Manuel Palomar: "We are focussed on maintaining caution and austerity"
The UA President reports to the University Senate with a comprehensive management report
Alicante, December 3, 2013
"We are pleased with the performance of the university budget 2013, we have made a significant effort to contain all the expenditures of our centres , but we have to keep on in a framework of caution and austerity". With these words the University of Alicante’s Presidents, Manuel Palomar, explains the situation that is being experienced by the university after making the Council fulfil "the commitment of timely payment of the current transfers". This has taken place during the the exposure of the management report presented to the University Senate this morning in the UA Auditorium.
"17 months ago, we committed to transparency and accountability , the President said, and this report describes the management carried out in recent months, in all university areas ." It is the first time that a report of this kind, in which the various strategic actions and the current state of the issue in terms of staff, students, education and training, research and innovation, economic planning is exposed, infrastructure, internationalization , technology, culture, gender and communication and image have been explained.
Palomar, who has submitted an advancement of large numbers of the budget for next year, has emphasized the cost containment , the control of cash and the decline in contracts with private companies. Also, he recalled that we have to add the existing short-term debt ( 2010-2013 ) , amounting to more than €93.5 million to the historical debt of the Valencian government ( €142.5 million).
The President has shown concern with issues such as both the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities and the University of Alicante itself, due to the decrease of registrations in graduate programmes (from 2,518 registrations in 2008-2009 to 1,352 in 20013 -14). In undergraduate programmes, however, a "fairly stable registration over time evolution" is detected, the President explained, (from 25,514 in 2008-9 to 26,609 in the current year), although there is a surge of students who choose UA degrees as their first preference (from 6,708 in the year 2008-9 to 8,049 in the current year).
In this regard, Manuel Palomar has stressed the commitment to quality. "100 % of our centres have implemented the system of internal quality assurance and monitoring reports have been sent all our undergraduate and master's degrees." For this reason, the president explained the creation of the Astua platform for monitoring the qualifications, a system which is completed with the evaluation of the teaching staff, for which 60,000 questionnaires have been carried out.
As for the labour market, entrepreneurship and work placements, the President said that "it is one of our major concerns." "Our goal is that our students take internships during their university education, which undoubtedly promote access to the labour market”. UA currently maintains nearly 6,000 agreements in this regard, 3,804 with the Internship Unit and 2,095, with the Office for Employment Initiatives, GIPE .
In the area of research, the University of Alicante has managed to extend the usual funds attracting 14.63 million euros from various public calls through 43 European projects, 85 national , 78 regional and FEDER funds and 715 contracts and agreements for specific projects. With a portfolio of 158 patents in force and 7 technology-based companies, the transfer of knowledge has been encouraged through the participation and organization of various forums and specific actions.
Regarding internationalization, thanks to the renewal of Erasmus contracts, European mobility agreements have been signed with 30 of the 32 EU countries and those existing with countries from other continents have increased by 100 %.
The commitment for effective equality between women and men, the Healthy University, culture, sport and information technology were other topics highlighted by the president, who has detailed quantitatively the different activities carried out in each of the fields.
The pdf with the management report presented by the president is available through the following web address.
Other items on the agenda
Coinciding with the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the University Senate meeting has incorporated for the first time, a deaf student , the first one to participate in a body of these features in a Spanish university. Thus, the meeting has had sign language interpreter.
The University Ombudsperson position is still vacant and therefore a new electoral procedure should start.
The university senate has approved the new Electoral Regulations of the University of Alicante, adapting it to the current statute. In this regard, certain provisions that promote a balanced composition in terms of gender equality between men and women have been introduced, all of them supported by the Constitutional Court, and already in operation in other Spanish universities. Other modifications approved relate to certain procedures, including the possibility of introducing electronic voting and further development of its legislation.
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