Public university is a fundamental institution for cultural, social and economical progress. Since the restoration of democracy, public universities have played a key role, yet insufficient, by socially and territorially extending the right to knowledge and increasing the cultural and scientific level of the country.
Lately, university is under discussion. Proposals and changes targeted to modifying its functions and organization have been made. The goals of these interventions are:
- Academic activity (teaching and research) and the orientation it should have.
- Funding, which includes the fees paid by students.
- Current governance of public universities.
In this context, there is an important lack of documentation and transparent, structured information, as well as objective argumentation. Such documentation would avoid the making of positions -and, which is worse, decisions- on the basis of aprioristic and ideological approaches, rather than objective and reasoned knowledge of the universities’ actual situation.
The Observatory of the University System is a permanent platform that promotes critical research, analysis, debate and discussion about public university, in order to provide documentation about university policies. Thus, the goals of the Observatory, in the field of university policies, are:
- Providing documented and reasoned documentation, studies and opinion.
- Promoting debates and proposal-making.
- Participatin in the media and public debate in general.
The analysis and discussion promoted by the Observatory must necessarily include:
- Critical consideration of the current functioning of the university.
- Conceiving the university as a public service, not surrendered to private interests of any group internal or external to the university.
- Rigorous and documented analysis.
The activities of the Observatory include, among others: collecting, elaborating and analyzing of comparative data and historical series; publishing studies, books and articles in the media and specialized journals; organizing debates to exchange ideas; participating in public events such as conferences and presentations of book and studies; and publishing in our web site the data used in our studies.