Board approves decree of public prices in universities, freezing cost of grades for fifth year
SEVILLA, 11 (EUROPA PRESS)
The Government Council has approved on Tuesday the decree of public prices for the next academic year 2017/18 in the Andalusian universities, which incorporates as a main novelty the bonus of 99 percent of the credits approved in the first registration. The standard also equals the cost of the habilitative and non-habilitative master’s degrees, in addition to keeping the amounts of the Degrees frozen for the fifth consecutive year.
The bonus, which is applied for the first time in Spain, aims to bring the Andalusian system of university education to reference countries in Europe that have free or symbolic registration, such as France and Germany, and advance the equalization of higher education with the rest of basic public services (health or pre-university education among them) while the central government is being asked to make the system totally free.
In the press conference after the meeting of the Governing Council, the Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Antonio Ramírez de Arellano, explained that the decree will allow the next course to keep prices to a minimum, with a reduction in costs that will an important impact for family economies when facing higher education. Despite being one of the cheapest autonomous communities in Spain in absolute terms, Andalusia is the second most expensive in the country compared to the per capita income of its population.
The 99% bonus will be applied in degrees and masters to students of public universities in Andalusia who do not meet the requirements to obtain the scholarship from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECD), which will be credited by signing a responsible statement. In this way, a student with good performance can study their degree by paying almost only the first course, with a total saving of 75% of costs, and make the master practically free.
The cost of an academic course of 60 credits in Andalusia amounts to 757 euros. With the applied bonus, the student who approves all the credits in first registration, between the June and September exams, the following academic year could save 749.4 euros. If you pass the four years of a degree with equal performance, this would be practically the cost of a single course and the aforementioned savings of 75%.
Regarding the master’s degrees, the bonus will be applied taking into account the credits approved in the first enrollment in the two previous academic years, always within the grade that gave access to it.
As a prerequisite for access, students must be enrolled for one year at an Andalusian university, so that students who start their undergraduate studies will have to register for the 60 credits of the first year and pay them. From there, 99% of the cost of each approved credit will be deducted. In addition, the student who is already in higher courses can immediately benefit from the measure, deducting the cost of the subjects passed in the first enrollment.
The Ministry of Economy and Knowledge is already working with Andalusian public universities in the implementation of the bonus within the ordinary registration procedure. The Board will compensate them for the loss of these revenues, an amount initially estimated at around 30 million euros.
The measure has had the unanimous support of the Andalusian Parliament and the Andalusian Council of Universities, a collegiate body of consultation and advice of the Board composed of the rectors and representatives of social councils, students and the Autonomous Chamber. It also has the approval of the Student Advisory Council.
The bonus will also apply in the case of studies carried out within student mobility programs, such as Erasmus, Seneca and others within the framework of the European Union, or those made through specific agreements between universities. Students who come from transfers of records from other national or foreign universities may benefit from the measure from the second year, as well as students with MECD enrollment scholarships who lose this condition throughout their studies.
Ramírez de Arellano has taken the opportunity to demand from the central government a national scholarship system that complements the income level of students, aligned with the main countries of the European Higher Education Area.
GRADES AND MASTER PRICES
Along with the bonus, the decree approved this Tuesday maintains as in the previous course the prices of the degrees and masters for all branches of knowledge, rejecting the possibility established by the central government to tax the most technical lessons. In this way the Andalusian Executive ensures that students can choose their studies according to their abilities and regardless of the level of family income.
The costs of the degree are frozen for the fifth consecutive year at 12.62 euros per credit in the first enrollment, in addition to equaling the price of non-qualifying master’s degrees with those that do qualify for professional practice, reducing them to 13.68 euros. In the same way, the amounts of doctorates (13.68 euros) and academic tutelage of the research period (60.30) remain as in the past year.
During the last three years the costs of the qualifying Master’s programs have remained practically unchanged and those of the non-qualifiers have been progressively reduced, whose prices now equalize to the downside. This measure is possible because the central government has reduced the lower limit of the price range for these studies. The Junta de Andalucía, which had been claiming for years, has applied it immediately.
The decree of public prices also consolidates social measures developed in recent years, such as the fractionation of tuition fees in up to eight installments; exemptions for victims of gender violence and for persons with disabilities; the gratuity in the first enrollment for the End of Degree Awards and the medals in scientific Olympiads, and the 70% of the second enrollment returns to those who pass a subject in extraordinary convocation.