Public universities on shaky ground in Spain

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Flickr, Leo Hidalgo

PUBLIC Universities have lost more than 77,000 students since the 2011-2012 year due to an increase in fees and a reduction in scholarships, according to the Education Federation of the CCOO trade union.

In addition, the increased requirements needed to benefit from a public grant has also caused a reduction in students enrolling while private universities have seen an increase in the number of people studying masters degrees at these institutions.

The report says many youths have ‘given up’ their wish to go to university and others have dropped out because they can’t afford it.

From more than 1.37 million students enrolled in 2012, the figure has dropped to 1.29 million this year.

CCOO claims that the university policies enforced by the current governing party, PP, have been ‘lethal’ and have nothing to do with a decrease in the population of those aged between 18 and 24, as the Education Ministry has been alleging.

Private and Catholic universities have seen masters enrolments increase by 30.1 per cent. The report explains that the difference between public and private prices is decreasin, while private universities in general offer more ‘flexibility.’ In addition, they provide a larger variety of courses and these numbers are increasing at a faster rate than those of public courses.

Between 2010 and 2015, the budget allocated by the central government for public education has gone down by €1.38 billion or 13.7 per cent.

In terms of staff, between 2012 and 2015, universities have seen a decrease in job numbers of 7,766, which translates into 5.1 per cent of lecturers and 4.9 per cent of administrative staff.

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