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  • The methodology used for setting fees is restricted to teaching and does not consider the costs of research, extension and innovation activities, inherent and embedded in the work of the schools that make up the CRUCH.
  • The Council of Rectors proposes that this model can irreparably contribute to inequality and that a significant number of institutions may be left in a situation of fragility and vulnerability.

"The perspectives are quite complex," said the executive vice president of CRUCH and rector of the University of Santiago, Juan Manuel Zolezzi at the end of the plenary session of the Council on Thursday, July 30. He explained that “in this first stage, the tariffs for the careers in the areas of Personal Services, Pedagogy and Law will be established. Other other racing groups will follow. The way in which it is proceeding, which is in the law, is based on direct costs and some indirect costs. For the universities that are not only teachers, such as the CRUCH universities, which have research, innovation, extension and links with the media, the only thing that solves, in theory, is the issue of teaching. Who finances the other functions? ”

The Council of Rectors proposes that the Undersecretariat for Higher Education has established a model that does not have an adequate justification nor does it conform to the Chilean Higher Education System. The Undersecretariat has only considered a look at historical costs, which does not adjust to the new challenges demanded by the system, which will require greater cost structures than in previous years, such as the resources necessary for innovation and quality typical of educational projects. oriented to continuous improvement and excellence. Furthermore, by not considering the dynamism of costs, the model will lack the ability to accurately predict the financing needs of the next five-year period. As proposed by the Ministry, there is no mechanism that allows projecting the evolutionary trajectory of training costs in a multi-year perspective

Additionally, the methodology implemented by the Subsecretariat of Higher Education does not seem to be adequate to the heterogeneity of the Chilean university system, which is characterized by institutional diversity where the same degree can be taught by selective and highly complex universities and merely teaching universities . In this highly heterogeneous context, where the same degree course is associated with substantive differences in the quality and nature of training, grouping teaching costs in the same statistical sample does not reflect these differences. The incorporation of quality factors or associated with the complexity of the university does not necessarily capture differences, which are not easily scalable with a weighting factor.

Tariff setting process

In accordance with the provisions of Law 21.091, in the next stage of the process of setting tariffs, the Undersecretariat for Higher Education must submit to the Committee of Experts a report containing the calculation of the values ​​of the tariffs, the basic rights of enrollment and fees for the degree, as well as the corresponding calculation reports, on July 31, 2020. Subsequently, a period of one month opens for higher education institutions to send their assessments to the Commission. Then, the Commission must rule on the report of the Undersecretariat within three months of its receipt, being able to approve it or make informed observations, and must "have in view" the findings of higher education institutions.

Finally, the Undersecretariat, within a period of three months, from the reception of said observations of the Committee of Experts, must make a sound decision on them, approving or rejecting them, and must issue the corresponding exempt resolution (s). The Undersecretariat for Higher Education will update in October of each year, by means of an exempt resolution, the values ​​established in the current resolutions, in accordance with the readjustment indicated by the Public Sector Budget Law for the respective year.

Considering the previous stages of the process of tariff regulation, the Council of Rectors considers the low participation of the institutions as worrying. The first proposal of technical bases made by the Undersecretariat had to consider a process of consultation with the institutions attached to free admission and their student federations, which was materialized in a series of questions that did not incorporate the proposal of technical bases, for which reason The universities did not know about this model prior to its implementation. Additionally, in the first request for information, with which the model established in the technical bases was established and tested, a significant percentage of institutions did not participate, directly affecting the collection, processing and conclusions obtained.

In addition, the rectors maintain that the implementation scheme of the new tariffs should consider a temporal gradualness, that is, a period of two or three years should be given so that the universities can generate the necessary adjustments that allow them to converge on the new regulated values ​​for their careers.

The Council of Rectors proposes that this model can irreparably contribute to inequality and that a significant number of institutions may be left in a situation of fragility and vulnerability.

“The country has never been available to set research funds that are not competitive, that are basal. And we require those researchers so they can do good classes. If that is not understood this way and it is understood that teaching is only the teacher standing in the room delivering content, then this country is condemning all the good that universities do in terms of research, science, technology, and innovation. Unless in the future, after a lot of knocking on doors, we can receive resources, ”said Zolezzi.

Roadmap for gender equality

Later, the Undersecretary of Science, Carolina Torrealba, presented the Roadmap for Gender Equity that is being promoted by the Undersecretariat of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, as well as the recent creation of the Council for Gender Equity in Science. .

The group of ten experts -including four researchers from CRUCH universities- will make recommendations for the Roadmap of a Gender Equity Policy in Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, which seeks to promote measures that increase the access and allow the development of researchers on equal terms.

"This is a deep problem, culturally deeply rooted, so this council is a starting point from which we need to convene many more people and institutions that allow us to contribute to building a diverse, comprehensive and inclusive research system," said the Undersecretary Torrealba.

After his intervention, the undersecretary answered queries from the rectors and joint lines of work were proposed in order to advance in the approaches of this public policy.

Source: CRUCH