Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): G9 rectors show concern about the government’s roadmap in Higher Education

The president of the Network of Non-State Public Universities G9, rector Aliro Bórquez, described as a “historical error” that the significant contribution that these institutions have made to the country is not valued and recognized.

“Apparently there is a lack of knowledge of the significant contribution that the G9 universities have made to the country’s development and I think it would be a historic mistake not to recognize it and value it in the long term,” said the president of the Network of Public Universities non-state G9, rector Aliro Bórquez (UCT) at the exit of the first meeting between the G9 Network and the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila, and the Undersecretary of Higher Education, Verónica Figueroa.

This is the first meeting between the G9 Network and the Secretary of State, which lasted for about an hour at the Ministry of Education and in which the rectors announced the work carried out by the G9 institutions throughout the country. , verifying the contributions in research, innovation and excellence, with the marked public sense that has characterized them.

“Apparently there is a lack of knowledge of the significant contribution that the G9 universities have made to the country’s development and I think it would be a historic mistake not to recognize it and value it in the long term” – Aliro Borquez, UCT rector and president of the Network of non-state public universities G9.

The meeting was attended by the president of the G9 and rector of UC Temuco, Aliro Bórquez, as well as the rectors Cristhian Mellado (Catholic University of the Holy Conception ), Carlos Saavedra (University of Concepción), Claudio Elórtegui (Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso) , Rodrigo Alda (U. Católica del Norte) and Diego Durán (U. Católica del Maule).

At the end of the meeting, although everyone appreciated the frankness of the meeting, they agreed on the concern that there is no recognition of the public function they have performed over the years, and this was expressed by the G9 president, rector Bórquez : “We are worried because we did not see much clarity about how the G9 universities project is going to be able to continue serving the country’s interests as it has done so far,” he assured.

The same opinion was held by the rector Claudio Elórtegui of the PUCV, who assured that “when these priorities are announced, the state universities appear with great prominence and the G9 universities do not appear. I perceive a lack of recognition of the contribution that the G9 universities make to the country, in terms of quality, inclusion, regional development, training of young people, many from very neglected sectors. Our universities are practically ignored and this contribution we make is unknown, they are not considered important and even less their valuable contribution”.

“I perceive a lack of recognition of the contribution that the G9 universities make to the country, in terms of quality, inclusion, regional development, training of young people, many from very neglected sectors. Our universities are practically ignored and this contribution we make is unknown, it is not they consider their valuable contribution less important”- Claudio Elórtegui, PUCV rector

For his part, the rector Carlos Saavedra of the UdeC, indicated that it should not be forgotten how the higher education system developed in Chile, where six universities that today make up the G9 Network, plus two state schools, were the ones that gave life to the university system in the country and added that “universities such as the University of Concepción and those of the set of institutions grouped in the G9 Network, have allowed the decentralization of our country, have been the engine of development in the regions and have propitiated, therefore, therefore, the advances and the generation of better conditions for the inhabitants of our country”.

From the UCN, the rector Rodrigo Alda affirmed that “there is a sign of concern around the explanation of a preferential treatment, of trying to take charge with a greater preference for the State universities, which is reasonable because they are State property, but we are interested that hopefully there can be a comprehensive view of the system to address its quality in a transversal way and that all the actors can generate capacities and develop according to the needs that each one of the territories has”.

“Universities such as the University of Concepción and those of the group of institutions grouped in the G9 Network, have allowed the decentralization of our country, have been the engine of development in the regions and have therefore fostered progress and the generation of better conditions for the inhabitants of our country”- Carlos Saavedra, rector of the UdeC

For his part, the rector Diego Durán of the UCM thanked the “sincerity and clarity” of the presentation of the authorities and assured that “we are left with the invitation to continue reflecting together, seeing how we can contribute as non-state universities to the development of public policies, where we openly express our concern regarding the particular accentuation in the State universities, but in any case we leave our actions in relation to the public policies and actions that the State generates.

For the rector Cristhian Mellado of the UCSC, “we must establish a work agenda in which we can demonstrate to the Ministry the contribution we make -from the regions where we are- to the development of the country through public goods that we are generating”.

For his part, the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila, described the meeting as “very interesting”, where he assured “we have been able to share visions of the state of higher education and some ideas and future perspectives on how to improve the relationship between the State and the universities that belong to the Council of Rectors and in particular to the G9 Universities”.

“The meeting was very interesting. We have been able to share visions of the state of higher education and some ideas and future perspectives on how to improve the relationship between the State and the universities that belong to the Council of Rectors and in particular the G9 Universities” – Marco Antonio Avila, Minister of Education.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Verónica Figueroa emphasized the invitation to continue dialoguing. “As representatives of the State, we are very open to listening, to convening, to their participation and, above all, to advancing on issues that are relevant to us. The public vocation must be understanding that the public is the space of diversity. So we hope that we can deepen that, this is the first step for it and we will surely continue along the path of collaboration”, he affirmed.

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