The six rectors of the public campuses of Madrid (Complutense, Autónoma, Rey Juan Carlos, Alcalá, Carlos III and Politécnica) have risen up against the decision of the regional president Ángel Garrido (PP) to convert in private universities three university centers attached: Villanueva (of the Opus), ESIC (of the Religious Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and Cunef (of the Spanish Foundation of Banking for Financial Studies). They consider that they are "academies without research or innovation and transfer" and that they have not justified how they are going to develop their scientific aspect.
Yesterday the public period of allegations ended. Now the Assembly of Madrid - in which the PP has no majority - must vote the founding of these entities. The majority of the public and private Madrid universities and the Madri + d Foundation - the autonomous community's organ - have spoken against it. In addition, the General Conference on University Policy - attended by the directors of the industry throughout Spain - disapproves, in particular, the Villanueva center for lack of financing guarantees.
"The report does not include spaces for teaching and research laboratories," says the Community of Madrid in a report.
"It is not possible for the doctorate to remain at the promise level", public universities distrust.
"There is an absence of international recognition of quality," say the rectors of the public.
The Madri + d foundation of the regional government requires "an increase in research projects to promote research activity".
"The titles offered are very small and the number of students is very limited," the rectors criticize.
"It is inexplicable that this government will get in the rush when it is likely that the team that is now out," says the Madrid deputy Juan José Moreno (PSOE), who was Secretary General of Universities with Angel Gabilondo, in reference to elections may. The PP cartel will be headed by Isabel Díaz Ayuso.
Lorenzo Bermejo, director of Academic Organization of Villanueva - the only center that has wanted to speak for this newspaper - defends his project: "We have been accumulating experience since 1997 and we want to deepen with new degrees. Being an assigned center limits your maneuvers and you can not differentiate yourself. " They have 2,000 students and aim to reach 2,500. Bermejo explains that they meet the research parameters required by the Madri + d Foundation and regrets that their teachers "have certain limitations in participating in projects, for example in the European Union."
According to the Organic Law of Universities (LOU), the Government has to determine the basic requirements for the creation of universities. But, de facto, the communities ignore the opinion of the Executive, although the National Accreditation Agency could, finally, veto the titles they intend to impart if they do not meet their criteria. The private campuses have grown from 12 to 34 since 1997, the last year in which a public one was constituted, the Pablo Olavide (Seville).
The rectors of the Madrid public camps also do not understand the hurry of Garrido to give the green light to these private centers when a norm that regulates the university space of the community has not yet been approved. On March 15, 2018, one week before the master case, the then president of Madrid Cristina Cifuentes was wrong to vote and its own law of universities was not approved. It was a more demanding text for the creation of new universities, that the rectors of the public had foughtor. Garrido, substitute of Cifuentes, left in suspense that norm, that had the backing of Citizens.
The rectors affirm that in the project of these centers "a basis for successfully establishing doctoral programs is not detected, especially due to the lack of research activity, innovation and knowledge transfer". The private, as a rule, barely doctorate. Cunef points out in his project that in two years he will have 30 PhD students.
To reject the rectors must be added the very significant opposition manifested in the Madri + d Foundation, created in 2002 by the regional government to "contribute to the quality of higher education." A spokesman for the Ministry of Education acknowledges that the report contrary to these academic projects is included in the minutes of a meeting held by this body. The regional government will make these negative reports available to political groups "and they will decide".
ESIC, specialized in marketing, offer eight titles adding Industrial and Tourism; Cunef, focused on finance, has nine degrees by now incorporating Computer Engineering and Mathematics; and Villanueva continues with his eight degrees, which include Teaching and Social Sciences.
"The recognition of the University's status must be linked to that of" universality ", the rectors complain, and the catalog is of few titles, in a few branches of knowledge and scarce students. They do not surpass the 2,000 students, a figure inferior to some faculties of the Complutense.
The University College of Financial Studies (Cunef) belongs to the Spanish Foundation of Banking for Financial Studies and is attached to the Complutense University, which today receives part of the tuition money from its 1,500 students. He occupies land in the University City of this campus after signing an agreement with the university on which he depends in 2010 to settle there until the year 2060. They paid an initial fee of seven million euros and since then an annual fee of 250,000 euros. The Complutense affirms in its allegations that if Cunef becomes independent it can not continue to be there - even if it counts on it in its financial and economic memory - since it was agreed in a clause: "The Cunef headquarters is unavailable to house a private university (. ..) for the fact of losing the status of a public university, public research institute or center attached to a public university ". Cunef has declined to speak with this newspaper.