The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) presented the Comprehensive Academic Information System (SIIA), a free access platform and the only one of its kind among higher education institutions in the country, which offers data on the teaching and research activities of the University, the performance of its academic staff and students.
“It is one more way of being accountable and making this other part of university transparency available to the general public,” said the rector Enrique Graue Wiechers, accompanied by the undersecretary of Higher Education of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), Luciano Concheiro Borquez.
The SIIA provides information in 20 fields, among which are: data by academic entity, academic appointments, patents, complete books of the National University published in Mexico and other indicators of activities and products of the academic staff. It also allows knowing student trajectories and analyzing indicators with a gender perspective.
Rector Graue stated that he will continue to work hand in hand with the SEP, so that the exercise permeates to the rest of the universities, as a national example.
Speaking, Concheiro Bórquez stressed that this effort by UNAM puts it at the forefront, within the framework of an information and knowledge society. The exercise, he added, should be generalized in the higher education system and help shape an informed society.
“We have a key instrument that projects UNAM,” said the federal official who spoke out for SIIA to be presented to the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES).
In addition, he underlined the importance of building new repositories, open information systems that, in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, allow access to articles and documents. The development of these repositories must be considered when rethinking higher education institutions, so that they can move towards new dynamics.
Previously, the Secretary of Institutional Development, Patricia Dávila Aranda, stressed that the implementation of the SIIA, with free access, is “an act of institutional transparency and accountability before the university community and Mexican society that shows the work that It takes place daily at UNAM.”
It is a robust information platform that allows deepening the knowledge of this house of studies by concentrating, systematizing, reporting and analyzing its teaching and research activities, and offering data on the demographic composition of its academics. “The SIIA allows knowing the processes, products and results, so that everyone at the University, the country and anywhere in the world can review and use it.”
When presenting it, the General Director of Institutional Evaluation, Imanol Ordorika Sacristán, agreed that it is one more example of UNAM’s commitment in terms of transparency, access to information and accountability. It is a way to show what this house of studies does in different social, political and economic projects that are implemented in the country and worldwide, for example in compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
He indicated that for its construction various databases were taken, worked on several years ago, in a careful manner and that they have been made interoperable, from which diagnoses of dependencies, evaluations, studies on higher education and the University can be made, as well as analyzing the trajectory of the students, which will allow breaking with various myths.
Better institutional policies
In the Rectory Tower, Graue Wiechers thanked the various areas and coordinators of the UNAM that worked to make this System possible, as he recognized that it had to break with resistance to release information, but “there is a need to have total transparency in our academic work.
“From today it is available to all of us to use it, take advantage of it; to be able to evaluate what we are doing, improve and propose the best policies for institutional growth”, he stressed.
At the presentation were the Secretary General, Leonardo Lomelí Vanegas; the coordinator of Humanities, Guadalupe Valencia García; the General Coordinator of Planning and Simplification of Institutional Management, Enrique del Val Blanco; the head of the Transparency Unit, José Meljem Moctezuma; as well as various directors of university dependencies and holders of Area Academic Councils.