Prometeus is a municipal program to ensure that all young people from public high schools in neighborhoods with a lower-than-average university enrollment rate in the city can access university and successfully pursue higher education, regardless of economic and social constraints.
Originated in the 2016-2017 academic year as a community project in the Raval, the initiative today constitutes a program framed within the Neighborhood Plan and coordinated jointly with Barcelona Science and Universities. It also has the close collaboration of eight public high schools and all the city's public universities, as well as the Barcelona Education Consortium and several districts.
With the initial support of the Ciutat Vella district, it was immediately noted as a successful program, so the 2016-2020 Neighborhood Plan, in collaboration with Barcelona Science and Universities, adopts it as its own and provides it with economic and human resources to consolidate it and extend it to other neighborhoods of the city with similar characteristics. Thanks also to the networking of entities, educational and social agents and volunteers, Prometeus is today one of the key programs in the educational field.
The programme includes a professional team that accompanies the students and has a financial endowment that responds to specific needs in terms of transport, material, and academic reinforcement, among others. This personalised accompaniment begins at secondary school and continues beyond university graduation.
When they complete the University Entrance Exams (PAU), they receive support in the transition process towards university, which includes enrolment and the application for public grants. Throughout the years of their university studies, students are also accompanied in order to successfully complete their studies. Likewise, in the last phase of the programme, access to the world of work, support continues to be provided with the collaboration of the universities and Barcelona Activa, among others.
Role of the universities
Prometeus has the participation of the University of Barcelona (UB), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).
The increase in the number of young Prometheus students at university and their educational success has been accompanied by an increasingly intense and systematic dedication on the part of all the universities, as evidenced by the growing number of people, services and units involved in each one, as well as the increase in their own resources destined, in part, to Prometheus students, such as the universities' salary scholarships.
During the university period, the young Prometeus students receive academic and personal support and monitoring at all times from the people in charge of the programme, in close collaboration with the universities. At the same time, they join ranks, accompany each other, share experiences and actively participate in the talks that are regularly held in the high schools to motivate students to continue studying and attract their attention to the programme. In this way, they become role models in their neighbourhood and reinforce their educational imaginary as a core value of the programme.
Extension of the programme
After its launch in the 2016-2017 academic year, Prometeus was extended through two extensions, the first in the 2019-2020 academic year, from two to five institutes, and the latest in the 2022-2023 academic year, from five to eight.
Since its inception, the program has counted on the participation of the Asociación Educativa Integral del Raval and, since the 2019-2020 academic year, as a result of its first extension, also of the university social volunteering entity AFEV. These two entities are responsible, among others, for the tasks of motivation and accompaniment of young Prometeus in all phases of the program, from high school to graduation, through all courses of the university degree. With this latest extension, the program is present in the following high schools and neighborhoods of Barcelona:
- El Raval: Institut Milà i Fontanals and Institut Miquel Taradell.
- Poble Sec: Consell de Cent High School.
- El Besòs i el Maresme: Barri Besòs High School.
- La Verneda i la Pau: Bernat Metge High School.
- North Zone: Pablo Ruiz Picasso High School.
- Turó de la Peira i Can Peguera: Barcelona Congrés High School.
- La Prosperitat: Flos i Calcat Institute.
The programme beyond the Neighbourhood Plan
In addition to the neighborhoods and institutes listed, the Prometeus program has also been extended to other areas beyond the Neighborhood Plan. This is the case of Barceloneta (Joan Salvat-Papasseit High School), whose implementation has gone hand in hand with the Ciutat Vella district.
Besides, the programme has been extended to other municipalities, too. Thus, it has ben implemented in the town of Manlleu (Antoni Pous i Argila High School), with the support and management by the City Council of Manlleu in the framework of its City Education Plan.
Another city where Prometeus has been extended is Pamplona (Julio Caro Baroja and Plaza de la Cruz High Schools), thanks to the managementy of the Public University of Navarre (UPN) and with the support of the Government of Navarre.
In all these cases, the deployment of the Prometeus programme has been carried out with the support and collaboration of Prometeus Barcelona.
2023-2024 academic year
In this academic year, 92 young people have joined Prometeus, 80% more than the previous year and the highest number since the program began. In addition, it is also the course with the highest direct access to university, with 54 young people, 27 from each entity, which is 42% more than in 2022-2023. As for new graduations, this year's graduating class will consist of 14 young people,
With the 2023-2024 course, the total number of young people accompanying the program since 2016 (including 22 graduates and graduates) is exactly 300, of which 220 are university students and 80 are in transition, most of them doing a higher grade training cycle. Likewise, together with the two previous promotions, the total number of graduations will be 36 young people who will have successfully completed their university studies, the main objective of the program.