Chile needs world-class universities with ever-growing impact on the country’s development. With this challenge in mind, Catholic University started a fundraising campaign to create an endowment that will ensure sustainability in the long term, with greater autonomy, independence and freedom in their work, and will continue to provide increasing quality to the development of Chile.
The campaign seeks to raise US$ 30 million by 2018, year in which the university celebrates its 130th anniversary, for which it is expected to have the support of alumni and friends of the UC. According to Rector Ignacio Sánchez, “without the contribution of alumni and people close to each of the different universities in the country, the long-awaited development of an international quality university system will not be possible. We must value the importance of having world-class universities in Chile, due to the impact on the scientific and cultural aspect they entail”.
Regarding the University’s funding, Ms. Sava Thomas noted that she and most board members applaud the start of the new UC Endowment project. “Many universities from other countries in the same category as UC have an endowment that allows them to have a certain confidence about their funding, without having to annually depend on the State or others. We think it is very important that a university of the size of the UC has a project of this type that ensures its future,” stated the foundation’s president.
What are the resources for?
There are three main areas to be developed with the interest accrued by the reserve fund. The first area is academic development, especially the hiring of new professors to strengthen those areas where it is necessary to promote teaching and research; teacher innovation and increased internationalization will also be fostered.
The second area is research and innovation on issues of national and global importance, especially in those areas where the competitive funds are insufficient or non-existent. And finally, providing financial-aid to vulnerable students who have the talent, but lack the resources, granting scholarships for tuition, accommodation expenses, transportation, materials, among others.
In terms of resource management, these will be managed by a board that will include donor representatives, who will ensure accountability and transparency in the use of donated resources, ensuring that the funds are allocated to what the donor intended them for.
A task shared by everyone
Although it is a campaign that seeks to raise economic resources -where all donations count, from a small monthly fee to a larger sum- there are also other ways to contribute. How? “With time,” said the rector, “disseminating the project and making it known in other interest groups.” In other words, becoming “ambassadors” of this initiative.
In short, it is a matter of understanding that the future of higher education depends on each and every one of us, that we have a responsibility to the country’s development and future generations. This is the cultural change that the rector speaks about. “This goes well beyond an economic issue. This is a commitment we make with the institution where we studied at or to which we feel close, understanding that we can be agents of improvement, that the university needs us,” he concluded.