This article is the result of another one titled “La universidad pública catalana hoy: Dimensión, Eficacia y Eficiencia”, written in a context in which the public funding of the university system in Catalonia is under a strong pressure. The information collected here directly refers to the Catalan universities but in the context of the Spanish public university system. That global perspective allows find response to the same questions that the original document was appearing, but to the level of Spain as a whole:
1. Are there too many universities in Spain?
2. Has it gone too far in the effort to extend the university system for the whole Spanish territory?
3. Is Spanish university system too expensive in relation with the public resources that the country possesses?
4. Are the Spanish universities ineffective (they do not work enough or their work is not sufficiently well done)?
5. Are they inefficient in the use of the public resources?
All these questions are always pertinent, but specially in moments like the present, in which the public income has fallen down in a drastic way and the demand of public services does not stop growing. The response to each of these questions can be approached in many ways, but the decisions to take cannot be based only on opinion tendencies or confrontation of interests.
This text tries to offer information; it is clear that takes the point of view of the positioning and previous knowledge of the university system and the Spanish, European and world contexts in which it is developed, but, in any case, it is based upon absolutely confirmed information. To answer each of the five questions that head this summary requires to adopt any kind of measure system and to apply it. There is not an absolute modal, either state or international, to answer these questions - and to many others that can appear-. The only quantitative resource that can be in use has to put Spain in Europe or in the world, using socioeconomic parameters, for, from the environment in which there the activity of the university Spanish system is developed, to establish this positioning.
Once the data is collected in this paper, the clear answer for the five questions is definitively: NOT.
Inefficiency at the university, catalonian public university, university system.