The rector of the University of Valencia, Mª Vicenta Mestre, has taken part in the meeting, held in the Congress of Deputies, in which an institutional declaration has been read and signed. This institutional declaration requests a new Universities’ Organic Law (LOU) within a great State Treaty for an education which is supported by a large parliamentarian consensus.
The agreement for the creation of a new Universities’ Organic Law has been boosted by CRUE Spanish Universities and the Social Council Conference of the Universities. It has been signed by the Chamber of Spanish Commerce, CSIF, CEOE, CEPYME, CREUP, FeSP-UGT and FE CCOO. The manifesto gathers the main necessities and concerns of Spanish universities in a highly competitive climate which is subject to big and constant changes in the social, economic and cultural framework.
The presentation of this declaration has been held in the Ernest Lluch Room in the Congress of Deputies. Ana Pastor, president of the Congress of Deputies, as well as wide representation of the parliamentary groups have attended the act.
Dr. Ernest Lluch, who was a professor at the University of Valencia, Minister of Health and Consumption and rector of the Menéndez Pelayo International University, was present in University of Valencia’s rector words today. Mª Vicenta Mestre appealed to Dr. Ernest Lluch’s spirit and his openness to dialogue, which she believes necessary to achieve this “great pact for public university, needed to build the future”.
In his intervention, CRUE president and rector of the University of Lleida, Roberto Fernández, has asked the parliamentary politic authorities to make this a priority in the political agenda. In the words of Roberto Fernández, “it is at the universities that lays the responsibility of creating a new legal framework which allows universities to improve their functioning. The Spanish university must become a priority and strategic issue of the political act if we want to secure our individual and collective future”.
Fernández has declared the need for a better relationship between the universities, the political power and the social and economic agents, “so as to be more capable of transforming reality and having a better institutional reputation which increases the international potential of our universities”.
“We need to go more deeply into a truthful and effective university autonomy with the right funding and the right accountabilities to the public. This would allow for a bigger flexibility of intervention for the universities, their internal organisation and their personal and academic politics”, has asserted the CRUE president. In addition, he has reminded the public that the suitable resources for teaching staff, researchers and administration personnel is needed in order to keep up the quality work.
The fundamental role of the university was also brought forward at the meeting. The university’s function as a driver for economic growth, social development, social revitalization, territorial balance, equality and social cohesion, which are essential to achieve constant prosperity, sustainable and respectful for the environment.
In order not to lose the crucial role that the university has within society, the interested parties consider it essential to begin a process of legal reformations so that the university keeps leading the changes that society needs. The interested parties specified that with this process, “we could then confront the rising knowledge economy and the globalisation which we must manage intelligently and with efficiency so as not to become a marginal country in the international context”.
In the end, all participants have demanded this new legal framework counts with an active collaboration from all institutions, trade unions and social organisations which can contribute with their experiences and ideas to keep building a university which serves citizens and strengthens economic and social growth of our country and its influence at an international level.
You may access the complete text of the statement in the following link (Spanish):