In Spain (as a decentralized country) some higher education competences are divided between the national government and the regional ones.
The academic requirements to establish a new private university are fixed by law for the national government and then every region can add more requirements or not. Nowadays the law says that you are just required to offer 8 programs (without specifying if they need to be bachelor degrees, masters, PhD programs or others). There aren’t more academic requirements or criteria but there are some economic ones.
Some regions have added more requirements apart from that, some others not. This is being used by private companies to establish private universities in those regions, is the case of Madrid where we have 6 public universities, 8 private ones and some colleges that have the same status as the universities because the main criteria are economic.
What do we want?
We understand universities should be institutions where teaching and learning take place, but also that they should contribute to developing societies through research, innovation, etc. We want the Spanish government and the regional ones to develop more academic criteria in order to establish new private universities and also to stop the devaluation of the degrees.
Some of the requirements should be:
– Offer a higher number of degrees from different areas of knowledge (humanities, social and legal sciences, pure sciences, health sciences, architecture/engineering)
– PhD programs
– Different lines of research
– Mobility and internationalisation programs
Those private universities that already offer educational activity and do not comply with these requirements, should have a maximum of 5 years to adapt or otherwise proceed to its extinction as ‘University’ and should benefit from another status such as, for example, academies.
Proposed by: CREUP
Seconded by: KSU, FAGE