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Spain: new law for university hiring

Spain has made strides in university reform with a recent amendment to the organic law of universities, a progressive law passed in 2001 requiring professors to take competitive, nationally administered exams in order to win tenured positions. The new law, approved on 12 April, pushes professor competition a bit further by requiring the following:
  • national commissions composed of university staff will now ‘accredit’ professors based on a rigorous evaluation of their resume and academic background;
  • only accredited professors can then be offered permanent teaching positions. Universities can still require accredited candidates to take exams in order to access this status;
  • the Autonomies (Spanish regions) should establish additional incentives and requirements and supply additional positions for tenure for individuals who show excellence in research, technological development, transfer of knowledge, and management.

These revisions are expected to allow universities greater flexibility and higher standards in selecting their staff while raising the bar on general professor qualification requirements.  The major difference from the previous law is that now there will be no limits to the number of accredited professors, their professors will have to compete for tenured positions. The reform, intends thus to motivate teaching staff to improve their overall quality.

Other reforms under this new law include the implementation of a fixed four year bachelor in most fields, replacing the previous systems that offered bachelors of variables lengths. This change is yet another advancement for Spain under the Bologna Process. Spanish law amendment