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Education Minister and MP Matovič fail to agree on tuition for part-time students

Slovak Education Minister Eugen Jurzyca from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and the four parliamentary deputies from the Ordinary People faction of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party failed to reach an agreement on March 7 regarding tuition fees for part-time university students, the SITA newswire reported.

Slovak Education Minister Eugen Jurzyca from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and the four parliamentary deputies from the Ordinary People faction of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party failed to reach an agreement on March 7 regarding tuition fees for part-time university students, the SITA newswire reported.

"We made our positions clear and there is an effort to find agreement," the Ordinary People’s leader, Igor Matovič, told SITA, adding that the draft amendment to the law on universities should be changed to get the support of the MPs from Ordinary People.

At March 3 news conference, the parliamentary group announced they would not support the draft that would introduce fees for all part-time university students, saying they would prefer fees only for those students with the worst results. Matovič said he wants to present a plan to introduce tuition fees for both full-time and part-time students who have the worst results. He said it would be ideal if 20 percent of all students paid tuition. The draft is expected to be voted at the next parliamentary session to begin on March 22.

On March 8 Matovič told the TASR newswire in an interview that it appeared the four Ordinary People MPs did not find enough political support within the coalition and had failed to press through their version of tuition fees – which preferred study results as the criterion for charging tuition fees rather than the form of study, external part-time or full-time daily. He added that the only concession his group managed to get from the coalition is that part-time students could also receive scholarships for achieving excellent results. Nevertheless, Matovič stated that the Ordinary People MPs would vote for the final coalition bill so that it can be passed by parliament.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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