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Spain: Bishops Conference, all the figures of Catholic schools and universities. “Investments that benefit society”

Yesterday, the Office for Transparency of the Spanish Bishops Conference submitted the figures it collected about the educational efforts made by the Catholic Church in Spain and the results of a “survey of the socioeconomic impact of the educational work of the Church”. In Spain, there are 2,591 Catholic educational centres, attended by nearly 1.5 million students, which means that over 18% of non-university education is provided by institutions that are related to the Catholic Church. In these schools, there are 102,476 teachers. Then, in Spain, there are sixteen university centres of different levels that are related to the Catholic Church and a university, which are attended by 87,425 students, i.e. 69% of students attending private universities. To measure the socioeconomic impact of the educational work of the Church, the advisory centre PwC conducted a survey based on the Anglo-Saxon SROI method (Social Return on Investment), which measures how an investment benefits society. With 4,866 million euros invested by the Spanish Catholic schools in 2016, society will receive a return on the investment of 19,735 million euros at the current value, which means that, “for each euro invested in Catholic education, society receives 4.1 euros”. In this specific case, for non-university schools (primary, junior and senior high schools), with an investment of 4,298 million euros (through public subsidies, school fees and other assets provided by the students), schools give 14,252 million euros back to society. At university level, the investment, which amounted to 568 million euros, will have a return (in social-security contributions, income tax and net wages) of 5,483 million euros (a ratio of 1 euro invested to a 9.6 euros return).

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