King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, accompanied by the Spanish minister of foreign affairs, Abel Matutes, visited the Balearic University yesterday, taking part in a video conference with the university branches in Minorca and Ibiza-Formentera and attending a reception at the hostelry school. The King and Queen arrived shortly after noon and were welcomed by the rector, Llorenç Huguet, chief minister Francesc Antich, and government representative Catalina Cirer. Huguet explained the university's history to the sovereigns, telling them that it was founded 22 years ago, although its origins date back to 1483, when the Estudio General Luliano was founded. He then showed the visitors a model of the university campus, which covers an area of 120 hectares, and plans for future buildings which will increase the university's teaching possibilities. The King and Queen then signed the University's Golden Book. During their video conference, they spoke with Pilar Costa and Joana Barceló, the heads of the Councils of Minorca and Ibiza-Formentera. Huguet told the visitors that thanks to its External Campus programme, students from the neighbouring islands could pursue university studies without moving to Majorca, attending some classes in the university branches and following others through the Internet. King Juan Carlos expressed a wish to visit the neighbouring islands, and both Barceló and Costa told him that the doors were open to him. The King also showed an interest in the study programmes available on the neighbouring islands, and asked if the number of students had rising through the External Campus programme.
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