Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7968-7976
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1909
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Public Management and Administration (PMA) degree at the Universitat Jaume I (Castellon, Spain) (UJI) started in the academic year 2011-2012 as a Bologna treaty degree, following the Spanish statute law, with a total of 240 European Credit Transfer System credits distributed in four years of 60 credits. The PMA curriculum was initially mainly focused on training professionals in the civil service and public sector at different levels of the public administration: local, regional, national, European and international. Later, when the degree was consolidated and the relations between the public administration and Spanish society evolved to a more modern and integrated model, it soon became apparent that the PMA graduates can perfectly develop their professional career in the private sector or intermediate between public and private sectors.

Since the academic year 2012-2013, the University Tutorial Action Program (UTAP –PATU in Spanish for “Programa de Acción Tutorial Universitario”) for first-year students, as a voluntary participation initiative, was introduced in the PMA degree by the UJI. UTAP is structured in levels for each degree: one faculty is the program coordinator; some second to fourth year students play the role of tutor-student; and first-year students play the role of tutored-student. Between each tutor-student and their tutored-students there is a total absence of formalism and relationships are characterized by spontaneity and friendliness. Taking in account that the PMA offer annually 70 academic slots for new students (this in a number fixed by the UJI that does not change from year to year), in the period 2012-2013 to 2016-2017, the average enrollment has been approximately 73% of the annual offer, and in the same period, the UTAP adherence average has been approximately 60% of the total new academic enrollments, the participation rate is following a negative trend. This has been accentuated in the current academic year, 2017-2018, because only the 4% of the first year students are participating in the UTAP.
On the other hand, the UTAP has some mechanisms of gratification for student-tutors, in gratitude for their willingness to participate and effort: ECTS credits; complementary academic services; UJI marketing products; or registration to UJI training courses. However, no specific type of gratification has been included for the tutored-students. Despite the rewards, the participation rate of both tutor and supervised students has dropped dramatically in the current academic year. In the first case, the reward mechanism does not work or motivates. In the second case, the causes have still not been determined with precision. Maybe we should implement some non-monetary gratification for the tutored-students?

In this paper we carry out a methodical review of the existing reward mechanisms, assigning them some weights based on the results of the surveys administered to the student-tutors regarding their satisfaction and opinion about to have participated in the Program. We also pretend to detect the reasons that determine the first-year students refuse to participate. And finally, we propose new compensation measures, applicable during the academic year, with their corresponding control mechanisms to reinforce the robustness and transparency of the system. If they are applied, the results can be seen before the summer holidays of 2018.
Public Management and Administration Degree, University Tutorial Action Program, Low Participation Rate, Initiatives to Enhance Motivation and Participation.