Minister of Higher Education guarantees that no institution will break

Governor reacted to the position of the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (CRUP) that asked the Government for an additional 5% reinforcement to face the increase in expenses

The Minister of Higher Education recognized today, April 18, the financial difficulties facing higher education institutions, guaranteeing that they will have the necessary funds so that «none of them break down» nor wages are in question.

«From what is on our side, we can guarantee that no institution will break down nor will any wages be affected. This situation will never arise», Elvira Fortunato told Lusa.

«We recognize the difficulties that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are going through with this situation that the world is experiencing», added the minister, reacting to the position of the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (CRUP) that asked the Government for an additional reinforcement of 5 %, i.e. another 60 million euros to cover the increase in expenses.

Speaking to Lusa, the president of CRUP explained that this amount corresponds to expenses caused by inflation and new government measures, such as salary increases.

The Legislature Contract signed between the institutions and the Government specifically provides for an increase in transfers when either of these two situations occurs.

On the sidelines of a seminar taking place at the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC), in Lisbon, Elvira Fortunado said that last week, on April 13, she received the letter sent by CRUP and that the matter is being analyzed.

"We are not indifferent" to the institutions' financial situation, he said, explaining that work will begin to define the institutions' budget for next year, as well as meetings to draw up the new Legislature Contract.

The minister underlined that she intends to "guarantee stability and confidence in the system", recalling that, last year, HEIs received an additional boost of 25 million euros to cover energy costs.

To Lusa, the president of CRUP, António Sousa Pereira, warned that the institutions will have to make cuts if they do not receive the additional reinforcement of 60 million, with salaries always being the last option.

«The Minister of Finance announced on Tuesday (last) in the Assembly of the Republic that, from the 20th of May, the receipts of Civil Service workers will have to include extraordinary increases, retroactive to January: it happens, however, that higher education institutions don't have that kind of money!», warned António Sousa Pereira.