Regarding the discussion of the 2021 budget for higher education, the rector of the USACH also pointed out that “the Council of Rectors is a diversity of communities, with different ways of thinking; notwithstanding this, today we are one hundred percent united and committed to carrying out this task of rescuing and replacing the funds that have been diminished ”.
Expectant and optimistic. This is how its executive vice president and rector of the University of Santiago, Juan Manuel Zolezzi, defined the spirit of the Council of Rectors, regarding the next days of parliamentary discussion of the 2021 budget for higher education. “We are trying to see how it is possible to reverse the resources that were lowered from the fundamental items, the basal funds of the CRUCH universities, and on the other hand, also how to approve a solution for the use of the surpluses of the Credit Solidarity Fund University (FSCU) ”.
Once the session of the Council of Rectors on November 26 was concluded, Zolezzi pointed out that although “the issue has not been resolved, there has been little progress in this work by the Senate, and then we have our expectation of what is going to be done. to be the Mixed Commission. This has to end on Sunday night, we hope we do well. Something has improved the budgetary situation in the passage through the Senate and we hope that it will improve even more in the Mixed Commission ”.
Regarding the discussion for the FSCU surpluses, CRUCH's initial proposal was to recover the 50% of the accumulated surpluses and the 30% of the 2020 surpluses. Until now, it would be a 30% in both. The pending agreement is on "the use of resources and is subject to accumulated surpluses, since our request is that some pending situations of Article 108 that regulate free time for students can be supplemented," said Zolezzi. “After that, it is possible to use these resources for the effects of the pandemic, whether in expenses or lower income due to the crisis. On this second point we still do not have an agreement with the Executive ”, he added.
As an analysis of the situation that the CRUCH has had to face during the 2021 budget discussion, Rector Zolezzi stated that as the Council of Rectors “we try to address these issues from the academic point of view and the logic of the models, the results. Obviously, if the budget is reduced, we will try to replace it, regardless of the political vision we have. The Council of Rectors is a diversity of communities and contains different ways of thinking; notwithstanding this, today we are one hundred percent united and committed to carrying out this task of rescuing and replacing the funds that have been diminished ”.
The rector Saavedra added that “it is regrettable to reach a situation of this type, to have to develop this discussion at this time, precisely because of all the efforts that the CRUCH universities have developed to guarantee the continuity of the training processes, to participate in the set of public health policies during the pandemic, so it seems to us that there should have been a minimum of maintaining the 2020 budgets and having greater flexibility in the use of funds that are the patrimony of institutions such as the FSCU ”.
From that perspective, Saavedra added that “what we have perceived is the total support that we have had from the parliamentarians in transversal terms, I believe that although it has been a greater wear and tear it has generated joint work scenarios, uniting all the institutions and generating an excellent relationship with the legislature ”.
Presence and Regulated Fees
Along with the budget discussion, the Council of Rectors addressed the eventual presence in the context of the pandemic. On this point, Carlos Saavedra, rector of the University of Concepción, specified that “the central concern of CRUCH is to create the conditions so that all our institutions can maintain adequate operating conditions in the special circumstances that we live today. Therefore, in relation to the modalities in which the classes will take place in 2021, we are interested in ensuring that it is in the best conditions to guarantee continuity ”.
A third point that was addressed in the session was the regulation of tariffs. "We have to respond to a request from the Undersecretariat and we hope to make progress on it," said Zolezzi.
The rector Saavedra explained that the regulation of fees “will be decisive in the financing of the Gratuity. We have proposed postponing this process until we have a model that allows us to know the comprehensive effects on the set of careers and not on a reduced set. We have important differences with the Executive. We are proposing an indication in the budget and if this does not prosper we will have to follow other legal paths ”. In this regard, Rector Zolezzi commented that "all avenues are possible: Comptroller General of the Republic, courts."