Regarding the recent announcements of the Constitutional Court (TC) in relation to the request filed by opposition Parliamentarians on the gloss of financing of university gratuity via the Budget Law project, the Council of Rectors declares the following:
1. We regret the uncertain situation in which thousands of students have remained, particularly those who will enter their higher studies in 2016, who today do not have clear information regarding their real possibilities of access and financing. Likewise, Universities will be faced with the need to set their budgets for 2016, without any degree of certainty, which is very serious for their future performance and long-term projects.
2. The Council of Rectors, as it has stated on other occasions, reaffirms and values the need and urgency of gratuity as a public policy, especially for the most disadvantaged social sectors. We reiterate as necessary that access to the free regime establishes certain basic eligibility conditions, relative to quality standards and the effective prohibition of profit. These conditions seem essential to us to guarantee that public financing will contribute to improving our higher education system and thus prevent such resources from being the object of private appropriation or enrichment.
3. The Council of Rectors, in accordance with its Organic Law, does not have any competence in the definition of bills, nor is it called upon to dispute jurisdictional decisions adopted in accordance with current constitutional procedures. However, we call on all political actors to contribute to the design of a formula that reconciles the urgent needs of thousands of students with the institutional structure of our political system.
4. As we stated in the public hearing convened for this purpose by the Constitutional Court, the Council of Rectors does not share the grounds of the request for unconstitutionality filed by a group of parliamentarians and, for the same reason, we reiterate our rejection of all the assertions that They tend to present this Council as a corporation that relies on privileges of a political or economic nature. This is equivalent to ignoring the public role played by the institutions that comprise it throughout its history and which is reflected in the social recognition that the vast majority of Chileans have permanently given it.
Santiago, December 11, 2015