Time to talk about how university students learn


September 7th and 8th, 2023


The symposium “Time to talk about how university students learn” is a meeting to rethink how university students are learning in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. A world where lifestyles, digital devices and so-called artificial intelligence influence modes of attention and concentration, and their relationship with information, authorship, and evaluation.

It is an event designed to explore the challenges these changes pose for university teaching and students’ learning, seeking to weave threads of meaning between researchers, teaching staff, students and university managers. This open symposium aims to promote the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and research, generating spaces for debate that will enable knowledge production by interweaving different fields of study and experience levels.

This meeting, organised by members of the research groups Esbrina of the University of Barcelona and Elkarrikertuz of the University of the Basque Country, links to the research project “Learning trajectories of young university students: conceptions, strategies, technologies and contexts” (Ministry of Science and Innovation, PID2019-108696RB-I00. 2020-2023).

In recent years, both groups have developed several research projects that have emphasised the contextual and experiential dimensions of learning. For this reason, we would like to invite you to share, reflect and discuss findings, tensions, and questions about how students learn inside and outside the university. Specifically, we are interested in bringing into dialogue contributions that address these issues related to university students’ learning:

  1. Learning trajectories.
  2. Contexts and learning scenarios.
  3. The role of digital technologies and the virtual world in learning.
  4. The diversity of learners and their ways of learning.
  5. Conceptions of learning that guide them and the strategies they use.
  6. Affective dimensions of learning.

Guiding questions:

  • How do students learn in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world?
  • What enables us to think about students’ learning trajectories?
  • How do their conceptions of learning relate to how teachers teach?
  • What learning strategies do they deploy to respond to the demands placed on them by the university?
  • What role do digital technologies and the virtual world play in their learning processes and relationships?
  • How do they move between contexts –inside and outside the university– in their ways of learning?
  • How do functional, psychological, and intersectional differences play out in learning trajectories?
  • What is the role of ‘affect’ in learning trajectories?
  • What does research on student learning contribute to the need to rethink the formative mission of the university?

The symposium’s format encourages sharing of experiences and knowledge by invited speakers and participants. For this reason, participants will have access to contributions in advance, so that they can be read in advance and discussed in the rounds of papers.


The symposium is open to three types of papers:

  1. Research related.
  2. Substantiated essays.
  3. Experience stories.

The conference’s scientific committee will assess contributions based on their relevance to the topics covered, originality and quality. We foresee the organisation of a monograph based on the symposium. The format of the final text will depend on the conditions of the publication.

You can send your papers, written in Catalan, Spanish, or English, to esbrina@ub.edu

Key dates

  • By May 31st: Submissions (abstract of 300 words maximum, format).
  • Before June 10th: Review results announced.
  • By July 15th: Submission of the final papers (format).
  • June 15th to July 30th: Registration for the Conference.
  • September 1st: Sending of the papers to those who have registered to facilitate dialogue with the proposals presented.


9:30 Inauguration and Presentation of the Symposium

Dra. Conxita Amat
Vice-Rector for Teaching Policy at the University of Barcelona

10:00 Qué hemos podido conocer en el proyecto TRAY-AP sobre cómo los estudiantes universitarios aprenden

José Miguel Correa
University of the Basque Country

Fernando Hernández
University of Barcelona

10:45 Dialogue with TRAY-AP project contributions

Patrick Rayou
Professeur émérite en sciences de l’éducation à l’Université Paris 8

11:30 Break
12:30 First round of presentations
13:30 Lunch break
15:00 Second round of presentations
16:30 Break
17:00 Qué nos dicen los resultados de la CViE-UB sobre quiénes son y cómo viven los estudiantes universitarios

Àngels Alegre
Director of Observatori de l’Estudiant of the University of Barcelona


Cristina Lasa
University of the Basque Country

Fernando Herraiz
Universitat de Barcelona

18:00 End of the first day
9:30 Keynote

The Academic Me – Studying the boundaries of educational pathways

Ola Andres Erstad
Department of Education, University of Oslo


Laura Malinverni
University of Barcelona

10:30 Third round of presentations
12:00 Break
12:30 Round table with university students

Inés Cristina Fumero Morales
Grup del Plenari Som Universitaris

Oscar Alejandro Baños
Observatori de l’Estudiant de la Universitat de Barcelona

Blai Blanchet
Economic sciences student at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Clara Urquiza Torres
Facultat de Belles Arts


Eider Chaves
Doctoral student at the University of the Basque Country

Silvia de Riba
Doctoral student at the University of Barcelona

14:00 Lunch break
15:30 Fourth round of presentations
17:00 Break
17:30 Round table with representatives of groups researching aspects of university students’ lives

Mercedes Torrado Fonseca
Grupo de Investigación sobre Transiciones Académicas y Laborales (TRALS), University of Barcelona

Ignacio Rivas Flores
Research group Profesorado, Comunicación e Investigación (PROCIE), University of Malaga

Rafael Porlán Ariza
Coordinator of the Programa de Formación, Innovación e Investigación Docente del Profesorado (FIDOP) at University of Seville


Judit Onsès Segarra
Universitat de Girona

Ainguero Gutiérrez-Cabello
University of the Basque Country

19:00 Summary of the contributions and end of the symposium


September 7th and 8th, 2023


Fundació Antoni Tàpies
C/ d’Aragó, 255, 08007 Barcelona


Organized by

With support from

Ayuda PID2019-108696RB-I00 financiada por:

Observatori de l’estudiant
Universitat de Barcelona

Programa de doctorat Arts i Educació
Universitat de Barcelona

Organizing committee

  • Jose Miguel Correa Gorospe, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Eider Chaves Gallastegui, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Paula Estalayo Bielsa, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Fernando Hernández- Hernández, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Fernando Herraiz García, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Estibaliz Jiménez Aberasturi Apraiz, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Laura Malinverni, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Silvia de Riba Mayoral, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Juana M. Sancho Gil, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Sandra Soler Campo, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Mar Sureda Perelló, Universitat de Barcelona

Scientific committee

  • Ana Abreu Sosa, Universidade Federal de Alfenas MG,Brasil
  • Gabriela Bulla, Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
  • Aurelio Castro Varela , Universitat de Barcelona
  • Sara Carrasco Segovia , Universitat de Barcelona
  • Maria Domingo Coscollola, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
  • Regina Guerra Gezuraga , Universidad del País Vasco
  • Aingeru Gutiérrez-Cabello , Universidad del País Vasco
  • Cristina Lasa Ochoteco, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Judit Onsès Segarra, Universitat de Girona
  • Miriam Peña Zavala, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Elizabeth Pérez Eizaguirre, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Marina Riera Retamero, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Alaitz Sasiain Camarero-Núñez, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Bettina Steren dos Santos, Universidade PUCRS, Brasil