The statement reproduced next, regarding the partition of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, reacts upon the information indicating the partition of the the current Ministry of Science Innovation and Universities. Original document released by COSCE and signed by FACME, CRUE and SOMMa, can be found here (in Spanish).
English translation of the original document released by COSCE and co-signed by FACME, CRUE and SOMMa:
In face of the repeated information that in the composition of the new Spanish Government the current Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities would lose part of its competences in favour a new Ministry of Universities, we express our deep concern about the consequences that such a decision will bring about.
Any partition of the current Ministry will be negative news for our country, as it will imply the removal of knowledge from the political spotlight it is receiving in Europe (European Council and Commission). It is indispensable that the management of the triad known as the “knowledge triangle” (research-innovation-education) is consolidated in the new Government into a single Ministry. In that sense, the structure of the European Commissariat, with a Commissioner competent in all these areas, indicates the trend to follow by countries of the Union that, in their ample majority, keep such unity into a single Ministry.
That Ministry, together with its head, needs to have the strongest political weight possible, and gather all competences and resources necessary to manage the science system globally, including the research done in universities. This is a necessary condition for the proposals obtaining the attention and viability that science requires, taking into account that science policy is a competence of all the Council of Ministers, on initiative of the incumbent Minister. This has to be so whatever is the decision regarding the number of ministries to be created.
Fatally, any fragmentation of competences implies a fragmentation of resources. Regarding this, authorized voices in Europe warn about the mistake that could be to have research and universities confront each other during budget negotiations, which could favour decades of stagnation for research, universities, or both.
The competitivity of science in our country will only be able to recover its positive trend (so damaged currently) if it can articulate and boost the bulk of the knowledge that this country has proven to be able to generate. This will have to include, of course, the University, as higher education, research and innovation are indissoluble.
Severo Ochoa – Maria de Maeztu Alliance - Alianza de Centros Severo Ochoa y Unidades María de Maeztu (SOMMa)