Home Page
 
News 11 Feb 15

Macedonia Protesting Students Occupy Faculties

Marking a new stage in the protests against the Law on Higher Education, Macedonian students have occupied faculties in Skopje, proclaiming them an 'autonomous territory'.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

 

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Over a thousand students on Wednesday occupied the Skopje university faculties of Philosophy, Philology, Law and the Economy, proclaiming them an "autonomous students’ territory".

Students demand the immediate suspension of a new Law on Higher Education, which has introduced mandatory externally supervised exams.

In the meantime they also demand substantial talks with the government in preparing any new legislation, saying that so far they have been ignored and manipulated.

"We will stay here until our demands are met. We will sleep here and eat here. We call on all the students to join us on our autonomous territory because together we are stronger," the occupying students said in a statement.

The students, rallied around an informal movement called the Student's Plenum, got backup from many professors, themselves organized in the so-called Professors Plenum.

Students held up banners reading "No justice no peace", "We are angry" and "We occupy in order to liberate".

While in control of the campus, the students said they would organize alternative lectures, concerts and other events.  They said similar actions will take place in other faculties.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The most contested part of the new law that was adopted in mid-January obliges students to take a new "state exam" in their second year and again before they complete their studies. Government bodies, not the universities, are in charge of the exams.

Critics say mandatory externally supervised exams violate the autonomy of the universities.

Last December, over 12,000 students opposed to the plan attended a mass protest in Skopje. They were joined by professors who later set up their own informal movement, the Professors Plenum.

The government of Nikola Gruevski has ignored the protests. It insists that the reform will improve the quality of higher education. It has also blamed the protests on the opposition Social Democrats.

However, last Friday, Gruevski invited students to a meeting at which he told them that he would be willing to suspend the law for one year.

The Student's Plenum expressed skepticism and meanwhile said that it would continue to protest.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

 

 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

romanian-ruling-party-set-to-name-new-pm-06-26-2017
26 Jun 17

Romanian President Consults With Parties Over New PM

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has summoned the parliamentary parties for consultations on Monday to come up with the name of a new Prime Minister. 

26 Jun 17

The Balkans Today: 26th June - 30th June 2017

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results

25 Jun 17

LIVE: Albanian General Elections 2017

25 Jun 17

Albanians Head To Polls To Elect New Rulers

24 Jun 17

Albania's Election Escapades

Premium Selection

bosnia-s-ex-refugees-use-language-skills-in-call-centres-06-25-2017
26 Jun 17

Bosnia’s Ex-Refugees Use Language Skills in Call Centres

When German-speaking clients get through to a call centre, there is a good chance that the operator on the other end of the line is a Bosnian who found refuge in Germany during the 1992-5 war.

serbia-s-new-pm-likely-to-stay-in-vucic-s-shadow-06-26-2017
26 Jun 17

Serbia’s New PM Likely to Stay in Vucic’s Shadow

While Ana Brnabic awaits confirmation in parliament as Serbia’s new Prime Minister, experts say the real decisions will continue to be taken by her patron, President Aleksandar Vucic.

23 Jun 17

Albania Enjoys Calmest Ever Election Campaign

23 Jun 17

Romanian Top Filmmakers Fight for Reform

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Jun 17

Macedonia in Line for Busy Political Week

25 Jun 17

Albania Awaits General Elections Results

25 Jun 17

LIVE: Albanian General Elections 2017

25 Jun 17

Albanians Head To Polls To Elect New Rulers