The Principals of the five Valencian public universities claim adequate university funding
- Office of the Principal
- December 11st, 2019
The Principal of the Universitat de València, M. Vicenta Mestre, has participated in the colloquium Les universitats i la societat (Universities and society) organised by the Reial Societat Econòmica d’Amics del País (RSEAPV) and the Universitat Jaume I at the Menador cultural space of Castelló.
The encounter gathered the Principal of the Universitat de València, Maria Vicenta Mestre; the Principal of the Universitat Politècnica de València, Francisco Mora; the Principal of the University of Alacant, Manuel Palomar; the Principal of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Juan José Ruiz; and the Principal of the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló, Eva Alcón.
The Principals reflected on the main challenges facing the Valencian public university system, its strengths and weaknesses. In this sense, the Principal of the Universitat de València, Maria Vicenta Mestre, "we are at a key moment: this new Valencian government has a clear will to develop this funding model, providing a structure that singles out the scientific issue and university management with its own Regional Department. However, it is necessary to sit down and re-define issues related to the university regulatory framework such as the Costs of State and Autonomous Regulation and the costs resulted from the Employment Agreement of the Public University System implementation".
For the Principal of the Universitat Jaume I, Eva Alcón, appealed to the need to "place universities as a priority and strategic axis" of government action and "this involves approving a new legal framework that improves funding, gives more autonomy to the campuses and allows for the transfer of knowledge built in universities". Alcón assured that "without further public and private investment in R+D+i, the gap with other countries, not only European countries, will get bigger and bigger".
The Principal of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Francisco Mora, defended that "universities are more important than ever" in order to maintain the current model of society and respond to the needs of the employment market, which requires "professionals with a good level of training, with talent and abilities to face the changes in occupation that will become more frequent". Mora explained that "access to knowledge, innovation and understanding" will be crucial in determining the differences between rich and poor regions. He also assured that it is imperative to overcome the obstacles to the fact that science faces. This affects not only of funding, but also of how money is spent, "if we do not want our country to be left behind in a decade".
For his part, the Principal of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Juan José Ruiz, stressed that the universities of the Valencian Public System have come a long way in recent years and are a big referent in values such as social responsibility, inclusion in all areas, cooperation for development or sustainability. But he also described as "essential" adequate funding "so that universities can continue progressing in internationalisation, in the training of young researchers and in educational exchange within the European Higher Education Area" he added.