoy a supplementary education.

What is the contribution made by the Hall of Residence to Fundación SEPI which makes it different from other halls of residence?

Besides that which was mentioned before, the first which makes it different is that all the workforce belongs to the Foundation, has been working here for a long time, and the relationship with the students is very close. I would say that – and that is what the students with which we held last year a meeting for seeing possible improvements say - the employees are almost family members, for the students it is like going to a second home. Besides that, the difference consists in the cultural activity carried out, an activity which we make revolve around the student who for us is our customer.

Which is the content of the conferences program and other events envisaged for the next school year?

At the hall of residence, the main idea is that it is mostly focused on the student, so that we try to have a high level of cultural activity, but above all, that it is directly promoted by the students. Actually, although it must be approved by the Foundation, it is the students who propose the cultural offer, what interests them, and it is they who carry out the photography, physics, theater, etc. workshops.

In keeping with this idea, which is the usual profile of the student which stays at this Hall of Residence?

In the interview which they go through during the selection process, besides the school record and the income level criteria, we look for a personal profile which is that of an active person, who keeps the dynamism at the residence. At the same time, we make a follow-up of the students, both with regard to their behavior, which must conform to the norms in force, and with regard to their effort in their studies, so that once the school year is over, we make an individual assessment of each of them and we see how they have progressed, in order to single out those who did not make the required effort. And that can determine whether they continue for a further year or not.

Which reason would you give for advising students to go through the Hall of Residence of Fundación SEPI?

The message which I would send to him or her is that this hall or residence is part of a Foundation whose motto is that for the last 50 years it has been engaged in research and in training persons, and as a result, what we receive there are persons who we train, educate and to whom we provide educational support, and who besides we support with the research we have carried out about the labor market.

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