Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo announced that Chile will provide free university education from 2016, heeding a demand that has mobilised thousands of students over the last few years.
“In March 2016 we’re going to start with free university education, we have the resources, because we passed the tax reform,” said Peñailillo.
The tax reform was signed into law by President Michelle Bachelet in September, and it will allow the Chilean government to collect the US$8.3bn necessary to finance the education reform and other social expenditure.
Talking to Radio Cooperativa, Peñailillo said that “education issues, facing inequality, they are the people’s main concerns and that’s what we’re working on as a government.”
He added that the country will face an interesting debate in 2015 about the meaning of the new public education that the people need and demand.
The announcement came a day after an opinion poll showed that support for the government dropped to 38%, in the midst of the debate regarding the education reform.