Fees for some part-time students, but not all

Last Thursday lawmakers from the Obycajni Ludia faction of the SaS party got their way as the government eased back on its plan to make all part-time university students pay for their studies.

A compromise was made in the revision to the University Act, which now means at least the top 10% of part-time students will be able to receive bursaries to help cover their costs. The introduction of fees for part-time students will take effect from the next academic year starting September 2011.

Independent MP and head of the faction Igor Matovic regards the compromise as a huge success, but as is often the

Comenius University © TheDaily

case in the fragile coalition, the faction got its way more through blackmail than negotiation, as its four members refused to support the government bill, meaning it would not be possible to pass it in its original version.

Head of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Dusan Caplovic, who is also vice-chairman of opposition party Smer-SD, was against the introduction of fees for part-time students altogether, saying that education should be treated as a priority to promote a cultivated society.

Education minister Eugen Jurzyca said it would now be up to universities to decide how much they would allocate to part-time students over and above the ten percent that the ministry will cover. He also rejected the accusations of the opposition that the new system merely paves the way for full-time students to start paying in future as well.

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