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The University of the Balearic Islands

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Abstract

THE UNIVERSITY O F THE BALEARIC ISLANDS SINCE THE EIGHTIES THE UNIVERSITY OF THE BALEARIC ISLES HAS REALLY GOT INTO ITS STRIDE, TAKING SHAPE AS A HISTORIC PROJECT CONCEIVED AS A MEANS O F FURTHERING THE GROWTH AND SELF-AWARENESS OF THE PEOPLE O F THE BALEARICS. J O A N OLlVER ARAUJO G E N E R A L S E C R E T A R Y . U N I V E R S I T A T D E L E S I L L E S B A L E A R S . M A R l A DE LA PAU JANER L E C T U R E R I N C A T A L A N P H I L O L O G Y . U N I V E R S I T A T D E L E S I L L E S B A L E A R S hey say that each people is the product of its history. For cen- turies the Balearic Isles have been a stopping-off point. Wrapped in the sea that surrounds and bounds them, sheltered behind the cliffs that look out like watchtowers over the dis- tant horizon, they have a long history behind them. Today, the society wavers awkwardly between openness to the world -what Llorenc Villalonga called cosmopolitanism- and the millstone of entrenchment behind an almost ances- tral lethargy -what in more or less poe- tic terms has been called island tranqui- lity. It certainly hasn't been easy getting a university for our islands, and even less so bringing it to the point it's at today, when in spite of the continuing short- comings it really does seem to be taking . off. The truth is that the University is finally a reality -itls here. It's no longer the dream some Majorcans had a few decades ago, when al1 there was were no more than plans not yet begun; now it's a rich and complex project, ready for whatever the future holds in store, and with a past behind it which, though short, is full of little conquests. It was during 1967-68 that the first clas- ses in Philosophy and Art were held at the Estudi General Lul.lia, rebuilt in 1949 by the architect Gabriel Alomar, in the Carrer Roc, in the heart of the old part of Palma, close to the palaces and courtyards. Precisely there, as a symbol of renewal and future, amongst the

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