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Spanish public education

Madrid´s higher education staff brings out a Manifesto

Representatives of the eigth public universities in Madrid have reached an agreement to publish a manifesto on Friday.

The academic community (teaching staff, researchers, and students) of six public universities of Madrid, including the National Distance Education University (UNED) and Scientific Research Council (CSIC) issued an education Manifesto asking the goverment:

  • To showcase our daily work so the public becomes aware that a democratic, advanced society cannot exist without a university system that is good, public and accessible to everyone.

  • To denounce the economic asphyxiation of Madrid universities by the authorities of Madrid Autonomous Community and the central Government, which is jeopardizing their social, research and teaching functions, as well as the future of the best-prepared generation of teachers in Spanish history, as reflected in the “expert” committee’s last report.
  • To denounce the attempt to place public university at the service of big companies and banks, or furthermore under their direct control.
  • To denounce curtailed university autonomy, and the progressive reversion of participatory management and governance models; we believe that, on the contrary,mechanisms of democratic participation should be strengthened, as part of the necessary processes of renovation and improvement.
  • To demand the cancellation of the brutal increase in fees enforced upon the students this academic year, and the setting up of a general and sufficient public scholarship  policy. Only a university that is accessible to all is truly democratic and useful for society (there is no excess of graduates, but a shortage of skilled jobs).
  • To demand stable, adequate working conditions for the staff of public universities andresearch centers, whether teaching, research, administrative or service staff, as well asforcontracted companies like print services, catering and janitorial.
  • To demand sufficient research scholarships and contracts, in adequate terms, fortrainee researchers, whose economic and job insecurity increases as budget cuts slashs cholarships and funding.
  • To demand a stop to the cuts in R&D, and sufficient budget allocation in order to reachthe objective of 2% GDP.
  • To demand the repeal of decree 14/2012, which is in breach of the constitutional principle of university autonomy, and show our absolute rejection of the new “bill forthe improvement of education quality” (LOMCE), also known as the Wert Bill, and the proposals which under the pretext of reforming and increasing the quality andefficiency of the Spanish university system actually and directly work to weaken it, asthey do not in fact accomplish any improvement at all.
  • To demand a coherent and adequate defense of public research centers and public universities on the part of academic authorities, staying well clear of “red lines” thatwould imply an accomplice involvement in their dismantling.
  • To demand the immediate withdrawal and revision of current policies by the relevantauthorities in accordance to the above points.

Of interest