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Spanish recovery and resilience plan: spotlight on universities

In May 2021, the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE) presented its plan for the participation of universities in the recovery and resilience mechanism to the Government. The aim of this plan is to include Spanish universities in the Government’s strategy for the distribution and use of European funds.

The document is organised into four pillars aligned with the priorities set out in the Government's Recovery Plan: science and knowledge, training and employment, sustainability and digital transformation. It also identifies the different roles that universities can play in the distribution and use of funds -recipient, transmitter and promoter- and proposes a series of actions that universities could pursue to foster transformation in society.

The latest Public Funding Observatory by EUA shows that Spain accumulated a large funding gap from 2008 to 2019 and returned to a positive trajectory in 2019, which was further confirmed in 2020. However, the country is still following a negative funding path since 2012 – public funding for universities in Spain was cut by 20% in real terms by 2020 in comparison to 2008.

According to the Government’s recovery plan, the European funds will be allocated to postdoctoral funding programmes and to the digitalisation plan. On top of that, universities insist on the need of large-scale investment in structural reforms enabling them to meet the demands of the Spanish and broader European economy and society.

For more information, see the CRUE press release (in Spanish)