Public Statement: Council of Rectors on new calculation of the Reference Tariff

The Council of Rectors, before the decision of the Ministry of Education to modify the formula for calculating the Reference Tariff, declares the following:

1. Faced with this worrying announcement, we point out that as rectors of Cruch we did not participate or find out about this change until now, when the decision has already been made and the budgets of the universities presented. We believe that this lack of dialogue does not contribute to the climate of cooperation that should prevail between authorities and actors in higher education, for which we have always been available, especially in a decision that could seriously affect the future decisions of our students. 

2. The new calculation, by including market factors such as employability and the level of remuneration to obtain the reference value of a career, leaves out disciplines with low indices in this area, but very relevant for the development of the country such as Pedagogy , Social Sciences or the Arts.

3. We consider that what is behind this modification is the belief that the market will regulate the way in which young people decide what and where to study. This is a skewed view of what higher education means and the reasons behind such an important vocational choice for our students. For us, Cruch universities are not mere professional factories, but centers that form integral people whose duty is to contribute to the society in which they live.

4. By establishing that the value of a degree depends not only on its quality but also on how much a graduate will earn, it contributes to increasing segregation. Salary and employability are often marked by the social capital of students and their family networks, and the differences are more accentuated between Santiago and the regions. Faced with this uneven terrain, this factor would exacerbate this unevenness, providing a greater amount in student aid to young people who choose careers considered more profitable and to those who study at universities in the capital.

5. The rectors of the 25 universities represented in this Council are categorically opposed to the foundations and the effects that this new calculation formula will produce in our universities and in our students. We also point out that these new factors are added to a formula that since its creation in 2006 has never been fully applied.

Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities