The plenary session of the Council of Rectors analyzed today an update of financial information of their Universities in the context of the country's health and social emergency. Since the first report presented by the CRUCH Economic Commission in April to date, the total financial impact has increased by 10%.
This Thursday, June 25, during the development of its monthly session, the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH) analyzed the financial impact on their institutions due to the health and social emergency.
The new financial information survey carried out by the CRUCH Economic Commission allows us to estimate that the total financial impact regarding the undergraduate degree for the CRUCH universities is $ 160.874 million pesos, a figure that has increased by 10% compared to April 2020 .
The executive vice president of the Council of Rectors, Juan Manuel Zolezzi, pointed out that “the difficulties and limitations derived from the current context have had a strong impact on the financial status of the institutions. This situation has been warned on several occasions by universities, both in instances in Congress and in the Technical Table for the Financing of Higher Education. In these instances, the CRUCH has detailed the financial situation and presented proposals ”.
It is important to highlight that the collection of this information is only referring to undergraduate studies, so that in order to total the costs of the pandemic and the budgetary adjustments that the universities will have to make, in a next phase expenses or lower income will be included that the institutions have had in relation to postgraduate, research, university extension and links with the environment.
To face this scenario, CRUCH has proposed the following eight measures: that the Mineduc implement a new application process for student aid; allow the effective use of the surplus resources of the solidarity fund (FSCU); do not consider the year 2020 for the calculation of Gratuity; repeal Article 108 of Law 21.091 on loss of gratuity; do not consider the enrollment of the first year 2020 for the calculation of the 2,7% increase in vacancies; condoning reimbursement of scholarship resources; and make the use of resources associated with projects already approved by Mineduc more flexible to adapt to current requirements.
The executive vice president expressed that "the first objective of the universities has been to ensure the continuity of the educational service, but without financial support the consequences of the pandemic on the universities will bring structural effects". He added that "we observe a dissociation between what is happening in the universities and what is raised in the parliamentary motions and by the Executive."
Finally, Rector Zolezzi emphasized that “our universities transfer their income in expenses and investment in favor of the country, its students, its environments; they are key agents in the health network and in the economy of all regions. Therefore, the decrease in income affects thousands of people. ”
Regarding the Admission Process 2021, it should be remembered that from this year the process will be in charge of the Undersecretariat for Higher Education of the Mineduc. However, Rector Zolezzi noted the availability of the CRUCH to contribute suggestions based on the experience of the Council of Rectors. “We have sent a letter to the Undersecretariat for Higher Education indicating that there are some issues that we would like to clarify. Today, the undersecretary, who was present at the CRUCH meeting, offered and asked for the possibility that we could talk and work more closely to see the difficulties that may arise in the implementation of the process. ”
The CRUCH executive vice president stated that “we appreciated the possibility and are available to support. The important thing is that they work together, otherwise the problem will be much more complex. ”
Regarding the conditions under which the selection tests can be taken at the end of the year, given the health emergency, President Zolezzi said that “the attendance is manageable, with more educational establishments and fewer students per room. We must make the effort so that the tests can be taken with all the security conditions. ” In addition, he confirmed that the Executive has not yet defined the dates for the taking of the evidence.
In relation to the weightings of the selection factors (test, high school grades and grade ranking) that the universities assign for admission to their different undergraduate careers, Chancellor Zolezzi rejected drastic changes. "This is a year with very special conditions and I think the best we can do is, if possible, maintain the weights. But CRUCH does not have the last word ”, he concluded.
Jurors for National Awards
On the other hand, the plenary session of the CRUCH elected its representatives to integrate the juries that will decide the National Prizes to be awarded this year: Natural Sciences; Applied and Technological Sciences; History; Musical Arts and Literature.
The elected representatives were: the rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Ignacio Sánchez, for the National Prize for Natural Sciences; the rector Rafael Correa, from the O'Higgins University, for Applied and Technological Sciences; the rector of the University of Playa Ancha, Patricio Sanhueza, for History; the rector of the Catholic University of Temuco, Aliro Bórquez, for Musical Arts; and the rector of the Metropolitan University of Education Sciences, Jaime Espinoza, to settle the National Prize for Literature.