What is LOSU?

The Organic Law of the University System (OLUS) is a draft Law that the Government of Spain is developing and which was promoted for the first time by the former Minister of Universities Manuel Castells.

Currently, the new Ministry of Universities headed by Joan Subirats continues to work on this proposed Law. His intention is for the new Organic Law to be ready for approval during the first semester of 2023. The new OLUS would replace the current Organic Law 6/2001 or Law on Universities.

Main Objectives of OLUS

The Government of Spain from the Ministry of Universities intends to adapt the legislation to the new reality of Spanish society. It is considered that the old Law on Universities needs a series of changes that optimize the university experience for both professors and students. Among the goals that are intended to be achieved with the reform are: ending job insecurity for university professors, promoting research and improving the quality of teaching.

The precariousness of university professors

The draft Organic Law aims to put an end to the job insecurity of university teachers that affects, above all, the group of associated teachers. According to the analysis of the Integrated University Information System (SIIU), Spain has 105,371 professors and researchers in its public universities, of which 25,081 are associates.

In theory, these are professionals with other occupations who are dedicated to teaching only part-time. However, the reality is that the majority have as many obligations as the rest in exchange for fewer rights and a lower salary. For this reason, the Ministry of Universities proposes their inclusion in the promotion and stabilization programs of those universities that have more than 15% of associate university professors on their staff, reserving 15% of the places for associate professors with a doctorate degree.

Increased investment in Universities

The Organic Law of the University System (OLUS) proposes an increase in investment for further research and an improvement in the quality of teaching in the classroom.

Among the specific measures to promote university research, is the reservation of 15% of the places for researchers and the allocation of 5% of the university budget to research.

The OLUS and the improvement of the quality of teaching

The Ministry of Universities considers that the new University System Law (LOSU) must pay attention to the demands of society and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations.

Minister Joan Subirats intends to maintain the 3+2 university model in the draft Organic Law. This model was approved in 2021 by a decree from former Minister Manuel Castells and has been implemented to a greater extent by the universities of Catalonia. The system consists of offering degrees made up of 3 years of undergraduate degrees followed by two years of master's degrees. According to the education minister, the model can be maintained if Spanish universities carry out collaboration agreements with European institutions.

The objective, according to the person in charge of the Ministry of Universities, is to carry out a change in the educational pyramid in Spain. Currently in our country there are 40% of university graduates, 20% of people with professional training and 40% of people who only have primary education. The intention is to compare the situation with that of the rest of the European Union, in which the percentages are 40%, 40% and 20%, respectively.

From BeChallenge we encourage you to participate in the comments, can you think of any measure that contributes to achieving the objectives of the LOSU?

[Update: 20/05/2022]

Teacher training proposal

From the Ministry of Universities, it is intended to include as part of the Organic Law of the University System (OLUS) a program of teaching methodologies aimed at PhD assistants from all Spanish universities. Its format, duration and modality (face-to-face, online or hybrid) are not yet defined and will be decided between the rectors and governments of the different autonomous communities.

Currently some universities, such as the Autonomous University of Madrid or the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, offer training courses for their teachers to improve their teaching skills. However, because these courses are not compulsory, the number of teachers enrolled is not very high. According to the Minister of Universities Joan Subirats, university professors should take teaching capacity programs as is the case at other levels of education.

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