While it started as a protest which only included students from several faculties of the Polytechnic University, the revolt of the youth against the Ministry of Education concerning university fees has also spread outside the capital. Students say that the Ministry should act on their demands as soon as possible, otherwise, they say that they intent to boycott classes indefinitely. Meanwhile, even today protests are expected to take place in the respective faculties and all students will gather in front of the Ministry of Education to protest against government decision no. 288 dating May 21, namely article four.
But what are some of the demands of the students? They have three urgent issues that need to be addressed. First, students want the abrogation of a government decision which obliges them to pay a fee for every exam that they sit again. Secondly, they demand annual study fees to be reduced by half. Thirdly, they demand improvement of the infrastructure in dormitories. “The first reason of this protest relates to the payment of 670 lek for every exam that we have to sit again; the second reason relates to the unexpected announcement regarding the payment of the school fee, that needs to be paid by 15 December, which is too soon. There are people who cannot afford this amount. Thirdly, we demand that this amount be paid in installments”, one of the students says.
According to the decision issued by the government on 21 May 2018, all students who attend public universities are obliged to pay fees on exams that that they’re taking again, while they continue their studies for the following year. Therefore, students are affected from this decision in January, once the exams start.
In a press statement, minister of Education Lindita Nikolla has reacted about the students’ protest on study fees. The minister has responded to students by saying that they should take this up with the universities, because they’re the ones who decide on the fees.
Rama: The minister has suggested a revision of the decision concerning student fees
The minister of Education, Lindita Nikolla has suggested Universities to consider the revision of the government’s decision concerning student fees. This was announced by PM Edi Rama, who wrote on social networks that it’s the university who decides on the fees and not the ministry. According to Rama, these fees have not been increased since 2014 and such increase was requested by universities.