Many have seen the film Oppenheimer, which aims to make public the role of the person who was ultimately responsible for making the atomic bomb available to the US authorities. Beyond the debate linked to its use, the film shows the role played by the international scientific community linked mostly to universities of excellence to successfully complete the objective pursued. All of this has also reminded us of the tremendous effort made by the international scientific community to develop effective measures that could deal with the pandemic caused by covid-19.
These examples highlight the importance of universities in advancing knowledge and exploring its potential applications. Along with this function, which is carried out especially by universities of excellence, the university system develops, together with research activity, training work that is unparalleled. Today the university is the institution with the greatest research and training capacity in most countries.
In Spain this statement is, if possible, even more true. The Spanish university system trains nearly 1.7 million undergraduate, master's and doctoral students and graduates more than 343,000 students. 46.2% of the country's researchers are present, 26.6% of internal spending on RD is carried out and the university is the origin of 60% of all Spanish scientific publications.
However, the importance of the magnitudes indicated is not accompanied by a level of assessment commensurate with their importance by the central and regional governments or by an adequate commitment from society. How else should it be interpreted that the resources received by public universities have not yet reached, even today, the level prior to the crisis that began in 2018 or, for example, the notable difficulties that public universities have to develop a policy own personnel or the enormous administrative complexity required to adapt the content of degrees and masters to the changes that occur in the needs of the productive system.
And in this same sense, how is it possible that it can be said that Spanish companies do not find the right personnel for their needs and the Spanish university is the one with levels of overqualification, university graduates who occupy a job position below their abilities, which are the highest in the European Union.
The Spanish university, and the public one in particular, has the capacity to face these challenges, to improve the level of human capital and reverse its reduced level of productivity, but it needs more confidence from the administrations that protect it, more autonomy. This requires a governance model like the one common in Europe, which combines internal legitimacy, that of university students as a whole, with external legitimacy, that of society and the administrations that finance it. This is what LOSU has not resolved.