Corruption in Spanish universities

The official inauguration of the academic year has been used by the rector to remind political leaders of the needs of the University, the shortage of teaching staff, the few resources for research or the debt, always present in speeches. In addition to making a balance of what was done the previous year, of the attainment of objectives and of the fulfillment of its electoral program. But on this occasion, the current political situation has forced a drastic change of script: with the cases of the masters and doctoral theses of politicians daily in the media, José Ángel Narváez devoted more than half of his speech to analysing these “deplorable and unjustifiable facts” within the university institution which, he regretted, are calling into question university education, the efforts of students and the work of its professors.

In a very critical tone, he referred, without expressly citing it, to the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, the center of the controversy over these master’s cases, which have cost the resignation of the Minister of Health and reached the Supreme Court in that of the president of the PP, Pablo Casado. On the other hand, he did not mention the case of the doctorate of the President of the Government, which he did at a private university. “The public university cannot tolerate matters of this type happening and from here I want to condemn them and defend the work and effort of students, and the responsibility, ethics and commitment of all those who make up the university community.

A shame for the country

Emphasizing further on the issue of cases of plagiarism in university work, the rector assured that the advance in knowledge and the search for truth that characterize public universities “excludes deception, plagiarism or falsehood, excludes any type of shortcut,” and stated that “there can be no room for fraud in our institutions. For this reason, he said, it is time to respond “with transparency but with firmness, to demand responsibility and to assume the consequences of the facts that embarrass us all as university students. Narváez appealed to the university tradition, the credibility and trust that society has placed in the institution to stop these cases of corruption, which “are calling into question the university education in this country, the effort of the students and the work of their professors.

Narváez also sent a message of tranquility when he stated that public universities have “sufficient and extensive” control mechanisms that guarantee that academic activity is carried out in accordance with the law, that they ensure the quality and rigour of what is developed in the classrooms and external control mechanisms by political bodies and accredited agencies.

New strategies

Even so, the rector announced that he has ordered the service inspector to implement an extraordinary inspection plan to reinforce the existing control mechanisms at the UMA. He has also announced that he is going to convene the advisory committee of deans and deans and directors of the centre to strengthen the control systems of the degrees, as well as to analyse new strategies to strengthen those that currently exist.

As for the results of this last year, the rector highlighted the approval of the new statutes, the own plans for teaching and research as well as the call for positions of professors and professors and the plan against precariousness. In this sense, a group of professors demonstrated at the entrance of the complex to demand stability for the accredited faculty, so that they have access to a position for internal promotion. The group maintains the strike that was called at the end of the academic year, and they hope that the courts will resolve the challenge to the minimum services, which the UMA set at one hundred percent.