AS OF next year all part-time higher education students will have to pay for their study programmes. Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport Eugen Jurzyca explained that this was the outcome of a Constitutional Court ruling. University rectors have accepted it, the SITA newswire wrote.
The Constitutional Court ruled that some parts of the law on higher education are at odds with the constitution and that it is not possible to limit the number of students admitted to all part-time forms of study or divide them into paying and non-paying students.
“This means all will pay”, Jurzyca said, as quoted by SITA in late October. “We decided to resolve this situation by amending the law on higher education so that schools have no problem with this.”
Tuition fees for part-time university students used to be a sore point in Slovakia, with some schools ‘forcing’ their part-time students, via various ‘gifts’ or other means, to pay for lectures even though the official state policy was that university education was free. Later, amended legislation enabled universities and high schools to start seeking tuition fees.
According to the Sme daily, more than 80,000 people study part-time at universities or high schools. Based on the subsequent legislation, universities were able to decide whether they would ask part-time students for tuition fees or let them study free and get money for them from the state budget. The state subsidised about 30,000 part-time students annually; the rest paid tuition fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of euros. The question of whether those part-time students who are already studying free of charge will have to start paying tuition fees remains unresolved.
22. Nov 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff