The chairman of the Social Council, Jesús León, announced that in the latest Report on the Transparency of Spanish Universities from the Commitment and Transparency Foundation [Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia] the ULPGC Social Council is highlighted as being one of the most transparent in Spain with regards to accountability for their finances and agenda.
The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Social Council approved the draft ULPGC 2020 budget, which was presented by the institution’s director, Eulalia Gil, and which amounts to 154.02 million euros, a 4.28% increase compared to this year’s 2019 budget.
The director explained to the Social Council’s plenary that the ULPGC Teaching Programme accounts for 34% of the total expenses foreseen for the 2020 budgetary year, while the Research Programme accounts for 22.5% of the total, and the Services and Management Programme for 39.3%. Lastly, the Social Impact Programme represents 3.9% of the budget and the Social Participation in the University Programme for 0.3%.
In addition, the Social Council plenary approved the ULPGC’s 2020 yearly maximum expenditure which amounts to 155.195 million euros, compared to the 147.7 million euros which was authorised for the 2019 financial year. This expenditure limit is established in accordance with the Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability Act [Ley Orgánica de Estabilidad Presupuestaria y Sostenibilidad Financiera], which establishes an “expenditure ceiling” that all Spanish universities must apply and which can only be authorised by the Social Council of each institution, their being the organisations which the State has designated for this purpose.
The rector of the ULPGC, Rafael Robaina, outlined to the members of the Social Council the latest developments in the internationalisation strategy, which focuses on two regions: Northwestern Africa, and Macaronesia. This is through the UNWAM (Universities of Northwestern Africa and Macaronesia) network, whose third meeting was held last month in Mauritania with the fourth to be held in Senegal in 2020. The other strategic approach deals with OR universities and the European Universities Outermost Regions Campus project [Universidades Europeas Campus RUP] which will be presented to the European Union and which proposes a paradigm shift, “from distance as an obstacle to an opportunity for our territories, for themselves and for continental Europe”.
Given the results that the NWAM+OR strategy is bringing, the rector asked for the Social Council’s agreement to continue along this line in the coming years, independently of the university governing team which is in charge of governing the ULPGC.
The ULPGC Social Council: one of the most transparent in Spain
For his part, the chairman of the Social Council reported to the members of the plenary
some of the main activities carried out during the last quarter of 2019, such as driving the creation of the ULPGC Alumni Association and the agreement with the university that from 2020 this association will have a headquarters on the Tafira campus. He also notified them of the the recent creation of the Manuel Velázquez Cabrera chairmanship in Fuerteventura, implemented by the Social Council and the ULPGC Vice Rectorate for Qualifications and Lifelong Learning.
Furthermore, the chairman of the Social Council made special reference to the Report on the Transparency of Spanish Universities from the Commitment and Transparency Foundation in which it is highlighted that the ULPGC Social Council is one of the few Spanish councils which offers public and transparent information regarding its agenda and financing, in particular concerning its Internal Monitoring Department. In this way, the report highlights that the ULPGC Social Council is one of the main Spanish university organisations which is transparent with regard to accountability.
The Social Council’s 2020 Action Plan
During the last ordinary plenary session of 2019 the Social Council’s 2020 Budget and Action plan was put forward and approved, amounting to 509.8 million euros, 13.7% more than the previous financial year due to the increase in resources given by the ULPGC in order to fund the cost of new personnel within the Internal Monitoring Department.
Monitoring the courses offered now and in the future and the drawing up of a new Internal Auditing Plan for the ULPGC for 2020-2023 can be highlighted among the priorities foreseen by the ULPGC Social Council for the new year. The Social Council is also continuing to drive the implementation of the recently created ULPGC Alumni Association, a Social Council initiative which is made up of ex ULPGC students and which seeks to give the ULPGC a greater social outreach and to provide a link to the islands’ business and professional sector.
In 2020 the Social Council also plans to publish a new ULPGC Barometer Survey focused on the ULPGC Administration and Services staff, in addition to continuing to finance the ULPGC Debate Society, the aim of which is to offer university students talks and workshops on public speaking skills, which are transferable across the degrees. A new edition of their ‘Breakfast Lectures‘ initiative, with the presence of the island’s academic, social and economic stakeholders, is also expected.