The transfers that the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) has not yet made effective are those corresponding to the months of July and August. This delay may mean a cost for all CRUCH universities close to $450,000,000 million in interest due to having to go to the bank. The CRUCH plenary session defined that in the next few days an official letter will be sent to the Ministry of Education to request answers regarding this situation.
The delay in free transfers from MINEDUC to the universities of the Council of Rectors in the second semester was one of the central themes of the monthly session of the rectors, held in Osorno last Thursday, July 25, at the University from Los Lagos. In this regard, the Executive Vice President of CRUCH and rector of the University of Valparaíso, Aldo Valle, said that “we express the concern that the universities of the Council of Rectors have, because there has been no compliance in relation to free transfers in the second semester . In the months of July and August there have been no transfers and we are uncertain as to whether it will be possible to carry out as of September, that is, the second semester is already well advanced ”. Valle specified that the delayed amounts correspond to the fees of all students in the first five deciles who are recipients of gratuity and who study at the CRUCH campuses.
Rector Valle explained that for some universities, pending transfers represent the equivalent of 50% of their undergraduate operating income. “These are very important sums that in the first semester exceeded 200 billion pesos; consequently, for the second semester it should be a similar figure ”, he added.
For his part, the alternate Executive Vice President of CRUCH and rector of the Universidad Católica del Maule, Diego Durán, explained that “in the first semester, almost 60% of the total number of students was delivered free of charge, which was very well managed, but in the second semester the promises that were made regarding that have not been carried out. This may mean a cost for the total of universities of around 450 million in interest for going to the bank, to be able to meet this difficulty, so we have a real problem ”. Durán stressed that this situation has not been due to a problem of the universities, since they have done their part. “Formally, the State promised the universities to make the payments accordingly and these have not been made, therefore, it is not our problem. Now, what is the problem of the State? That will have to be answered by the ministries involved, who are the ones who have to resolve this situation we are in. The call is for things to be clarified, ordered and that they also give us clarity for the internal organization of the universities, ”Duran required.
Consequently, the plenary session of the Council of Rectors defined that in the next few days it will send an official letter to MINEDUC requesting “that it be explained to us with the greatest formality and clarity, and this allows us to overcome the doubts we have, because this has a financial cost for the universities, since they all have to comply with their obligations and cannot simply defer the fulfillment of payments to providers and the monthly obligations that they have with respect to their own officials and academics, ”declared the rector Aldo Valle. Therefore, and in the opinion of the CRUCH authority, MINEDUC and the Ministry of Finance, specifically the Budget Office, must react as soon as possible.
Laureate Group and Andrés Bello University
Another issue addressed in the session was the situation of the Andrés Bello University (UNAB), belonging to the Laureate Education Inc. (LEI) group, which participates in the CRUCH Single Admission System.
Considering that recently the conglomerate Laureate made it clear that it is profitable, through a report delivered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States, with the objective of going public, the Board of Rectors must evaluate the situation of UNAB at the SUA. The rector Aldo Valle affirmed that “for us it is a condition that the institutions that participate in the SUA comply with the requirement of not having profit motives. This is not established by the CRUCH, but is established by the Chilean legal system, ”said Rector Aldo Valle, who also explained that the Council of Rectors, in its capacity as a public body, cannot be a mere observer or passive part of the eventual non-compliance of that condition established by Chilean law for university institutions.
The Vice President of the Council announced that, in the first instance, the board of directors of the Single Admission System and the plenary session of the CRUCH rectors, agreed to gather the necessary information to allow the evaluation of the compliance condition of the UNAB. "We must gather the information that has been made known by the national press, but we also know that there is information that is being generated by the same presentation that the Laureate corporation made before the United States Stock Exchange," said Valle.
When asked about the permanence of the Andrés Bello University in the Single Admission System, the highest authority of the CRUCH said that “this has no effect for admission in 2017, because it is a process that is already underway and the university in question is part of the system. Certainly, we do not believe that we can form a judgment and a conviction at this time of the year, but we have to gather the background and make a decision for the future, "said Rector Aldo Valle.
Minister of Sport
In another area, it should be noted that the monthly CRUCH session, organized by the University of Los Lagos, was attended by the Minister of Sports, Natalia Riffo, who invited the rectors to strengthen and strengthen the bond with their portfolio, understanding that the higher education system is a relevant actor in the national sports system.
"Higher education plays a fundamental role in the development of sports policies," said Sports Minister Natalia Riffo. He added that today, "although there is a link with universities, we want to go further, we want to make progress in ensuring that Higher Education and universities, as well as technical institutes, effectively play the role in the development of sport in Chile."
Minister Riffo said that a closer relationship is needed between the knowledge produced by universities, science and current sports policies. "We want to intensify this link between my portfolio and the universities, and today, what better opportunity than to be in a meeting with the Council of Rectors to express this will, which they also express as positive to continue working together," said the Minister of Sports.
By Communications Area of the Council of Rectors, August 26, 2016