The president of the CCS has taken part in a meeting about the university sector convened by Pedro Sánchez and also attended by the secretary of the ULPGC Social Council, in his role as secretary general of the CCS.
The Conference of Social Councils of Spanish Universities (CCS) is calling on political parties to “open up the process of drafting and passing a new law on universities within the context of a major national agreement” because “changing the obsolete current legislation has now become a genuine national emergency”. Antonio Abril Abadín, president of the CCS – which brings together the social councils of public universities and the councils and boards of private universities – communicated to the secretary general of the PSOE and acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, during a meeting held today in Madrid, that “continuing to repeatedly defer action will take us ever further away from international standards and will, in the medium and long term, damage the training of our human, scientific and technological capital”. The meeting, also attended by the secretary general of the CCS, Miguel Ángel Acosta, is part of a number of meetings the acting prime minister is holding with social groups.
During the failed investiture debate, Pedro Sánchez promised to promote a new Universities Act [Ley Orgánica Universitaria] with the consensus of the education community and the Spanish regions. For the CCS, the two pillars which must be upheld by this reform are “a new model of university governance equivalent to those within the European Higher Education Area, and the necessary improvement of the financing system”.
The president of the CCS insisted that “we cannot limit ourselves to mere modifications. We need to undertake comprehensive changes which are genuinely transformative and which allow Spanish universities to be an authentic motor for economic growth and social wellbeing in the digital world of our time”.
In September of last year he issued a communiqué in the lower house of the Spanish parliament along with the CRUE [Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities] and social stakeholders. In this communiqué they called for political representatives to make Spanish universities one of their strategic priorities and to promote a new Universities Act with the support of a wide ranging social and political consensus, enshrined in a major national agreement.
In November, the CCS General Assembly approved the “Maspalomas Manifesto”, warning of “the serious risk we run if these vital reforms are not urgently undertaken”, while also appealing to “the courage, the generosity and the great intentions of our policy makers, so that this appeal does not fall on deaf ears”.
The CCS has set out a number of priorities in a proposal supported by the structural reforms carried out by members of the European Union over the past two decades and enumerated in a joint project undertaken by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Fundación CYD [Spanish Knowledge and Development Foundation]. These priorities are: the need to raise awareness within Spanish society as to the importance of education, to promote structural reforms to the university governance model, to increase public and private funding for universities, and to foster the employability of students through the increased excellence of the education system and through public-private sector cooperation.