A university campus should reflect a commitment to quality and be dedicated to the intellectual, psychological and social development of its students. The “Educational Campus” is an innovative concept which espouses this concept and is designed to stimulate a process of modernisation in universities and contribute to their excellence.
European universities are in the process of adapting to the academic requirements of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), but they need to face a quality shift as regards space (architecture and urbanism). In response to this challenge, the innovative concept of the “Educational Campus” has been conceived, and it will be of potential interest to those responsible for orienting the future development of universities. Its aim is to foster the transformation of mere physical spaces into quality educational spaces, and in this way contribute to the intellectual, affective and social development of the university student within the urban and social context. This concept emerged in 2005 when the University of Salamanca’s new Campus of Villamayor was designed.
A campus can be considered “educational” if it embodies the values contained in the following ten principles:
Utopia and integrated planning
Community of learning
Emotional and intellectual harmony
Nature and art
Image and accessibility
Sustainability and adaptation to the environment
Memory and avant garde
The university/city relationship
Innovative teaching and learning modalities
Education is conditioned by its spatial context insofar as the interaction that facilitates the exchange of knowledge takes place in a particular physical environment.The Educational Campus, which builds on this idea, is a complex concept and its multiple features are described below. It aims to provide a range of theoretical and practical reflections that could be of use to universities which intend to remodel their environments.