Victory (EFE). The rector of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Eva Ferreira, has called for accelerating the process to allocate a minimum of 1% of GDP to public universities as soon as possible.
That 1% of GDP is included in the new Organic Law for the University System (LOSU), which will come into force next month.
Ferreira, appointed rector at the end of 2020, has appeared in committee in the Basque Parliament to take stock of the work carried out over the last two years and to present future challenges, such as placing the UPV/EHU among the 300 best universities in the world in 2030. It is now in the top 400.
During her speech, the head of the Basque university made a “reflection” on the upcoming entry into force of the LOSU that includes the commitment to allocate a minimum of 1% of GDP to public universities by 2030, from 0, 7% on average that is currently.
The rector has said that this increase is “good news” and appears as a “shared objective” by the State, the autonomous communities and the universities.
However, it has indicated that the entry into force of the standard in 2023 “is associated with changes that will increase costs already this year”, although the law contemplates creating a commission that within a year to establish the plan to increase spent.
The rector has said that she has no doubt that the Basque Country “will do everything possible to make this plan a reality as soon as possible” and the adaptation to the law does not entail “additional stress” due to the lack of financing for its compliance.
Ferreira has indicated that the “keys” for a university that “looks in the face” with those of reference in the world are financing and flexibility. “There are no shortcuts, you have to invest in knowledge, have and maintain university programs of excellence in the long term”, she has summarized.
Challenges of the UPV
Regarding the challenges, it has opted to promote university research of excellence to place this institution among the 300 best in the world in the Shanghai list in 2030, now it is among the top 400, and guarantee the realization of some international experience for the 100% of postgraduate students.
“Although we are growing at a good pace, to improve our position we must grow at a faster rate. And this represents a great boost to university research of excellence”, said the rector
He added that having an “excellent university” is an “unavoidable” requirement for a country that wants to be at the forefront and attract researchers from all over the world.
It has also placed among its objectives for 2030 that of doubling the offer in permanent training until reaching 8,000 students and that the postgraduate studies that they offer have more than 30% of graduates from other universities.
He has talked about improving all the activity of transferring results, reaching in 2030 the number of 400 companies generated with high added value in the various incubators of the university.
Ferreira has defended professional stabilization before the age of 40, increasing the postgraduate offer in Basque and halving the time dedicated to bureaucratic management tasks.
University balance sheet
Ferreira has reviewed what has been done in the last two years. He has indicated that three new double degrees have been launched, that the annual production of patents has doubled and that more than 100 million euros of external funds obtained for research and knowledge transfer have been exceeded.
He added that a new protocol has been created for trans and non-binary people, which 19 people have already taken advantage of.
Also that in the last year a 40% decrease in gas consumption and 13% in electricity consumption has been achieved in the infrastructures of a university that has three campuses, 20 faculties and 51,000 people, including students, professors and administration and service workers, and offer 107 degrees.
Last week the governing team of the UPV/EHU presented the draft budget for this year, which amounts to 494.5 million euros, 7.4% more than in 2022.