Financial support for Latin studies in question

June 2, 2000

The Argentine government has said it is considering withdrawing $10 million (Pounds 6.8 million) in financial support for Latin American studies at United Kingdom higher education institutions as a result of cutbacks forced by the country's economic crisis.

During a three-day visit to London and Oxford, education minister Juan Jose Llach told La Naci"n that agreements signed in 1998 on the occasion of President Menem's visit to the United Kingdom might have to be revoked.

Those affected by cuts would include: St Antony's College, Oxford (Pounds 186,000 a year for ten years), the London School of Economics (Pounds 100,000 a year for ten years), the Centre for Argentine Studies at Oxford (Pounds 40,000 for the year 2000) and the University of Warwick (Pounds 25,000 a year for ten years).

Celia Szusterman, the programme director at the Centre for Argentine Studies, said: "We were very disconcerted by Mr Llach's declaration. But he has his facts wrong: the figure is $5 million, not $10 million.

"Also, Mr Llach made his statement before coming to Oxford, where he had a most successful visit and made no mention of cuts."

She added: "When the first instalment was received, Oxford appointed me for two years, but I was informed that they hoped to extend this to ten years if funds were forthcoming."

Meanwhile, Mr Llach signed two new agreements with Cambridge University's vice-chancellor, Sir Alec Broers, for the promotion of "special relations" between Cambridge and a number of select Argentinian universities, and for the reestablishment of scholarship grants.

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