Ernesto Medina on reform of the CNU: "It returns us to the darkest stage of the universities in Somocism"

Ernesto Medina on reform of the CNU: “It returns us to the darkest stage of the universities in Somocism”

The education expert, former rector of the American University (UAM) and former president of the National Council of Universities (CNU), Ernesto Medina, considers that the reform of Law 89, Law of University Autonomy, which modifies the CNU and threatens to eliminate the 6% constitutional to the Central American University (UCA), is a return to the “darkest stage of the universities under Somocism before the National University had autonomy in 1958.”

«We return to a situation in which the State assumes control of the universities through the governing body, in this case the CNU, which has no place in the current law. In the current law, the CNU is assumed as a coordinating and advisory body for the universities. There cannot be a body that is an instrument of the State, that supervises the management of the universities and much less intervenes (the universities), “said Medina.

Related news: CNU will be made up of the universities created by Ortega

What worries the most, according to Medina, is that the reform will not strengthen the higher education system, as indicated in the objective of the reform; What it will do is take away its autonomy. In fact, what exist are headless institutions that have been stripped of their ability to self-govern and carry out their work in freedom.

“They are destroying the higher equation system. It elevates the CNU to governing bodies of higher education, in fact it is saying “we are going to have a state apparatus that is going to govern higher education from now on. What the CNU says is going to be done here”. We already know who is in charge of the CNU », he affirmed.

Medina explained that the reform to Law 89 is not for strengthening higher education and that, rather, we should be concerned about this new status given to the CNU because nothing will be strengthened if a new bureaucratic apparatus of faithful is being created. and loyal to the Government to accommodate the budget of 6% that would come to reduce the departure to the universities.

“Now we are going to have 10 (universities) that are going to be part of the 6% distribution. What should concern us are the new functions of the CNU. Regarding the UCA: the most important university in Nicaragua is being destroyed because the national universities, for a long time, have become totally irrelevant, the politicization of the universities and authorities that are simple transmitters of the orientations that come from above have destroyed state universities,” he said.

The former president of the CNU explained that the reform also expands the powers of the CNU on the issue of legal personality, without this limiting the process of approval or denial in the National Assembly, but the CNU is given “greater capacity” .

Medina stressed that the new functions of the CNU are “worrying” because it places the body with the National Council for Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA) as supervisors of the management of higher education institutions. “Explicitly there is no doubt that this violates university autonomy. That is one of the pillars of autonomy, the freedom that each institution has to manage itself as it sees fit. Also (because) it sends the CNU to intervene higher education institutions with the CNEA », he pointed out.

The expert pointed out that private universities would be left out of this regulation because it is not established that they will be under the leadership of the CNU. “In the original Law 89, there is a fundamental problem about how private universities are incorporated into the higher education system. In the reform it is only said that private universities will be part of the CNU when the same body appoints them.

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