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University students protest against "illegal" collection

ABOUT 50 students gathered in front of parliament in Bratislava on April 11 to protest about what they allege is the illegal method used to collect university tuition fees. The protest rally was organised by university students who attend two or more universities simultaneously or have exceeded the normal time allowed for their studies, the ČTK newswire wrote.

ABOUT 50 students gathered in front of parliament in Bratislava on April 11 to protest about what they allege is the illegal method used to collect university tuition fees. The protest rally was organised by university students who attend two or more universities simultaneously or have exceeded the normal time allowed for their studies, the ČTK newswire wrote.

Public universities started collecting tuition fees from such students after a revision to the law allowed for the introduction of tuition fees for some students from the 2008/2009 academic year.

The students do not object to the principle that they should pay fees when attending a second university, but to the way universities have started collecting the fees.

"We want fair tuition fees!" the students proclaimed. In particular, they criticised what they say was faculties' lateness in informing them about their obligation to pay fees.

"The problem we want to point out is that the faculties did not tell us about the fees in line with the law," Miloš Homola, one of the rally's organisers, told ČTK. According to him, the universities should have published details of the tuition fees two months at the latest before the deadline for submitting study applications. Since many faculties failed to do this they should waive the fees, students believe. According to Homola, fees are sometimes as high as Sk30,000 to Sk40,000 per academic year.

The Education Ministry also regards the late notification of fees as illegal.

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