The director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, and the general secretary, Carmen Noguero, explained the data for the 2022/23 academic year to the media in a meeting prior to the meeting of the Board of Trustees chaired by the kings at the Palace of Aranjuez and which was also attended by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
García Montero, who has been confirmed in his position as director of the Cervantes Institute for this term, has taken stock, in addition to the academic year, of the years he has led the institution, which he arrived in 2018, when, he recalled, , even some headquarters had been sold to meet staff expenses due to the economic crisis.
In these years, the “deterioration curve” that existed in Cervantes has been reversed, and “good winds are blowing” for Spanish in the world, which already has 600 million potential speakers, indicated García Montero, who recalled that Upon his arrival, State transfers had been cut by 40% and amounted to 66 million euros, while now they are 81 million.
Transfers that, added to own income and the credits of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, add up to 167,464,950 euros.
But, they have warned, since there is so much demand for learning Spanish in the world, there are not enough teachers at Cervantes, which has a physical presence in 99 cities in 50 countries (in addition to the 209 accredited centers that have their endorsement for teaching Spanish. Spanish).
And when there are not enough teachers, García Montero explained, collaborators are hired who do not have the rights of the institution’s workers and that is why they have demanded an increase in staff.
Currently the institution has 951 employees, of which 748 work in the network of centers abroad. A figure that reached 1,126 workers and dropped to 937 in 2019, which is why, they have said, the dynamic of staff loss has been broken.
Cervantes registered 132,776 enrollments in the last academic year, which represents an increase of 12.26 percent compared to the previous year. Of them, 110,702 corresponded to Spanish courses and the rest to teacher training courses and the Aula Virtual del Español platform. In addition, it organized 15,478 courses, almost 8% more.
In that period, 18,179 certificates were issued, of which more than half were from the International Spanish Language Evaluation Service (SIELE), a certification created by Cervantes, the University of Salamanca, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Buenos Aires’ University. There are currently 1,757 exam centers in 91 countries.
“We have the feeling that we are rowing in favor of the current because the data for Spanish are very positive,” highlighted Carmen Noguero, who also recalled that, finally, the economic value of the language has been recognized.
Faced with the “unfathomable” demand for learning Spanish, Cervantes is trying “all forms of network expansion to respond,” said the general director, who highlighted the institution’s digital transformation plan as a great challenge.
A Cervantes for which those responsible have asked for a “humble” increase in the next general budgets of the State and that they be placed at just over 90 million euros, to go “little by little” and without being a burden for the State and in which they predict that their own income from tuition and certifications will be similar to what they are now, with 43.5 percent self-financing.
García Montero, who has indicated that the Cervantes Institute “speaks well about Spain without lying outside”, recalled in his speech before the Board of Trustees that “teaching a language is much more than teaching a vocabulary” and has highlighted how “harmony, politics, are united in words like concord and consonance.
Before the meeting of the Board of Trustees, Felipe VI presented the Ñ 2023 Prize of the Cervantes Institute to the German Hispanist Dieter Ingenschay (1948), emeritus professor of Hispanic Literatures at the Humboldt University of Berlin, for his work in disseminating Spanish.
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