Wednesday, April 29th

Council of Rectors met yesterday at a session, at which Dragan Primorac, Minister of Science, Education and Sports, was also present. At the session, the rectors decided that they do not support the students’ methods of protest and have requested that the deans of all occupied faculties ensure that the classes resume as soon as possible. They said that they support the demand for the right to free education, as long as it is based on the criteria of “successfulness”. Therefore, they suggest the restructuring of the existing model of tuition fees in order that free education be available to all who satisfy the critieria of successfulness and that all social categories have equal access to higher education. The criteria of sucessfulness should be precisely defined by the academic year 2010/2011.

The Council of Rectors also said that those institutions of higher education which already have a system of tuition fees based on criteria of successfulness do not need to modify those systems. With this they have shown that they don’t support the only demand of the students who are protesting – education free of charge available to all.

In today’s press release, the students have rejected the conclusions of the Council of Rectors saying that the the system of tuition fees based on the criteria of successfulness is another name for “the ‘linear participation model’ by which only a small minority is exempted from participation in order to hide the fact that a greater majority still has to pay to achieve their right to education.” The criteria of success have always existed, in the form of entrance exams, the commitments that need to be completed on time and the grading system, all of which are integral parts of the educational process. To narrow down the meaning of success as defined by the “criteria of successfulness” already employed by institutions that have the “linear participation model” means that all students who are not excellent (although they regularly complete their commitments) are defined as “not successful”, which is a step towards ultimately eliminating the right to free education. Therefore, the students have decided to reject the conclusions of the Council of Rectors and continue with the occupation until their demand for free education for all is met.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Council at a session today decided that it still supports the students and thier occupation.

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