Tomorrow, Friday, April 30, the deadline for the Undersecretariat of Higher Education to announce two exempt resolutions, within the framework of the provisions of Law No. 21.091 on Higher Education for universities attached to the gratuity policy: the one that determines the regulated values of fees, tuition fees and fees for degrees or graduation; and the one that determines the maximum vacancies.
In this context, the 30 institutions that make up the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities, unanimously, have agreed to declare the following to public opinion:
1. The CRUCH universities play an essential role in the development of the country, from Arica to Punta Arenas, since in addition to training professionals with civic values with the highest quality standards, in complex educational environments, they generate knowledge, research and technology transfer, essential dimensions for harmonious territorial progress.
The contribution they make has been particularly clearly evidenced during the current pandemic, actively contributing with the health authority to its monitoring and control.
2. In this context, the health crisis has had negative effects for people and for society as a whole, causing conditions of high risk and vulnerability. This situation, which is not alien to the reality of universities, is aggravated due to the negative effects of some provisions contained in Law 21.091 that regulate institutional financing for gratuity and its implementation, which seriously affect the sustainability of a university model that he is not only a teacher but also maintains the generation of knowledge and links with the environment at the center of his work.
3. During the process of implementing the law, this Council, whose mission is to advise the Ministry of Education, has constantly sought to contribute to the design of a comprehensive and harmonious public policy that accounts for the role played by complex institutions in the knowledge society. and their heterogeneity. However, their participation has not been considered, which implies that academic deliberation about the consequences for the system and the impact it will have on universities like ours, which have maintained a high standard of quality, has not been incorporated.
4. The foregoing is especially relevant in the definition of regulated fees, given that the methodology implemented by the Undersecretariat of Higher Education does not recognize the heterogeneity of the Chilean higher education system, where the same career is taught by universities with different financing, quality and nature of teaching, located in regional and territorial contexts that are also diverse. The technical bases group all the institutions, ignoring the meaning and scope that the legislator has established in this matter, which, precisely, sought to develop a founding instrument that would recognize the diversity of institutions in the setting of regulated values.
5. Therefore, we request the pertinent authority, for the good of the higher education system, to suspend the application of the law with regard to the setting of the gratuity fees and the determination of the maximum vacancies per career for the universities attached to this system, and generate a deliberative process that allows a more in-depth review of the norm in those aspects that threaten to damage the contribution they make to national development.
Finally, we reiterate our total willingness to collaborative dialogue with the authorities and our willingness to advance in the construction of a higher education system that meets the needs of our country.