The Association of Professors of the University of Los Andes (APULA) during dialogues with academics from the different nuclei of this institution proposed ideas that contribute to advance towards the university of the future.
Anggy Polanco // Lapatilla.com Correspondent
The purpose is to achieve a transformation of higher education so that it is more linked with the productive sectors of Venezuela and provides a better service to society.
“A change in the university model is necessary, that has been our message to the professors, strengthening that renewal that should guide the future of the university,” said Virgilio Castillo, President of APULA.
The fully state-funded university model is a thing of the past, he noted “as the current model is exhausted. It was successful at the time, but now it needs to be transformed, and adopt mechanisms that allow the university to integrate into a mixed system supported by the State and private companies.”
He pointed out that many universities in the world depend on 50% to 70% of the government budget and the rest is contributed by productive sectors, through the commercialization of the product of that knowledge that is expensive and that the university knows how to create and do. This makes the houses of higher education a great center of innovation and entrepreneurship.
He explained that another of the world trend is to reduce the length in the time to obtain a degree, and take them to four years, which requires a discussion because the curricular reforms usually generate a lot of resistance in the academic world, although it is understood that the curricula must be a flexible structure, permanently updated, we cannot keep the same systems of 30 years ago.
Castillo said that the careers that are being offered in Venezuela should be reviewed and those of the future should be introduced, none of which are taught in the country.
For this reason, other universities now occupy the first places in the national rankings, above the Central University of Venezuela and the University of Los Andes.
Some of the careers that are being promoted in other countries are those related to the world of technology, network security, data management, explained the representative of APULA.
He recalled that the Venezuelan State has abandoned teachers and the public sector with salaries that have no purchasing power and without social security, therefore, it is necessary to seek other sources of financing given the dereliction of the State.
“It is not enough to complain, we also know how to do things and we can establish links with productive sectors that allow us to improve the quality of life of our people,” he said.
Ángel Andara, professor at the Faculty of Engineering and university advisor, explained that they know all the needs of university professors, and that is why they are studying how to face the institutional crisis through this proposal.
He pointed out that the role of the university has several edges, and the main one is to create knowledge to pour it into teaching and the generation of new professionals.
The other is to create a social impact, generating a critical mass and a social role from an economic point of view.
“What we propound is that this university model that we know has already met its objectives, it is an exhausted model, which created professionals who served society and propped up the country that we came to have, but this model is no longer competitive at world level,” Andara commented.