The Department of Education will have the highest budget in its history. The Basque Government will have almost 3,500 million euros, 7.5% more than this exercise. The increase would represent 10.7% since the extraordinary 95 million euros that were injected into the system due to covid-19 and that have been consolidated as an educational investment have not been accounted for. The accounts presented in the Basque Parliament by the Minister of Education, Jokin Bildarratzput the accent on the increase in salaries and the reinforcement of the templates, together with the creation of new figures, such as digital mentors or socio-emotional consultants. A separate chapter deserves the increase of almost 7% of the item allocated to the treatment of diversity in the classroom, which will directly affect the hiring of more professionals in therapeutic pedagogy for the entire system, as well as educational support specialists to attend to the needs of the most vulnerable students.
The Haurreskolak Consortium it will be free from the next course. East incentive to birth and conciliation is another of the big headlines left by the big figures that make up the Accounts for the next financial year. This first first cycle of Early Childhood Education will have 61 million euros, 9% more. According to Bildarratz, “excellence in the different educational stages and equity and equal opportunities will continue to be the fundamental axes of the Department of Education in the face of 2023. The commitment to an inclusive and plural school requires a firm commitment to the policies to be developed ”.
Scholarships are strengthened
In this sense, the Basque Government’s scholarship policy is consolidated: for the non-university stage 132.3 million euros for scholarships and complementary services support, such as transportation and the school canteen (63.3 million for scholarships and 69 million canteen and transportation). Attention to diversity and students with special educational needs, the Department of Education will invest 44 million euros in the hiring of specialist educational support staff. On the other hand, Education will continue to reinforce programs of attention to diversity aimed at “improving school success rates” with a budget of 47,636,348 euros.
THE KEYS TO THE BUDGET OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
- The Department of Education presents a budget of 3,477.7 million euros, with an increase of 242.7 million euros (+7.5%)
- Free from the Haurreskolak Consortium in the 2023/2024 academic year
- Programs of Attention to Diversity and Promotion of Learning and Innovation, with an endowment of more than 80 million euros
- More than 200 million to meet Special Educational Needs
- 107 million euros in scholarships and university and non-university aid
- In Vocational Training, promotion of active learning, innovation and internationalization methodologies, with a contribution of more than 140 million euros
- In Universities and Research, 514 million to reinforce the Basque University Ecosystem; 362.6 of them destined for the UPV/EHU. Commitment to new research infrastructures of excellence
The 2023-2024 academic year will be the year in which the 6th Basque Vocational Training Plan. Vocational Training gains specific weight in the budgets since education will increase the money allocated to the personnel chapter by 20%. FP maintains the projection of recent years with an increase in students, in the number of groups in different cycles, the reinforcement of guidance in integrated FP centres, both professional and psycho-pedagogical, with 67 counsellors. The digital transformation of the centers and the implementation of this training through active learning methodologies will absorb more than 151 million euros. The relationship that Basque VET maintains with 166 countries on five continents will also be consolidated thanks to an investment of 5 million euros.
University and Science
In the field of university and science, two chapters stand out: the 362 million euros destined to finance the ordinary activity of the UPV/EHU, 6.7% more; and the expenditure of 206 million euros in the development of R+D+i, 12% more than the previous year. The Basque Government will give a boost to the basic research and scientific career development of the youngest researchers reinforcing the different scholarship programs (46 million euros).
Of particular note is the general scholarship, to which 26.5 million euros are allocated, and the predoctoral and postdoctoral grants, to which 13.8 million euros are allocated, which represents a 12.5% increase compared to 2022. On the other hand, the Basque Government will shield the work of the Basque Science Foundation (Ikerbasque), which “will continue to be a fundamental tool and will therefore see its budget increased to 35.6 million euros”, Bildarratz clarified.
More funding for the Faculty of Medicine
If no other setback occurs, 2023 will be the year in which the works of the long-awaited Faculty of Medicine and Nursing of Basurto will begin, whose builder (UTE) Medikuntza has given up its construction for not assuming its cost due to the increase in the prices of raw materials. As stated by Bildarratz in the parliamentary appearance, the item associated with this strategic project of the University of the Basque Country amounts to 14.6 million euros, triple that in 2022. The promoter’s withdrawal has left the contest empty, which amounted to more than 53.4 million euros. With this extra injection, the university will be able to put out to tender the works that should have started last summer.
Likewise, the item for the construction started of the new building annexed to the research center Jose Maria Korta has increased to 6.1 million euros. In addition, in the context of the Strategic Investment Plan for the Basque Country, a specific allocation is included for the project for the new building of the BERC Donostia International Physics Center, which is directed by the physicist Pedro Miguel Etxenike. As a novelty, the budgets include actions within the scope of the Strategic Investment Plan for the Basque Country, related to the promotion of the Basque NanoNeuro Network –B3N– for research in nanoneurotechnologies and the Basque Quantum Ecosystem –BQE– for research in quantum computing.
In relation to scientific infrastructures of excellence, your game will be increased by 98.5%, reached 16.8 million euros, and as a novelty, the policy of participation in large consortiums of European research infrastructures -ERIC- is strengthened, incorporating two new consortia: EMBRCERIC for marine research and EuroBioimaging-ERIC for research in biomedical imaging.