The Spanish government has awarded 23,500 non-university scholarships in Castilla y León and 20,515 scholarships to students studying at community universities.
This has been assured by the Government delegate, Virginia Barcones, who also recalled that the deadline to request any of these benefits ends this Thursday, May 12.
Since last March 30, the date on which the application period began, 985,000 have already been received, of which 52,000 correspond to Castilla y León. There are already 723 applications for non-university scholarships from Soria students. All of them, “necessary tools to guarantee equal opportunities for students”, as highlighted by the delegate.
Changes in the scholarship system
Thus, in recent years substantial changes have been introduced, such as the modification of the academic requirements so that the access mark for these aids is approved. Income threshold 1 was also raised until it was practically equal to that of poverty, the fixed amounts have been increased by 100 euros and that of the Basic Vocational Training scholarship by 50 euros.
These reforms have made it possible not only to increase the number of students who receive a scholarship, but also their amounts. The groups entitled to aid aimed at students with a specific need for educational support have been expanded, now numbering five. Disability, giftedness, severe behavioral disorder, autism spectrum disorder (included in the 2020-2021 call) and severe communication and language disorder (included in 2021-2022).
Budget and goals
According to Barcones, “the more than 2,100 million euros budgeted this year for scholarships will serve to cover the entry of new scholarship holders due to the drop in income derived from the pandemic. According to our estimates, this aid will reach 200,000 more students in Spain than four years ago. We are talking about around 980,000”.
“The provisional data for the current school year indicate that the non-university students who received a scholarship from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Castilla y León exceeded 20,000.” In Soria there were almost 600. The amount received is 33.5 million euros in the total of the autonomous community and more than one million euros in Soria.
To these, we must add another 3,400 scholarship holders with a specific need for educational support who have another 4 million euros allocated in Castilla y León. In this case, there are 112 students from Soria who have a support of 88,000 euros.
As for university levels, there are 20,332 scholarship holders at the universities of Castilla y León. Of these, 6,112 are from the University of Valladolid, which has a campus in Soria. In this case, data related to the amount of the call for general scholarships for university levels cannot yet be provided. Since, to date, the amounts of the tuition scholarships that will be compensated to the universities are not available. Once their databases are closed, the universities will communicate this data.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, a total of 21,272 university scholarship holders from Castilla y León received 68 million euros and 19,947 non-university students received 30.6 million in scholarships.
The role of the regional government
Virginia Barcones has been accompanied by the sub-delegate of the Government in Soria, Miguel Latorre. Also by the director of the Functional Area of the High Inspection of Education in Castilla y León, Santiago Esteban Frades.
Santiago Esteban has pointed out that “the Spanish Constitution establishes in its article 149 that the State has exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of basic norms for the development of article 27. The one that refers to the right to education, in order to guarantee compliance with the obligations of the public powers in this matter.
The Government delegate has stated that “the autonomous communities have to comply with what is regulated by the Royal Decrees on evaluation and promotion that order the minimum teachings in Primary Education and in Compulsory Secondary Education. Since they have a basic character and are dictated under the powers attributed to the State by the Spanish Constitution”.
High Inspection of Education
The High Inspection of Education has the obligation to verify compliance with the requirements established by the State in this matter. If the basic aspects of the curriculum are not met, Barcones stressed, “the rule of the Junta de Castilla y León that fails to comply with them will be appealed. As is logical in a rule of law”.
“I firmly believe”, he continued, “that cooperation between the educational administrations of the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Education is necessary. All this, to develop skills as important as education. The Government of Spain has always been willing to collaborate”.
For his part, Santiago Esteban added that “citizens must know that the regulated proposal on evaluation is in line with the educational policies of the European Union. Especially on the subject of key competences, as well as with the PISA reports and the UNESCO proposals. The concept of global, continuous and formative assessment in compulsory education is by no means new”.
Regarding the curriculum and the minimum teachings, they have stated that the important thing is to know what the role of the Ministry is. What is the role of the autonomous communities and what is that of educational centers.
In the opinion of the person in charge of the High Inspection of Education, “they want to show that the Ministry’s legislation strictly imposes what educational centers have to do. And it is not like that. The Ministry limits itself to publishing the standard that serves as a framework for the curriculum. The set of knowledge that a student must acquire to achieve a certain academic title. But then it has to be developed by the autonomous communities, which have a curriculum development competence of 40%, which they can interpret in a different way”.
“I don’t want to say”, he pointed out, “that they necessarily have to add 40% content. They can specify or emphasize some of the things that are pointed out as minimum teachings”.