The Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats.
The Organic Law Project of the University System (LOSU) will continue its parliamentary process in the Senate. With 176 votes in favor, 156 against and 11 abstentions, the Plenary of the Congress of Deputies has given the green light this Thursday to this initiative that advocates incorporating more Medicine professors and establishing limits to the temporality between the teaching staffin addition to prohibiting raising the price of university fees in the future.
The text agreed by the Lower House includes the opinion issued by the science commission, Innovation and Universities on December 13, amendments 57 and 712 of the Plural Parliamentary Group. The rest of the live amendments that the parliamentary groups had kept for debate and voting in plenary session have been rejected.
This bill has as its objectives the achievement of a quality, accessible, equitable and internationalized university. To do this, it modifies the working conditions of the associate professors who make temporary positions indefinitewith the aim of reducing the temporality of the university system, and improving the working conditions of teaching and research staff, guaranteeing, among other things, rights for seniority or rights to salary supplements. Likewise, other measures are incorporated so that temporary teachers can access and promote in the academic career.
This initiative, in turn, raises “the minimum spending commitment of 1 percent of GDP”, and life-long training titles are established through various modalities, including micro-credentials, micro-degrees and other short-term programs, which may have academic recognition. The initiative requires public administrations to establish scholarship and training aid programs within the framework of policies to promote international mobility.
Governance, gender perspective and attention to disability
The Bill proposes a democratic model in which the election of the representatives of the different sectors of the university community will be carried out by means of suffrage, it also establishes that “the faculty will be the body of maximum representation and participation of the university community” and the Student Council is consolidated in each university. Another modification in relation to governance is that the mandate of the holders of the one-person bodies will be “six years non-extendable and non-renewable”.
In terms of gender, this initiative establishes that in order to create a private or public university, equality plans must be in place, measures to eliminate the pay gap and protocols against all types of harassment. In addition, in contests “positive actions to hire, under equal conditions of suitability, the represented minor sex” may be applied.
In relation to issues of disability, it is established that the diversity units must have “a disability care service and have a plan for inclusion and non-discrimination on the grounds of disability, ethnic and national origin, sexual orientation and identity of gender, and for any other social or personal condition”. It will also encourage “sign language and own studies adapted to people with intellectual disabilities” and “a reserve quota for people with disabilities in public employment offers” will be established.
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