The Junta's Minister for Universities, after opening the UNIA summer courses in Baeza. / sur

Funding model for Andalusian universities is to be reviewed, says Junta

The regional minister for Universities, Research and Innovation says this will be done urgently through dialogue and consensus and will include structural changes

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA Seville

The Junta de Andalucía’s Minister for Universities, Research and Innovation, José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, said this week that the current model of university funding is to be reviewed and reformed to ensure that it is “sufficient”. He said the current economic situation and predicted forthcoming period of recession should not be used as an excuse to do nothing: “on the contrary, it should be seen as an incentive," he insisted.

He was speaking about this crucial aspect for the future of universities in Andalucía after opening the UNIA summer courses in Baeza, Jaén. “We need to act urgently, within a very few months, and through dialogue and consensus,” he said, and that “public universities need certainty, so they can plan for the medium and long term”.

Under the new model, part of the funding will be variable depending on results. Gómez Villamandos said the Junta will set improvement targets which the universities will then have to meet. He also questioned the Spanish University System law, which bases funding in accordance with GDP, without previous consultation with the different regions.

He also pointed out that seven universities in Andalucía score well on the Shanghai ranking, which shows that “they are doing very well and we have to help them to do even better,” he said.