The VOX senator from Murcia, José Manuel Marín, today reproached the Minister of Universities, Manuel Castells, for his disappearance during the pandemic, while "the university community was looking for answers on how the new course should start." Thus, without plans for a situation that should have been ready and planned months ago, has aggravated the beginning of the university year.
Although the senator has extended the lack of control and lack of foresight to the entire Executive: "It is not attributable to you only, but to the entire Government, especially its president."
Marín has taken advantage of his intervention in the Committee on Science, Innovation and Universities, which is being held today in the Senate, to criticize the minister who has "missed a unique opportunity to place the Spanish university as a world reference in research against the coronavirus" . "He could have become a minister to remember, but in the end he will be a minister to forget," he warned.
The senator has criticized that, while countries such as Canada, France or Germany have made efforts to research the vaccine with their respective universities, Spain has lagged behind. In addition, it has denounced that the Executive prevented the University of Navarra from manufacturing and distributing massive tests since March, due to the fact that it is "private and belongs to a religious order."
The senator has also referred to the climate of ideological coercion that exists within the Spanish university. “There are professors who blow up conferences or get conferences canceled. These groups are far-left and declare themselves anti-fascists. This causes freedom of expression and teaching, enshrined by the Constitution in Article 20.1, and the very essence of the university institution, "he denounced.
On the other hand, Marín has referred to the low level of Spanish universities: only one figure among the 200 best in the world, according to the Shanghai ranking (ARWU 2019). It is a much lower representation than one would expect given the weight of our country in the world.
Regarding the teaching staff, the senator regretted that the University «is so old between 2016 and 2023 that it will lose 16,200 teachers. A panorama, said Marín, "that alarms the universities, which since the crisis broke out have seen their workforce dwindling and precarious due to lack of funds, and the low replacement rates of retirees."
Low level of effort
Regarding university students, Marín regretted that the level of demand is increasingly low: "The new requirements to access scholarships, in which only the income levels of the students will prevail." "It is not about substantially increasing the number of students entering the University, but access must also be an intellectual issue," he explained.
Although the senator has welcomed the increase in the scholarship budget given the current economic crisis, he has been concerned that the requirements and academic merits are lowered in order to be eligible for one.