BM 61 – ESU supports Chilean movement for a free and public higher educational system
Title___BM 61 – ESU supports Chilean movement for a free and public higher educational system________________________________________
Point of the agenda 8c_______________________________
Proposed by:___UNEF UDU_________________________________
For five months, the Chilean students reached historical mobilisation. Now it’s almost all the society, which is on the side of the students and ask for education as a public good. At the end of August, more than 200 000 people were present in Santiago for a national demonstration. This movement is historical in the sense that it’s really challenging the commodified higher education system of Chile, inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship. The Chilean students in the street claims «Chilean education should not be sold but defended”.
The educational system of Chile is not allowing any social mobility in this country. On the contrary, the current system is reinforcing social inequality and social determination and therefore blocs a development to a more inclusive and open system. More than half of the students in Chile are in private universities, where tuition fees go from 350 to 1300 euros per months, which is already in a European context a high economic restriction, but especially in Chile. In order to access a university, student don’t have the choice: they have to subscribe to loans, with high or flexible rate. Thus when they’re graduated they spent a huge part of their life to pay it off. Consequently only students from favorised background can afford to have access to higher education.
The students in Chile do not accept to be into such a system. On contrary they want to swift from commodification of education to a public good-based system. If 80% of the population is supporting their claiming and the student’s movement itself, the government choose to use repression. Provocations during the demonstration and the rally, attack on the local of the Confederation of Student Federation of Chile (the CONFECH) and violence (which have caused the death of one person) are now common way for the government not to answer to student’s aspirations and to refuse any kind of discussion and negotiation with the student representatives.
In this context, the ESU affirms its support to Chilean movement. Even if economic situation may be different in Europe and even if the situation is not similar everywhere, what the young Chileans claim are not different from what we ask for in Europe. Indeed the aspirations of the young and the students are the same everywhere: democracy, welfare and free access to higher education. Because we’re facing austerity policies, the ESU is plainly aware that public investment is way to get out from the crisis within growth and progress.