A ministry only of University solivianta to rectors, scientists and trade unions

The idea of dividing the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities in two, after only a year and a half of tiny journey, solivianta the rectors, trade un

A ministry only of University solivianta to rectors, scientists and trade unions

The idea of dividing the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities in two, after only a year and a half of tiny journey, solivianta the rectors, trade unions and the scientific community. If there are last minute changes, Science and Innovation will be for the socialists and Universities, which remains in the bones, for United we Can. Nor applaud the measure, although as always the more restrained, the social councils of the universities, who represent the business sector and cultural. In your opinion, are multiplied partners, the power is dispersed and, existing as there is the autonomy of the university, a ministry of Universities remains empty of content.

The parties promised otherwise less than two months ago in the campaign. The PSOE was to "maintain and strengthen the ministerial structure to ensure the integration of the entire system of knowledge and innovation, including universities, to develop more than 60% of research in Spain”. United we Can not be left behind: “we will Maintain and reinforce the Ministry of Science and Universities to the impulse of the scientific activity by the public authorities to be more effective”.

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The relations between the governing and the socialists, with whom they negotiated a new law on universities, have been very fluid. “It was an achievement to get this ministry with the socialist Government and this is a step backwards. We don't care if it is a deal of cards or not, what we do not like is the end,” says José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, president of the conference of rectors (CRUE). Universities took down the Ministry of Education in July of 2018, and Science and Innovation of the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

Between 2008 and 2011 there was a Ministry of Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia (PSOE) to the front, but then Luis de Guindos (PP) stayed with Science. With the first socialist Governments, there was only one ministry that amounted to education, university and science.

The vice-chancellors will ask Peter Duke —all indications are that it will remain as minister of Science— that if you peel off the portfolio “representation of the 85% of the scientific production and 72% of the high production. Not be understood that their team would have people that would come in the world of the university,” stresses Gomez Villamandos.

The rectors want a single partner to address the precarious situation of the new scientists with a statute of the personnel in training —hired in universities and public research bodies (OPI), who are self— employed-to negotiate the law of contracts of the public sector or the royal decree of external practices. “These are measures which require development and application of surgical to not end up doing a disservice to the university community”, claims the CRUE in a press release.

The physical Pearl Wahnón, president of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE) —representing 40,000 researchers— considers “absolutely necessary” to maintain the ministry as it is, but you believe that there are that give it greater political weight. “Not to do so is to go in the opposite direction to the countries of our environment and complicate the dialogue with the new european commissioner, which concentrates of research, innovation and education”. In France and Portugal, the ministry brings together Science and the University, while in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany is added in the same portfolio is also the area of Education.

“In the current structure of the ministry, the tips we've felt more comfortable than before,” admits Antonio April, president of the social councils of the universities. “The role of the university in research is much higher than in other european countries, in which the companies have a very important role, and the ministry has to reflect that reality”, reasons the also general secretary of Inditex. Just 37% of Spanish researchers working in a company in 2017, far from the 50% in the EU and light years ahead of South Korea (79%), Japan (73%) or the united States (71%), according to data from the OECD.

Little room

The margin of action of the ministry of colleges and Universities, which could lead to the sociologist Manuel Castells, it is very limited. For failed Budgets, 2019, We may, and the PSOE agreed to "reduce tuition fees to the levels prior to the crisis”, but the prices of tuition fees are not set by the State but the autonomous communities and it is difficult to that these the lower while you do not receive more funding. Nor would manage all the scholarships and study aids, which the left is committed to climb. In the course 2017-2018 college students accounted for only 25% of beneficiaries, but, at be higher your allocation, received 46.6% of the amount (1.575 million in total).

"We fear that, with the separation into two ministries, the university is left unattended and have more support for the IPO", he is concerned about Ramón Caballero, general secretary of University of CSIF. "What we have seen in the preliminary agreement between Can and the PSOE. The four measures of universities, such as the statute of the teaching and research staff or the creation agile for new titles, are mortgaged to a new law that is a chimera with the current composition of the Congress. While the measures in science, –more R & D funding, more scholarships for predoctoral...– are more concrete".

Oak González, secretary of Universities and Research of CC OO, underlines: “we felt comfortable in the Ministry of Education, we are a formative stage more”. And he adds: “we Had a bad experience at the time of Cristina Garmendia, who was more focused in science than in universities”. González, professor of the universidad Complutense, is keen to leave the portfolio as is, or blend it with an Education on the superministerio. "A minister of Universities was going to be all day in liaison with Education issues for students (grants or rates) and with Science to research. 75% of training contracts are in the university, and what is it going to take Science? Not understood”.

Education played your cards well in 2018 and remained with the management of these scholarships are general in all the stages of education (1.470 million and 920.000 beneficiaries), and Universities with the Service Spanish to the Internationalization of Education (SEPIE), which manages the mobility grants (226,2 million, 63.000 students and 23,000 teachers). The flagship are the scholarships Erasmus university —which account for 134 million— but the program has grown so much that now spans projects of ESO, FP and adult people.

The guiding end your letter by recalling that "without science there is no university, and no university there is no science".

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Updated Date: 06 January 2020, 13:00

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