University President Carlos Saavedra: “G9 universities are concerned with issues of regional and national scope and global impact”

The President of the public universities grouped in the G9 network and the President of the University of Concepción, Dr. Carlos Saavedra, presented on Monday, August 1, regarding the contributions of the country’s G9 universities in science, technology, innovation and research, focusing on major scientific and technological projects serving the various regions in which the institutions are located. the network.

Rector Saavedra highlighted that G9 universities have contributed to the development of research pillars, vaccine manufacturing, digital transformation and cyber security, neuroscience, cross-cultural challenges, and environmental solutions, among others.

This is a very limited set of examples and it indicates that G9 universities are constantly busy contributing and generating public goods of great importance to regions, but also of national scope and global impact.‘, he confirmed.

At the session, the G9 Chairman also spoke about the network’s concerns when learning about the first drafts of the national budget. “Practically speaking, there has been a systematic deterioration in recent years that takes us from 2017 to 2022 to a change in terms of core resources, which was an average of 1.69 to 2.09 between what state universities get and what G9 universities get. Receiving, with the understanding that it was both of them that allowed the development of the national university system (…) these budget differences will produce long-term effects in our institutions, therefore, we would like to alert here to this concern,” added the UdeC President.

Regarding the new constitution, Rector Saavedra G9 noted that “We follow the path suggested in the proposal to generate a new constitution and participate through a popular initiative for a standard entitled “Inclusive and Diversified Higher Education, with a Public and Regional Commitment and the Production of Excellence in Knowledge”. This standard was one of 77 initiatives, out of 2496 considered acceptable, that completed more than 15,000 signatures, thus, we had the opportunity to present the central elements“.

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However, “This is not collected in the way we expected, and mainly in the text the work of state higher education is recognized. What we expected was that history would be collected, and that the role of all universities would be preserved, regardless of the method of saving, as reflected in the 71 constitutional reform of the year 25 constitution. Hopefully, if the text is approved, recognition of the traditional universities that make up the G9 can be included. .‘, the university body said.

Saavedra added that the proposed text as a possible new constitution did not reflect the traditions of Chilean universities. This has dire consequences for the national education system as it provokes historical ignorance of the system, jeopardizes the contribution to research, innovation and knowledge in the country, generated by institutions such as those grouped in the G9 network and ignores the social mobility and inclusion of students from the vulnerable contexts in which network institutions cooperate.

Finally, the G9 Chair commented that another important issue for the network is the lack of mention of relevant sciences in the proposed new constitution, and a greater relationship between higher education and research. “While Article 96 guarantees freedom of research, it does not guarantee an additional funding obligation“, plot.

University President Carlos Saavedra thanked the committee for its warm reception and sensitivity to the issues raised, and added that after the referendum on the new constitution, whatever the winning option, definitions of the higher education system must be drawn from the history of the traditions that distinguish us.

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UNHCR’s commitment to G9 universities

Following the presentation by the G9, the Senate Committee on Future Challenges, Science, Technology and Innovation, chaired by Senator Francisco Chahuan, agreed to express its concern over the lack of relevant science in the draft new constitution and the linkage with higher education.

When one analyzes the place of science, it is mainly in universities, through regional development funds or sectoral funds. Therefore, there are signs of deep concern about the development of science in our country.Senator Shahwan noted.

The authority also agreed to work alongside the public universities in the G9 in a symposium aimed at highlighting the work in science, technology and innovation at the regional and national levels that is being implemented in the role of network studies, which contributes to expanding citizens’ knowledge of this task related to the development of the country .

Check file here session record.

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