viernes, 22 de octubre de 2010
The demonstrators were invited to allow the completion of the act and wait outside the Casa de la Convalescència for a new dialogue with the General Director of Universities of the Generalitat, Josep Ribas, to which they agreed.
While waiting there was some open discussions among the gathered people, who later left the premises, so the delegation could hold a meeting with the General Director.
In this initial contact a commitment has been made to study the issue at a meeting specifically devoted to it, to be held on Wednesday or Thursday next week and attended by the Minister Huguet, a representative of the DGU, two vice-chancellors of Catalan universities, representing all the universities of Catalonia, and four representatives of the pre-doctoral researchers from all over Catalonia.
Researchers must now select these four representatives and prepare the agenda for the meeting, which convenes next Monday 25th of October at 19h, in front of the UB historic building's main door. D-Recerca will reserve a room for the meeting.
The objectives of this meeting are:
1. Elect four representatives to take part in the meeting next week (and
probably in the later ones).
2. Set the number of points to be addressed at that meeting and the minimum
acceptable for each point.
Each university and local entity (PCB, PRBB, Bellaterra, Vall d'Hebron, UdG, UPF, UVic, URV, etc...) has to send a delegation to represent their pre-doctoral researchers at the meeting in order to have the greatest amount of views and ideas.
The representative committee should be maintained for future development and should commit to:
1. Inform your local collective.
2. Coordinate the decision-making of the collective.
3. Represent your local collective and the whole Catalan collective in possible
The confirmed talks with the administration provide the opportunity for the group of Catalan doctorates to start changing the situation. The elected representatives should have perfectly clear the position and requests of their local collective, as well as the best negotiation capability with a serene, but demanding attitude.
This blog encourages pre-doctorate researchers to continue their exemplary, democratic, and respectful attitude, and to participate without ever yielding to the any demand posted by the government.
Preparing and adjusting the manifest with D-recerca had the outcome of taking the long version (version A) as a basis of our opposition against the increased thesis fee and the precarious situation of the pre-doctoral scientists in Catalonia. The short version of the manifest (version B) is still available as a summary of the principal points in order to be used whenever a short version is necessary.
Both manifests are available in Catalan and Spanish. Further down on this page you can find the revised final version.
IMPORTANT: Please also visit THIS PAGE and leave you digital signature, which are being collected since yesterday. Pass on this link to fellow students, friends and family. It is not necessary that they are directly affected by the increased fee, they can just show their support by signing. Please also check that the signature is validated.
Furthermore, the different subgroups are cordially invited in the collection of signatures (not online but on paper!) in order to support the manifest. Every single subgroup should then compile the collected signatures which are all brought together afterwards.
A draft form for the collection of signatures will be available here soon!
The signatories of this manifest state that:
1. The Generalitat has increased the cost of the thesis supervision to 400 Euro (a 280% increase from previous years), which PhD students in Catalonia must pay annually to have right to undertake a PhD in the Catalan research system.
2. We understand that being research student is a professional activity, comparable to any other performed by scientist working in research as it is recognized by the European Letter for Researchers .
3. Those 400 Euro only make worse the precarious situation of young researchers, being an economic barrier that discourages and hinders access to the profession of scientist.
4. We recognize that the Generalitat has the right to set prices in public universities according to the Royal Decree 1393/2007, provided they are related to the cost of a service, but without upper limit and leaving it to the will of the autonomous institution to set them.
5. The explanations received by the relevant agencies (government and universities), attributing the increase of the service fees, established by Decree 98/2010 of the Generalitat, Annex 1, paragraph 4.6, do not satisfy the signatories of this manifest, as the researchers in training, like any other researcher, have the right to access all the services necessary to perform their task, and no payment for these services should be necessary.
6. These 400 Euro are an even greater outrage if we consider the reduction of 5% of salary that have undergone the PhD students of public universities, and we understand that Catalonian PhD students suffer much economic misfortune compared with other Autonomous Communities where none of these measures have been applied.
1. The reception of a promptly and timely response in writing by the authorities of university and government.
2. The deletion of paragraph 4.6 of Annex 1 of Decree 98/2010 of the Generalitat of Catalonia which sets a price of 400 Euro for the fees for thesis supervision in a doctoral program adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EEES in Spanish).
3. Due to this exceptional situation and by decree, a suspension of the registration period for PhD programs in Catalan universities, until an agreement between the parties involved is obtained.
4. An immediate monetary reintegration of those who paid the enrollment in a PhD Program in Catalan universities.
 The European charter for Researcher and the code of conduct for recruitment of researchers. European Commission, 2000.
miércoles, 20 de octubre de 2010
In order to reinforce the manifest, there will be a protest gathering from 12h to 13h which will be timed with the presence of Mr. Huguet. The assisting people are asked to wear orange clothing (the colour represents the precarious scientist). The plan is to read out loud the manifest and hand a copy to Mr. Huguet. Furthermore, a basket with oranges and a juice squeezer will be given to the Minister as representation of the current situation of the PhD students working as researchers.
Everybody willing to attend is invited to participate, preferably wearing orange clothing.
Please check back for updated time before going there.
lunes, 18 de octubre de 2010
Also, there is another meeting called for tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1pm at Aula 22 of the Faculty of Biology, UB.
We hope to see you all there!
jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010
A hundred and twenty seven members of the Biomedicine Doctorate Programme at UPF have adhered to the text, representing only one of the multiple research centers with an active collective opposing the rise of thesis supervision fees and other problems of predoctoral research at Catalonia.
This blog will follow closely the effects of this UPF text, which is being used as a model at many other centers and the contents of which will predictably be included in any collective complaint of predoctoral researchers as a whole.
This post's highlight goes to a meeting between a representation of D-Recerca and the Generalitat de Catalunya Department for Innovation, Universities and Enterprise (DIUE) Director General, Josep Rives.
About the rise of the thesis supervision fees, the meeting report states:
The reason given to explain this rise of 300% in doctorate fees is the adaptation to the European Higher Education Area. Since this year is the first in which the Bologna Accord is implemented in studies from the first course, they have wanted to update the third degree as well. They state that this price of 400€ is to cover expenses of the supervision service and bibliographical fonts access. We complained about the supervision service being symbolic in all cases and hence it is not justifiable to charge so much money giving nothing in exchange*. We were told then that we would have to address the vice-chancellery for research at each university and demand there the services corresponding to the degree, like a better offer of teachings and advisory services.
But yes, students registered for PhD. programmes previous to the new plan will be charged just the previous fees.
About what is paid in each programme, it seems that students in the DEA pathway are in a better position, although there's some contradictory information running around about this point. Any readers registered for a DEA programme and being charged the 400€ fee are welcome to report that in the comments section.
* A comment in the Spanish version reveals yet another contradiction in the explanation of the fee as covering bibliographical access and the actual reduction of bibliographical access for Spanish universities by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology in purchasing a cheaper license for ISI Web of Knowledge this year.
miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010
Predoctoral researchers at the Barcelona Science Park have decided to express their disagreement with the increase of thesis supervision fees to 400€ with a parody motivational poster.
This icon of the situtation is reproduced here for the readers to do whatever they consider with it. Have you seen any other similar posters? Have you made any you want to share? You can send it to this blog's feedback e-mail:
Next there is a translation of the answer letter they got:
In reference to your letter about the increase in the thesis supervision fee, we agree in that the increase of the fee has been high. In front of this fact, I must tell you that the Social Council of the UPC approved for the academic year 2010-2011 a fee of 400 euros in concept of thesis supervision, defense and evaluation altogether. At other universities the interpetation was to apply 400 euros for each one of these concepts, so anyone registering only for thesis defense and evaluation will be charged another 400 euros. This is not true for UPC.
We thank you for your letter. Xavier Gil will complain to Generalitat both about the increase in the fee and the fact that FPU or FPI fellows have to pay while UPC, FI or contracted by UPC don't.
Ana Pérez Neira
Vre. Adj. investigación
Vre. Política Científica
Besides, it is sold as something good that UPC has not pushed into the domains of the dubious in the application of the decree that lifts the fees, making some pay double of what already seems a senseless amount. It is said that other universities have done so. It seems logical to wonder which are those universities that don't show even the scarce solidarity with predoctoral researchers that the social council of UPC has displayed. If any reader of this blog knows which are they, communicating it in the comments will be welcome.
The vice-chancellor for Scientific Policies at UPC will carry the complaint of the predoctoral researchers to the Generalitat. There's no doubt that the eyes of the world will be put on that complaint and its consequences. This blog will inform on any news about this matter.