The Slovenia Times

Students say current generation in unenviable position


Ljubljana - On International Students' Day, the Slovenian Student Organisation (ŠOS) pointed to what it sees as an unenviable position of the current generation of students due to the Covid-19 epidemic and consequences of measures to stem it. It also noted that students were still facing the same systemic problems as before the epidemic.

"Measures to curb the epidemic have left more consequences on students than the disease itself," the ŠOS said.

As some faculties are moving parts of their studies online, leaderships of universities assure students that these are only temporary solutions due to an increased number of infections in individual faculties.

The organisation thus emphasised that it expected that studies in the current academic year would be mostly held in person, and that lectures would be moved online only in individual cases depending on local epidemiological situations.

The ŠOS said that what had initially been a health crisis had become a social crisis, mainly due to a drop in the supply of student work during the lockdown. Later on, it has also become a psychosocial crisis due to the lack of social contact.

The Association of Students with Disabilities meanwhile pointe to some positive consequences of the epidemic for certain individuals, for instance distance learning.

"For some students, especially those who have difficulty sitting ... distance learning was a relief in the physical sense. They no longer had to exert so much physical effort, and they could follow lectures from their home environment," it said.

In line of the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic, the ŠOS noted that students were again facing the same systemic problems as before the epidemic.

"The key challenges for students are finding accommodation in educational centres, rising costs of living, insufficient funding of the scholarship policy and, consequently, the growing need to perform student work," it said.

To this end, the organisation has drafted changes to the student status act, as part of which it proposes that the amount of state funds for scholarships be increased and the scope of beneficiaries expanded.

They also want more funding for investments in student dormitories, ban on charging of enrolment fees and other "hidden" study costs, equal treatment of students and prohibition of sexual and other harassment and bullying in the study environment.

The changes have been submitted to legislative procedure by National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič, and discussion is expected to start in the coming months.


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