The Plenary of the Board of Trustees at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH), in ordinary session, has approved the academic institution’s 2019 budget of 106,191,255.52 euros. This represents a 3.13% decrease in the total amount with respect to the previous year.
However, this budget decrease is due mainly to reductions in two capital transfer items from the Generalitat Valenciana (GV). The first applies to funding for the construction of a new departmental building, included in the Investment Agreement, and according to its plan of execution; reductions in payments for long-term loans, signed by the European Investment Bank, account for the second item. When taken together, these two represent 6.4 million euros. If the impact from these two items is eliminated from direct funding, the remaining provisions in the 2019 budget actually increase by a figure close to 3 million euros, and this translates into an increase in the operational budget of some 3% when compared to the previous year. The most significant aspects in the increase include:
- A 15% reduction in student tuition, reimbursed by the GV.
- Appropriations to improve working conditions for both faculty & research personnel (PDI) and staff (PAS).
- Consolidation in recognition of the Professional Career Path for employees (quinquennium & sexennium research awards and professional advancement), in addition to progressive incorporation in GV budgets to cover expenses deriving from the application of national and autonomous regulations that the UMH has assumed in recent years with its own funding.
The 2019 budget provides for actions in many areas. Some of them are highlighted as follows:
- Budget lines destined for students, with funding provided by the UMH as well as resources from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and the GV Conselleria of Education, Research, Culture and Sports, amount to more than 9.5 million euros. Included among their main lines are all student grant programs to cover tuition, for large families, disability, mobility, use of dining halls, as well as for student collaboration in university activities, an internship program to foster research, and other actions to facilitate labor market insertion. In all, these lines increase by 19%.
- Budget allocations destined for research, coordinated by the Vice Rectorate for Research and Innovation, exceed more than 8.4 million euros, a quantity that represents an increase close to 1.5 million euros with respect to the previous year. These go to various lines to advance and support research, such as initiation to research, support for technological transfer, equipment acquisition, and support for scientific dissemination and research personnel training.
- Allocations for international actions, coordinated by the Vice Rectorate for International Relations, amount to more than 1.5 million euros. This reflects the firm commitment by the UMH for international projection of its students and employees. These actions will focus on promoting the internationalization of university educational programs, implementing pilot training programs at international universities, exchange programs for students, faculty, and staff, and in fostering English language training for students and employees through the IRIS program, which receives more than 150,000 euros. This budget aspect also provides for development cooperation and solidarity activities, destined for, among others, schools in Nemba, Rwanda.
- Vice Rectorate for Culture and University Extension budget allocations are to foster the development of training and promotional efforts on matters of equality, grant calls, and awards that boost cultural activities, among others. Actions related to the use of the Valencian language will receive 261,540 euros, of which 110,000 are earmarked specifically for the LLUMH Project for Valencian language training.
- Another budget allocation worth highlighting is the nearly 1,150,000 euros destined to the UMH Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and for management of the Scientific Park, which is currently home to more than 70 companies.
The 2019 UMH Budget has allocated 11,300,517 euros to direct investments, and this accounts for 10.6% of its total. The main recipients here are related to urban development and landscaping on the four campuses (more than 2 million euros), as well as technical projects and building construction (4.8 million), and other budget appropriations for equipment and facilities to enhance and expand campus infrastructure.
In addition to the aforementioned recipients, the 2019 budget contains an increase with respect to the previous budget that is close to 14% in current transfers. These will be destined for various subsidy, grant, and support plans, in addition to a 4% increase in allocations to strengthen the university’s human resources of faculty, researchers, and staff alike, to consolidate and stabilize employment, and facilitate development of the Professional Career Path.
As such, the UMH budgetary policies will continue putting a premium on the efficient use of resources, maintaining quality standards in teaching, research, and services, and additionally for implementing the Multiannual Plan for University Infrastructure Investment. The 2019 budget is balanced and prudent, it fulfills principles of stability, in addition to the commitments the university has with society, its professionals, and with the challenges of higher education and research excellence.