In the framework of the discussion of the 2021 Budget for Higher Education, CONFECH requested to meet with CRUCH to analyze the complex situation faced by universities.
The rectors valued the concern of the students and appreciated the support received in the face of the proposals that the CRUCH has made known in different instances in recent weeks.
"Today in the afternoon CONFECH representatives expressed their concern about the complex situation faced by the universities of the Council of Rectors as a consequence of the significant reduction of the 2021 Budget. We share with them that this situation puts institutional sustainability at serious risk and has impact on all levels of our university communities, ”said the executive vice president of the Council of Rectors and rector of the University of Santiago, Juan Manuel Zolezzi, at the end of the meeting requested by the Confederation of Students of Chile (CONFECH).
In the almost two-hour meeting, in addition to the rector Zolezzi, the president of the Non-State Public Universities (G-9) and rector of the Universidad Católica del Maule, Diego Durán; the president of the Regional University Association (AUR) and rector of the University of Playa Ancha, Patricio Sanhueza; and the rector of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Ignacio Sánchez.
On behalf of CONFECH, the members of the Executive Board attended, who raised their concern about how universities could give continuity to their development projects and the ability to research without the usual funding. They also expressed their uncertainty about how they could respond to their students, workers, officials and academics and all the workers linked to the universities.
The rectors valued the concern of the students about these issues and appreciated the support received in the face of the proposals that the CRUCH has made known in different instances in recent weeks.
CONFECH spokesperson, Catalina Magaña, was critical in pointing out that “in higher education we see a cut of 42 billion pesos, because there is no money. Here, in addition to seeing that there are no wills on the part of the Ministry of Education to take charge of this crisis, we see that there is a structural problem in terms of how education is financed, we are seeing that the budget for the business of the CAE repurchase, as well as free financing for private institutions at the cost of cuts to CRUCH universities, which may even mean that they are forced to consider their closure. Magaña said that “as a Confederation we have been demanding since the beginning of the pandemic, and even before, a greater injection of resources for higher education and it seems unheard of that while the ministry continues in its endless attempts to return to classes, it reduces our budgets. It seems that the MINEDUC works with reverse psychology ».
At the meeting, the rectors reiterated that in the context of the 2021 Budget discussion, the priorities of the CRUCH are: the recovery of financing for the Basal and Project Funds; authorization for the use of surpluses from the University Credit Solidarity Fund, FSCU; the long-term indebtedness of the State Universities with a State guarantee; and the suspension of the application of the Regulated Tariffs.
On behalf of CONFECH, Felipe Gordon, President of the Santo Tomás University Student Federation; Catalina Magaña, President of the Student Federation of the University of the Americas; Cristóbal Reyes, Spokesperson for the Student Federation of the University of Los Lagos; Nicolás Carrancio, President of the Metropolitan Technological University Student Federation; Sofía Vallejos, General Secretary, Federation of Students, Metropolitan Technological University; Sebastián Muñoz, President of the Student Federation of the University of La Serena; Carla Trigo, Vice President of the Student Federation of the University of La Serena; Constanza Román, Vice President of the Student Federation of the Austral University of Chile; Ignacio Escobar, President of the Student Federation of the Austral University of Chile; Josefa Guzmán, Secretary General of the Federation of Students of the Catholic University of Temuco; and Danneksy Navarrete, Political Secretary of the Federation of students of the Catholic University of Temuco.