The Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) considers that the Draft Organic Law of the University System (LOSU) is “not very innovative” and “does not respond” to “the need for greater autonomy and greater financing” to internationalize, modernize and make universities more competitive.
Regarding autonomy, from Crue they point out that this “is achieved with a fair and stable financing system, comparable on a national scale and between the universities of each Autonomous Community, linked to basic financing and another by objectives” and they affirm that “this norm does not contribute this. ”
Regarding financing, they ask that the LOSU expressly collect a plan to increase public spending for university education with specific objectives, and insist on incorporating a finalist baseline financing line -of a state nature- for all SUE universities, destined exclusively for research.
Furthermore, the Spanish rectors consider the issues related to teaching staff especially significant and, in this area, they consider that “the draft does not solve or address the most urgent issues, such as, for example, the aging of Teaching and Research Personnel (PDI) and the necessary rejuvenation policy “.
To solve this problem, they demand that the “replacement rate” disappear or be made more flexible because, if not, it will be “impossible to achieve the objective of reducing teachers with a temporary contract, since the supply of permanent places is limited by said rate.”
For this reason, they propose that the public offer of permanent PDI employment, during the five years indicated in the LOSU to achieve the workforce objectives, be “much higher than that currently applied”.
In any case, they consider “very ambitious” and unrealistic the percentages established by the LOSU (the minimum of civil servant teaching staff must be 55% of the total number of PDI of the university, computed in full-time equivalents, and the maximum of teaching staff with a temporary employment contract may not exceed 20% of the workforce ).
The rectors assure that these objectives are “desirable” but warn that the starting situation of each university should be taken into account because, if they cannot be met, “they would place the universities in a situation of non-compliance with the Law, only salvageable dispensing with a part of the staff with a temporary employment contract and reducing the academic offer “.
Regarding the double civil service and labor path, the CRUE indicates that an equalization of the remuneration should be established between the civil servant and equivalent labor figures, if the requirements and form of access are the same; and it warns that the diversity of regulatory spheres (particularly collective bargaining) “may lead to differences in dedication and remuneration that would not be justified by objective elements.”
Teachers: without a minimum of teaching hours
A “serious problem”, according to the rectors, may be the establishment of the range that sets the teaching dedication of full-time teachers between 240 and 120 teaching hours per academic year within their annual working hours. Crue considers it a measure that “limits and even violates university autonomy” and “makes universities unattractive for attracting and stabilizing high-level talent.” In this regard, they propose a maximum of 240 hours and suppress the minimum.
They also insist on the need to “take care of the terminology” and “review the language” used since, as they warn, the text uses the term ‘universities’ when it only refers to public ones and, on the contrary, incorporates exclusive terms from the field of public universities when it really corresponds to a generic use of it.
Likewise, they observe some “worrying” issues in the articles “that contradict or distance themselves from the positions defended by Crue in Universidad2030” for which they ask the Ministry to grant at least one additional round in which the universities can actively participate in modifications.
Among other contributions, the rectors warn that “nothing is made explicit about teaching in co-official languages” ; they miss a greater reference to the need to internationalize the SUE, or at least Europeanization, with greater alignment with the European agenda for modernization and strengthening of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA); and they see as “doubtful legality” the imposition of “establishing that university residence halls may only be managed and promoted by non-profit entities”