Tuition fees are under political scrutiny in many countries – with fierce arguments over the principle of paying to study, about the amount being charged and how the cost should be divided between students and the state.As an example of how this can play out, Chile has gone through the complete cycle in the past decade.There were high tuition fees, violent student protests and then a commitment to remove fees for many students, with a means-tested system of support known in Spanish as “gratuidad”.Relative to average income, the fees being charged in Chile were among the highest in the world.So their partial removal was popular, with about 50% of students from the lowest-earning families not having to pay fees.Lower fees, lower funding?But the gratuidad system, introduced from 2016, shows how complex this is and the conversation now is about whether universities have enough funding to give students what they need.Jose Salazar, of Universidad de Valparaiso, and associate researcher for the Millennial Nucleus on Student Experience in Higher Education (EDSUP), says that the system is different to what universities expected.”It was originally thought that this new funding system was a kind of block grant for teaching and learning. But it wasn’t.”It… Read full this story
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