Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Mediation in university communities: the experience of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Leticia García


Conflict is inherent in human nature and universities cannot escape this fact. Indeed, being a community with its own identity traits generates its own conflictive dynamics. The close and prolonged daily contact between people and groups with different functions, the wide range of roles assigned to their members or the limited resources can represent a source of conflict directly affecting the personal and professional relations of those there. All conflict requires specific intervention, and this need not always be developed through the disciplinary system. This process is obviously necessary, but insufficient, if we want to resolve the root cause of the conflict. This requires working on values and needs or modifying organisational structures in terms of the interests of the parties involved, and this system is not designed to these ends. This is why it is important to introduce a cooperative conflict management and mediation project in these higher education organisations with awareness raising and training for their members, and the creation and provision of a technical support service for conflict management, mediation and resolution for the whole of the university community. This article looks at these questions in terms the pioneering experience developed to this end at the Universidad Compultense of Madrid.

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