Press release, 4th May, 2009 – Open Letter to the Public

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb is entering the third week of the occupation. Twenty other faculties in eight Croatian cities are also occupied. The sole responsibility for this situation is on the Ministry of science, education and sports and the Croatian government. Even if, since the very beginning, the students’ demands were explicitly directed to the Minister and the government, not even the two weeks of the occupation were enough to make them feel obliged to take the responsibility. The Ministry and the goverment did not offer a single reaction adequate to the students’ demands, but have instead resorted to the strategy of transfering the responsibility to the various academic institutions. We consider this policy to be disastrous, incompetent and irresponsible. The University Senate’s reaction was no less irresponsible and misdirected.

Once again, we repeat: we demand right to education for and on all levels − undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate − as granted by the Constitution. By that we mean complete public funding of the public education for all those who meet the requirements for enrollement and who fulfill obligations determined by the program of the study and the curriculum. The necessary sum should be secured by the additional budgetary funding for education, and not by the redistribution or by the reallocation of the existing funds. We repeat that the Bologna system does not enable the so called endless studying.

The minimal conditions for the termination of the occupation are:

1. a decree by which the authorities will commit themselves to pay for all the scholarships due in the academic year of 2009./2010.

2. the initiation of the procedure for the amendment of the law, which would ensure the complete public funding of higher education on all levels. The bill should go for parliamentary reading no later than the first autumn session of the Parliament. We demand that the workgroup for the proposition of this bill be formed as soon as possible and that it includes the representatives of the faculties. This bill must be referred to the scientific and educational institutions to be reviewed by them.

We ask that our demands are met in the shortest time possible. We will repeat our demands every day, until they are met.

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