University of Buenos Aires ‘extremely concerned’ over funding

The Academic Board requested the government update the national budget and enable wage negotiations

University of Buenos Aires Law School. Image: Jorge Láscar/Wikimedia commons

The Academic Board of the National University of Buenos Aires (UBA, for its Spanish initials) expressed its “extreme concern” over the national budget and the lack of an updated version for 2024. The board appointed University Dean Ricardo Gelpi to meet with the Ministry of Human Capital in order to try and secure funding for all university activities. 

The statement comes in response to the government’s decision to not issue a national budget for 2024 and to continue using the one issued last year. This means that it will continue to fund all state operations with the same amount established in the 2023 budget. Public universities like the UBA are funded by the state in Argentina. With interannual inflation at over 250%, university salaries and research funding are set to take huge cuts. 

In an official statement issued on Wednesday, the board said the university’s operational costs have risen more than 200% over the last year due to inflation. Between December and January alone, accumulated inflation has been close to 50%. These numbers don’t include costs related to their healthcare service, which have risen even more, in some cases even reaching a 1000% YoY increase.    

The board also said that the 2023 and early 2024 inflation rates have resulted in heavy economic losses for all university staff. They added that the situation made it necessary to express its “extreme concern” and petition the government for funding to guarantee teaching and research, as well as the functioning of its colleges, university high schools, and other facilities.

The board added that it had entrusted the UBA dean to meet with the Ministry of Human Capital in order to begin wage negotiations for both faculty and non-faculty staff, as well as update the operational budget and funding for its healthcare department. 

Finally, the board also reported that it would request that the Chief of Staff provide the necessary budget for scientific and technological activities.

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–With information by Télam


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