SPAIN: Financial crisis hits universities*

Spain's economic crisis is beginning to bite, hitting top Spanish universities - including the Universidad Complutense which joined The Europaeum in 2003. The government's austerity measures kicked in from January and, although education was to be protected, public universities are feeling the pressure as regional authorities propose substantial cuts that will hit higher education.

A statement last December by the three senior university rectors in Madrid - representing Alcalá, Complutense and the Autónoma - even suggested reductions of up to 87% in committed investments.

After decades of steady growth, public universities are preparing to scale back by up to 10%. Staff salaries are expected to be frozen with cuts in expenditure and even lock-outs where researchers are evicted from their office to prevent them from doing work, and hence being paid! Reports also suggest research budgets face cuts of some 15% in coming years.

* From the Europaeum Bulletin