On Wednesday, the rector of the University of La Laguna (ULL), Antonio Martinón, called for an improvement in financing for the universities of the islands so that they can “make the leap” and improve their performance.
“We are not less intelligent than other university students, or less workers, we just have the means we have, with them we have improved a lot, but it is true that some have improved more than us,” he said in the opening speech of the academic year. .
Martinón has valued that the Government of the Canary Islands share the “diagnosis” that the public university system of the archipelago “needs more resources”, and therefore, has highlighted the new protocol signed with the Executive that leaves “some funding” to undertake improvements in infrastructures, and the drop in university fees that allow the increase of students.
The rector regretted that the PGE have included this year a game of 1.5 million for the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Ulpgc) and the ULL only receives funds through its research institute for public health.
However, despite the “scarcity of investment” in the Canarian public university system -Canarias is the Community that invests least in R & D, he added-, has shown its “satisfaction” because the ULL is among the candidates to be part of the TOP 500 of the Shanghai ranking.
It has defined young researchers as “heroes” of today’s society and called on political leaders to set a “scientific policy” in which “it should be avoided that the little money dedicated to research is destined to those who have influence in the Circles of power instead of those others that are valued by the colleagues themselves, scientific progress needs it “.
Martinón has indicated that the new financial protocol signed with the regional government does not imply the elimination of diplomas or teacher downsizing, but has not overlooked that with the generational change opens a “historic opportunity” to develop new academic degrees that adapt to the needs of society.
The rector has also criticized those who promise that university education will grant “a safe and lifelong job”, noting that “a good part of tomorrow’s jobs do not exist today”. “We can not form a concrete professional and work profile today, but we must train in flexible and adaptable skills, in multiple work contexts,” he added.
For this reason, he has called the project “Demola” a “magnificent example”, through which multidisciplinary teams of young students try to solve challenges posed by companies or institutions, or the research program ‘Agustín de Bethencourt’ in collaboration with the Cabildo de Tenerife
APPEALS FOR STUDENTS TO BE “YOUNG INCONFORMISTS”
Along these lines, he has appealed to university students to be “young nonconformists” who are willing to be involved in the “great challenges” that society demands.
Martinón has also highlighted the commitment of the ULL for the “internationalization” with the organization of the Campus America and Africa, the restructuring of some degrees, with double degrees or the increase of teaching in English, and the modernization of the organizational structure.
This happens, in his opinion, by the impulse of the electronic administration, the development of activities that allow to “make visible” the contribution of the university to the society, and the increase of the staff of Administration and Services.
In the act has been invested a total of 28 new doctors and the inaugural lesson has been given by the professor of Sociology María Teresa González de la Fe, who has highlighted the virtues of this discipline to know the evolution of today’s society.
The academic course was officially opened by the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo.