The Slovenia Times

Education for Everyone!


Activists, who belong to the 15o movement protesting in front of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and the We are the University movement, have occupied a few classrooms and are urging students to support their demands.

Backed by some of the professors at the faculty, they are rejecting the introduction of new paid forms of education and the individual financing of doctoral studies.

They are against the the Bologna Process, which they argue is undermining the quality of studies, and are urging greater involvement of students in the drawing up of study programmes.

According to the organisers, the sit-in is also targeting the exploitation of students through precarious forms of employment, and the infrastructural and staffing conditions at the university - according to TV Slovenija, the professor-student ratio deteriorated from 1:18 in 1990 to 1:52 in 2008.

Ljubljana University Chancellor Stanislav Pejovnik responded to the demands on Tuesday by backing the wish for a greater integration of students into the organisational process, as well as their discontent with the Bologna Process, whose shortcomings the university is trying to address.

While stressing that the university is also firmly behind the students when it comes to free education for levels 1 and 2 of the Bologna system - the doctoral degree is part of the third cycle - Pejovnik pointed to the financial problems involved in the sharp increase in the number of students in recent years.

He illustrated that almost 80% of secondary school students enrolled in higher education programmes and argued that Slovenia's higher education has been financially undernourished for decades.

The paradoxical demand for massive but also quality higher education is a Europe-wide problem which requires additional financing, more professors and infrastructural solutions, the chancellor noted.

The Ljubljana Faculty of Arts last saw a sit-in 40 years ago, when the protest went on for eight days. The initiative comes after similar protests were held recently in nearby Zagreb and Belgrade.


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