Master's degree prices will fall by 40% and cost as much as the most expensive bachelor's degrees
Geis says the measure, in line with long-standing student demands, will be approved in the next few days
BarcelonaCatalonia will cease to be the autonomous community where it is most expensive to study at university. This is the conclusion of the announcement (and a coup) made this Wednesday by the new Catalan Minister of Universities, Gemma Geis, in one of her first interviews: she announced that in the coming weeks the price of master's degrees will be reduced by up to 40%, which will mean a first equalisation with what is paid for bachelor's degrees.
This is a long-standing demand of students. A few months ago, the Ministry of Universities approved that the average price of compulsory master's degrees (those that qualify students for certain professions, such as lawyers, secondary school teachers or psychologists) should fall and be brought into line with the price of university degrees by the end of the academic year 2022-23 at the latest. The measure provides that in Catalonia students enrolled in a qualifying master's degree will go from paying about 1,800 euros to about 1,100 each year, after this year the 30% reduction in university fees came into force. This will mean 2.5 million euros less for the Generalitat, which will have to assume this difference; about 10.5 million euros in total between all regional governments.
However, the bulk of the masters, which now have a price per credit of 46.11 euros, was missing. With the Government's reduction, they will now cost 27.67 euros, which is the same as the price per credit of the most expensive degrees (such as engineering or medicine). In total, then, to study a master's degree in Catalonia will cost about 1,600 euros. Geis told Catalunya Ràdio that the measure has already been validated by the Inter-University Council of Catalonia and will soon be approved by the executive council.
The cost of the decision - the difference in the price per credit - will be 9.3 million euros and will be assumed by the Catalan Ministry of Education and not the universities, which are already very financially strapped. "It was a very fair demand and positions the country where we want: with knowledge, talent and training, to leave no one behind", said Geis. In fact, the Minister believes that the reduction "will have a very big impact" on tuition fees, although she has made it clear that it is still possible to go further and lower the price even more.
This can continue to be done to the extent that the Government invests more in the universities, a commitment that Geis made to the rectors and which he reiterated on Wednesday. She also said that her priorities include ensuring that university internships can be paid and improving the conditions and stability of lecturers and researchers.