M. Payeras1, M.A. García1, M. Alemany1, C. Borras2

1UIB (Universitat de les Illes Balears) (SPAIN)
2UIB-Escuela Hoteleria-Balears (SPAIN)
Balearic Islands is a group of islands, comprising an autonomous region and province of Spain. This archipielago lies 80 to 300 km (50 to 190 miles) east of the Spanish mainland, in the Mediterranean Sea. The group's 11 islets and the 4 large islands of Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca (Menorca), Ibiza (Eivissa), and Formentera constitute the group. The islands have a total area of 5,014 sq km (1,936 sq mi) and constitute the smallest of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions.
The insularity character of this region, and furthermore the fragmentation of its territory have determined the Balearic’ idiosyncratic production and social structure. So, on the one hand, the shortage of natural resources to be processed economically and high costs of transport have hindered the development of industry. Besides, the domestic market’s small size prevents companies from being able to reduce their costs through high production volumes (economies of scale). However, on the other hand, the insular character and fragmentation of territory also endow the region with valuable natural resources that have been used to attract tourists. This situation has led to Balearic Islands is well-known as an international tourist resort.
The intense concentration on the production of tourism services since the 1960s, has been the driving force behind the prosperity of the islands’ economy and its residents, and is materialized in high levels of income per inhabitant. Nevertheless, in recent years, the data reflect a slowdown in the Balearic GDP’s growth rate and a decline in its higher productivity compared with other Spanish regions, which has meant that the islands have dropped in the ranking of the country’s production per capita.
Within this context, it results necessary to analyze the factors and strategies that guarantee the competitiveness of the Balearic economy. A review of the specific literature leads us to consider the increasing importance of human capital as a fundamental asset in improving competitiveness. The importance of implementing measures that tend to drive the quality of human capital and training is even more necessary, if possible, in the Balearics where the percentage of workers with higher is the lowest in all of Spain. Without a doubt, the low intensity of human capital - along with the scarce amount of innovation in the productive fabric - has influenced the decline in productivity that has restrained growth in recent years. From this perspective, managing the quality and training of the workforce becomes a key policy in reinforcing tourism’s differential competitiveness in the Balearics.
In this context and taking into account the above characteristics: insularity and fragmentation of territory in small territories, the UIB implemented the project Campus Extens in 1997 with the idea to extend the university campus outside the traditional enclosure. Taking advantage of the new technologies to arrive at citizens of the Balearic islands- citizens who live in Minorca, Ibiza-Formentera- that of another form would not have access to a superior formation, to improve the professional competition.
The study’s main objective is to provide an analysis of the Campus Extens Project to take some reflexions and conclusions on the subject of teaching and learning that could be equally valid for other regions in order to increase their competitiveness.