“The scholarship allocated by the Ministry of Education is dwindling down to nothing”
Much like the 9,000 students who joined our Facebook page and many others that follow us on Twitter, I’m outraged by these looming budget cuts. This measure will hurt many Spanish students who depend on the Ministry’s budget, which represents roughly 30% of the total aid package. I have friends who are currently studying in Finland, where the cost of living is very high. With about one third less in subsidies, only the wealthiest students will be able to study over there. And if things continue to evolve this way, soon the Erasmus program will no longer be available to everyone in Spain.The problem is that the amount taken back by the government is much larger than the amount allocated to needy students. This new measure is a smokescreen. Its goal is awful, and it will benefit very few students.“To give him [José Wert, Minister of Education] a ministry is the same as giving a knife to a monkey”, mocks El Senor Gordo.We are calling for an abrogation of this decree—especially in light of the fact that, since the start of the Erasmus program, funding has dwindled down to nearly nothing [According to European Commission spokesperson Olivier Bailly, Spain reduced its support to Erasmus students from 30 to 15 million euros in 2012].Erasmus provides students an opportunity to benefit from new experiences abroad: it opens you up to other cultures, other languages, and allows you to meet people from all kinds of countries… It’s an experience that marks you for life, and that is worth fighting for so that other students can continue to benefit from it too.
Together with several student activists, I have called for Spanish students living in Italy to protest in Rome, the capital, on November 16. We expect this protest movement to spread to other European capitals where Spaniards are studying.