National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) rector Enrique Graue Wiechers, said that higher education as a catalyst for development is the responsibility of the government. According to Graue Wiechers, this is because at the higher education level, there is more income, a greater capacity for social development and the possibility of tolerating differences and diversities and building a sustainable world.
At the “Impact and Importance of the Public University in Latin America” at the University of Chile with officials of other higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, Graue Wiechers said, “with autonomy over decisions, without external interference and with public funding we are facing the present and we are projecting towards the future.”
He reaffirmed his belief that the revenues of public universities should be subject to transparency and accountability and recognized that these are not easy times for these institutions, due to tough economic conditions.
“Quality public education must be free, as long as social inequalities persist,” he added.
During his lecture “University Autonomy: Historical Lessons and Social Projection,” he recounted the steps that UNAM took to to consolidate itself as an autonomous, public, secular and free institution.
He argued that, like other Latin American institutions, the university cultivated student movements that sought autonomy, which in public universities is not a unique concept.
Graue Wiechers acknowledged that there are also problems facing higher education, such as unemployment, underemployment and job insecurity of young people.