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Respect for the autonomy of universities, also in Catalonia

 

 

23/10/2017

Acadèmic

What follows is the statement published by the LERU on the situation in Catalonia:

 

 

With growing concern, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has observed the recent political developments in Spain. The  LERU has taken note of the fact that on September 15th, the Spanish Treasury seized the bank assets of approximately 300 Catalan institutions, including all public universities and research centres. From that moment on, payments could only be made after they have been approved by an officer of the Spanish Treasury. One of the institutions affected by these measures is the University of Barcelona, one of the 23 LERU members.

The decision is presently challenged in the Spanish courts, but the possible outcome is unclear. What is clear, however, is that this undermines the autonomy of universities and research centres in Catalonia. For universities, this limitation of financial decision-making comes on top of many other measures that the Spanish government took in the past to limit their independence, by introducing meticulous rules that have seriously limited their academic and scientific potential.

LERU deeply regrets these measures and calls upon the Spanish Government to end them with immediate effect, so that Catalan universities can continue to function in a normal way in these challenging political times. Just like academic freedom, institutional autonomy is key for the academic world and society at large. It cannot be limited on the basis of political considerations, or to serve political goals.

Together with the University of Barcelona, LERU hopes that a dialogue between the different political actors can be re-established, and will lead to a successful outcome soon.

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