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Ayuso is now also scoring points by cutting tuition fees, although he took them to court to avoid cutting them

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The President of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, this week scored a point that does not belong to her: “We agreed in the Governing Council: reduction in tuition fees: 20% Bachelor, 30% Master (…) ” . Good news for students. They have to pay less to study at a university in Madrid. Supposedly good news, the head of the Madrid PP announced on Twitter on Tuesday with great fanfare, as if it were a success of her mandate. But this decision was in In reality a great failure for them.The government of Madrid is doing so by legal requirement and despite being the only community to vote against the reduction in fees for qualifying masters in March 2021 during the General Conference on Higher Education Policy (CGPU) where they approved the Measure discussed with the central and regional government Enrique Ossorio, Minister of Education, was left alone at the time, and he even moved in front of the in September 2020 Supreme Court of Madrid (TSJM) to avoid the reduction of career tuition fees with a litigious-administrative objection. Despite everything, both Ayuso and the regional administration are now publishing the news on the networks as a major measure of their administration.

Ayuso’s position was clear from the start. He didn’t want to lower interest rates. This meant new spending, and was quite important because if approved, the regional government would have to reward the six public universities that had gone under economically for money the families would no longer pay. But it was useless. it’s time to stay

There was also a fundamental inaccuracy in the announcement made by the President of Madrid on Tuesday. He spoke of a 30% drop in “master’s degrees” when in reality only the rates of qualifying degrees are being reduced, not master’s degrees in general, and these are a minority of postgraduate courses (around 8%), ones , who are required to practice as a lawyer, psychologist, certain engineering professions or high school teachers. The headline of the press release from the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the summary also hide this information.

But this tug of war is not new. Despite her opposition in office, it’s not the first time Ayuso has publicly celebrated being an advocate for the rate cut. He did the same when he took office for the second time, now without Ciudadanos at the head of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities: “We will work to ensure that no student in Madrid is denied higher education due to a lack of financial means. For this reason, this government will lower public prices…”. The announcement once again concealed his discrepancy with the measure, prompting then-University Minister Manuel Castells to publicly react with outrage to the President: “I don’t give a damn who gets the medals or who gets the honors, what matters to me is that students pay less. What they paid for is a scandal.”

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The road to this point has been full of negatives. In May 2020, Castilla y León, Andalucía, Madrid and Murcia, all governed by the PP, first voted against reducing tuition fees, which is the tuition that students pay when they enroll in a career, and abstained Vote where Alberto Núñez Feijóo was then President, now leader of the PP as it had one of the lowest rates in Spain. Almost a year later, in March 2021, the CGPU lowered the prices of qualifying master’s degrees, which were much more expensive than the degree. And that’s when Madrid was left alone as it was the only one of the municipalities that voted against.

The autonomies now have until the next academic year to recover the tax rates from 2011, the year when then-Education Minister José Ignacio Wert forced regional governments to make families pay between 15% and 25% of the student enrollment fee for each student without scholarship. Management pays the rest.

Many of the autonomies began to reduce fee rates immediately after approving the measure in the academic year 2020/2021, without urging until the last moment. And to date, all but the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country and Madrid have started cuts. Galicia and the Canary Islands did not have to do this as their price was already at 2011 levels.

According to calculations by the ministry, this measure means additional costs for Madrid of four million euros per year.

Since the establishment of the university ministry, those in charge have been careful not to go to war with Madrid, although Ayuso has not hesitated to publicly show his differences. “The new university law attacks the fundamentals of university life: freedom, responsibility, effort, the search for truth and knowledge, without ideologies or censorship,” he asserted in a tweet at Carlos III University early last year.

Finally, in Congress the following April, Minister for Universities Joan Subirats chimed in: “At the meeting with the rectors [de Madrid], the worry was huge. The comments I received were very worrying as there was a very clear strategy to undermine the concept of the university and the public. And in return there is a very generous view of initiatives, shall we say, purely speculative. I promise to work with the legal services of the ministry and the government itself to see what can be done.” With this allusion to generosity, he was referring to the University of Design, Innovation and Technology (UNIT), the thirteenth private university in Madrid, which was born with reports against the executive itself and the ministry.

At the same time, at the inauguration of Alcalá’s new rector last May, Ayuso boasted about his investment in universities This was reflected in the press release: “4.5% of the budget is allocated to its funding, a figure well above the Spanish average which is 1.6%”.

But even these figures do not correspond to reality. “Madrid stands out for being the second region with the highest income per student in the chapter on fees, public prices and others; and the one with fewer current transfers and capital transfers received when divided by the total number of students Current report from the Knowledge and Development Foundation (FCYD) communities, which has some of the largest Spanish companies under its auspices. In other words, the Ayuso region is at the end of all of Spain. “On the spending side, it’s also the one with the lowest ongoing expenses per student.”

In short, Madrid is characterized by two important facts: it is the second most taxing place for families, after Catalonia, and the one that invests the least in its students.

And meanwhile tug-of-war and medals for lower prices, more concern for the public universities in Madrid. In a year or two, they will no longer receive the items of 259 million (plus interest) that the community had to pay them after they lost in the Supreme Court for having lost the items intended for financing and investments between 2008 and 2011 had not paid. This happened in the days of Esperanza Aguirre. Ayuso is now taking over and is in the middle of a dispute over the award of 43.4 million scholarships for families with an income of more than 100,000 euros who want to send their children to private non-university institutions.

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Source elpais.com

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