The Regional Government of Andalusia has confirmed that from September it will pay up to 99% of the costs of a university degree for students who pass all their subjects from the second year onwards.
The measure will benefit in the region of 30,000 students and could mean virtually free degrees for those who, in addition, receive a grant in the first year.
The president of the regional government, Susana Díaz, made the announcement on Wednesday, explaining that "equality of opportunity" was the basis for the decision, which will cost around 29 million euros, 2% of the universities' total budget
"We need to promote and reward hard work, those who put in the effort, who study hard and pass all their exams", said Díaz, adding that this measure "guarantees equal opportunities".
She also pointed out that Europe as a whole "is going down this path and is rewarding effort, talent and the ideal that a public university should be free to anyone prepared to put in the effort" and insisted that this measure had to "backed up by a proper grant system, with grants for housing, subsistence and transport".
Díaz explained that those who passed all their exams would be reimburserd to the tune of 99%, "which is what the law allows, since a 100% reimbursement would be challenged by central government and would stop me tabling a regulation which guarantees equal opportunities and allows thousands of students to continue their courses regardless of their parents' incomes".
Photo: university students in a Sevilla classroom