The new rector of the University Jaume I (UJI) of Castellón, Eva Alcón, has indicated this Wednesday that it is “urgent” to overcome the levels of university funding and investment in research; and he added that it is everyone’s job to demand a new financing model “that allows universities, and especially the UJI, to be economically sustainable and able to provide a public service to the territory”.
In this regard, he pointed out that it is “a priority” that the Valencian Community receives funding from the Government of Spain “that touches us” and “put an end to the situation of underfunding that we suffer.” Alcón has shown this way during the act of taking possession of his position, which has been attended by the president of the Valencian Generalitat, Ximo Puig.
Despite this situation of “insufficient resources”, Alcón has acknowledged the effort made by the Generalitat Valenciana in recent years, “but we must continue to move forward”, because “we must ensure that no one is excluded from the public university by economic reasons”.
The rector has indicated that it is an “honor and responsibility” to be the first rector of the UJI, and that this fact represents the “triumph of a whole collective”. As he has said, it is the result of the work of many people who have long claimed equality between men and women and it is also the answer to a social force that tells us that it is the moment when institutions, and in this case universities, they need to visualize a fairer and more inclusive society “.
Alcón has highlighted the work done by his predecessor, Vicent Climent, in a few years “where the economic crisis has had a very negative impact on universities and, at times, has made us question our sustainability”.
Regarding Health Sciences, he stressed that it is an area that still needs to be consolidated and for which the help of the Generalitat will be necessary. In this regard, he has said that it is “urgent” to have linked teachers and improve the management of health practices, in addition to finishing the building of the Faculty.
The chancellor has opted to work, along with student representation, to make a university “alive, dynamic, reviewing possible imbalances and promoting new actions and participation channels.” Likewise, it has indicated that it wants that, in this new stage, the UJI is visualized as a university open to the world and be a “key” element in the internationalization of the territory.
In the field of teaching, he has defended the development of an “attractive and differentiated” offer, which includes more double titles and, above all, international degrees. In this regard, he pointed out that Europe and Latin America will be the “priorities”.
Regarding the research, Alcón has raised as challenges that the knowledge generated in the UJI reaches people and organizations; that the university plays a “key” role in the transformation of the productive model, so it is committed to collaboration with the business sector and the technological institutes; and to share science with citizens and incorporate the gender perspective into research.
On the other hand, the rector has indicated that the UJI will have a “strong commitment” to society and to its own language and culture, “that we want to promote and extend”; while he said that the cultural offer will be consolidated and expanded with the creation of a University of Estiu and with a reinforcement of the Universitat per a Majors.
NEW LAW OF UNIVERSITIES
Finally, he explained that it is “urgent” a new Law of Universities that, from university autonomy, “gives universities the possibility of managing with greater agility and efficiency”.
For his part, the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, has indicated that today is “the best example of a new time in which the presence and role of women happens to take the place it deserves, in all the sectors and in all the institutions. “
The head of the Consell has ensured that the rector, along with his team, will contribute to the UJI continue to be a “story of success and benefit for the society of Castellón.” Thus, it has highlighted the more than 30,000 people who have graduated from this university and that Castellón would not have annually the 186 million euros that have reverted to society and the more than 4,000 jobs generated by the UJI. “The UJI is the best thing that has happened to the province in the last century,” he added.
After highlighting the role of the rectors who have piloted the creation and consolidation of the UJI, Puig said that the challenges remain many and will have to face them with “courage and determination”, and added that the Generalitat Valenciana will be “the best ally” “
Puig has also opted to work to find a formula that will soon satisfy the “urgent need” that the UJI and Castellón society have to complete the infrastructures to consolidate the health area, so that the works can be tendered before at the end of the year and that construction can begin in 2019.
“We will be next to the new rectoral team in everything that means guaranteeing the future of the UJI as an univesity at the service of the society of Castellón, and we will do it with all the Valencian public universities”, said the ‘president’, who has pointed out that the Valencian Government is aware of the difficulties of an “unfair” financing model that also affects universities.
CONSOLIDATION AND PROGRESS STAGE
Before the media, Puig has expressed that “now we are entering a stage of consolidation and progress in the relationship between the Generalitat and the universities, and the system of regional financing and the system of university funding are pending”.
Thus, he indicated that he wants to close “as soon as possible” the model of regional funding to be able to adjust to the university funding model “now that it is more possible than a few months ago that there finally be an autonomous financing system that gives justice to the just ambitions of the Valencians “.
Finally, the head of the Valencian Government has said he feels part of the reflection recently made in an interview by the Minister of Science and Universities, Pedro Duque, in which he said that it was necessary to establish “an agreement or political pact of the state to govern whoever governs, science is not subject to the vagaries of the parties. “