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BOLONIA: Death to the welfare State?

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VI_ETA.bmpOne of the foundations the European Universities Reform is based on is the relationship company-university. In this relationship the banks enter the game; they will have, through the legislative framework, the role of financial creditors for the university studies. If they lend the money, will the government aids be totally eliminated? Maybe the welfare State wasn’t the panacea.

In the the banks are called to participate in the “subsidized loan programme”. We are witnesses to the qualitative transformation of the scholarship system we have now, and which will exist until the definitive incorporation to the EEES, when the students will become borrowers instead of grant-holders. It means that they will be clients of a bank, which will provide them with an amount between 3000 and 9000 Euros for the complete grade, which together with the postgraduate degree or master and doctorate, constitute the new university offer, according to the established in Bologna and related successive documents.

Resolution of March 21st in the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE)

The new loans will be applied a three-year amortization period , plus another year of grace period (during which the customer won’t be charged any interest). The grace-period interest will be accumulated to the three remaining years. The “Euribor” will come to be decisive in the new “university client’s” life. During the first year of amortization , banks will apply to the loan the interest rate corresponding to Euribor mortgage market of June, published in the Spanish Oficial Gazette (BOE), plus a maximum differential of 0.3 %.. During the three following years in which the loan is in effect, the collaborating bank will use the interest rate equivalent to Euribor corresponding to June in each year, increasing it by a maximum of 0.3 % .

One of the news in the Education Budget for 2008 is the . This initiative has been launched in September 2007 by the Ministry. With this initiative, the State intends to finance the university graduates under 35 years old, who want to continue their “investment-studies” with an official master, which will be related to the future income of the beneficiary, with the aim of promoting postgraduate studies.

“Préstamo Renta Universidad”

Compared to the conventional loans, the main difference of this financing method is that there’s no charge for interest or comission, and endorsements or family income conditioning are not required., The repayment of the loan will be done during the two years after it´s obtained. After that date, the Tax Agency (AEAT) will check the “student-client”’s income yearly, to verify the income level. Once he/she reaches an income of 22,000 Euros/year, they will start to repay the loan, and will only continue to repay it while the income level is maintained. If during fifteen years the total amount or part of it can’t be paid, the remaining amount won’t have to be repaid. In case the income is greater than 22,000 Euros the repayment will be completed in eight years, paying each three months the same amount, and the total amount of the yearly amortizations won’t exceed the eighth part of the total contracted debt.

Considering this situation, two new profiles of the “student-client” are foreseen: the one who solves his studies by using the checkbook, and the one who, being 18 years old , starts to repay the bank loan.

Rosa María Romero Pérez

Translated by

Diana Irene Arancibia