TIRANA, December 14
The nationwide protest called by students entered its tenth day on Friday. Despite the fact that temperatures that have fallen below freezing during Thursday night, a group of students spent the night in the main boulevard outside the Prime Minister’s Office.
As anticipated, the students gathered in their faculties on Friday morning and marched towards the PM’s Office at Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard.
The students are determined on the fulfillment of eight requests. In the meantime, Prime Minister Edi Rama says that the requests will be fulfilled through dialogue. On the other hand, President Ilir Meta returned the law on the 2019 State Budget. According to him, the decision aims to meet the budget-related requests raised by the students. The protest is also helping the international media to enrich its poor record in reporting non-political rallies in Albania. The New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, have covered the protest.
The students’ demands include:
1. Education expenditures to 5percent of the GDP in order to cut tuition fees by half, improved education and infrastructure in universities and dormitories.
2. Budget transparency by the responsible ministry thus, all expenditures to be available and accessible online.
3. Students’ vote weight to count for 50 percent of the outcome when selecting candidacies for deans and rectors. Every faculty must have a student’s representative in the academic senate.
4. Scientific titles screening and verification of plagiarism in Ph.D., academic writings and textbooks
5. An equal number of votes from the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth and the Higher Education Institutions (IAL) for the steering board of the IAL/ as well as a student representative
6. All student to be equipped with the Student ID Card within 2018-2019 academic year
7. Establishment of university libraries conforming to European standards, online university textbooks in the Albanian language to be available for free
8. Assessment of the lectors’ performance and scientific research, academic research to be available online and lectures to be recorded.
Read also: Govt Scraps Carry-Over Exam Fee amid Students Protests
Photo credit: Per Universitetin