• The G-9 alerts of the difficulty of retaining young teachers and researchers

    July 18, 2014

    Julio Lafuente, Rector of the Public University of Navarra, assumes the presidency of the entity, which represents 20% of the Spanish university system

    Group photo of the Rectors during the meeting in Pamplona.

    The General Council of Rectors of the Group 9 of Universities (G-9) has shown its "concern" over "the difficulty of retaining young staff" (teachers and researchers) of the public universities, giving the limitations imposed in the process of hiring.

    The members of the Council, meeting at the Campus of the Public University of Navarra, in Pamplona, consider the aging of the teaching and research staffs as "one of the most important problems" faced by public universities, since they are subjected to a rate of renewal that forces them to hire only one person for every ten that retire. The Rectors point out that this limitation (established by the Ministry of Internal Revenue and Public Administrations near the end of 2011) "will have consequences in the future that will be very hard to overcome" and "it will greatly affect research in Spain", of which around 60% is developed in higher education institutions.

    During the meeting, Julio Lafuente, Rector of the Public University of Navarra, assumed the presidency of the group for six months, until December, taking over his analogue at the University of Cantabria, José Carlos Gómez Sal. According to the Regulations of the G-9, the nine rectors that make up the entity have to share its presidency every six months. The President is in charge of different functions, such as calling, presiding over and setting the agenda of the sessions of the General Council of Rectors and the Permanente Committee; executing and monitoring the agreements of the General Assembly and the Permanent Committee, and make proposals to these bodies.

    Another topic discussed in depth by the Rectors was that of the Shared Virtual Campus, which has offered online formation to 4,000 during the 2013-2014 academic year. Precisely, there have been 25 courses offered to more than one thousand members of the staff of the nine universities, thanks to the First Plan for Formation of the Administrative Staff. In the case of the teaching staff, a total of 540 lecturers have taken part of one of the twelve offered courses and 2,000 students took some of the 65 free elective subjects. Furthermore, throughout the summer, the online formation will continue its offer with the summer courses, in which the nine universities of the Group will participate.

    Moreover, the General Council of Rectors approved the proposal for the creation of the First Award for Research in Equality (open to PhD, Undergraduate and Master's Theses), and the celebration at the Public University of Navarra, during next September, of the 3rd Musical Contest of the G-9, which will feature, for the first time, participants from all the universities of the Group.

    Finally, the Council also discussed other activities of the entity, such as Genueve Editions, the first inter-university publisher, born in 2010, which is now printing three new books on Social Sciences, apart from the ten that it is already commercializing. Moreover, the Group is finishing drafting the First Catalog of Scientific-Technical Services, which will allow for the identification of infrastructures and resources of the nine universities to be offered to the research staff of the G-9 with affordable prices.

    This General Council featured the presence of Rectors José Carlos Gómez Sal (Cantabria); Miguel Ángel Collado Yurrita (Castilla-La Mancha); Llorenç Huguet i Rotger (Illes Balears); José Arnáez Vadillo (La Rioja); Vicente Gotor Santamaría (Oviedo); Iñaki Goirizelaia Ordorika (Basque Country); Julio Lafuente López (Public University of Navarra), and Manuel J. López Pérez (Zaragoza), as well as Jorge Martín Castro, general secretary of the Group 9 of Universities, and Jesús Valverde Berrocoso, Professor of the University of Extremadura and director of the Shared Virtual Campus of the G-9. The Rector of the University of Extremadura, Segundo Píriz Durán, followed the development of the meeting via teleconference.

    The Group 9 of Universities, constituted in 1997, is made up by the only public universities of their respective Autonomous Communities: Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Illes Balears, La Rioja, Oviedo, Basque Country, Public University of Navarra and y Zaragoza. These institutions amount to a total of 226,000 students, 20% of the Spanish university system.