Parliament votes bill on universities, students and professors protest

Parliament votes bill on universities, students and professors protest

Skopje, January 15, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Parliament in FYR Macedonia voted last night the new bill on universities, according to which university students will sit a state exam. This bill was voted at a time when thousands of students and professors of public and private universities had gathered outside of it to protest.

The bill was passed with the votes of the two parties of the coalition VMRO-DPMNE and BDI (Democratic Union for Integration).

The new bill has brought a number of new elements, but the main issue is the application of the state exam for students. Ministry of Education has stressed that these amendments and the state exam will increase the quality of graduates. The state exam will be held by a board of academics, two of which are foreign. Students must sit two state exams and without sitting them, they will not be able to be graduated.

Last night, students and professors protested by lighting candles in front of parliament. Student Plenum has warned massive protests and other measures to contest this law. “Our battle will continue against this law that ruins the autonomy of universities and this is a failed reform which is imposed without debates with students and professors”, reads the press statement issued by the Student Plenum. Students and professors have demanded from the president of the country, George Ivanov to use his veto against this law. /ibna/