EU-wide students protests against cuts in education budget

November and December have seen some of the largest student protests throughout Europe in years against the introduction or increase of tuition fees and budget cuts in higher education.

All over Europe, students have been protesting against the
introduction or increase tuition fees and the threat of decreasing
state spendings on higher education.

At issue in Germany are plans to decrease funding to
universities and to introduce tuition fees for Germany's
traditionally free higher education system. Proposed tuition hikes
in Britain - so-called top-up fees which would charge up to 3,000
pounds per year - plus increasing interest rates for student loans
- have also sparked recent protests.

In France, university students protested heavily against a
reform that would have given regions more autonomy to run
universities. Strikes led the government to back down its
proposal.

Students also request another harmonisation of European
qualifications in the frame of the Bologna process. The French main
student union, UNEF, considers that the Bologna process is used as
a pretext “to undermine the essential principles of higher
education as a public service and the rights of students”.
They request student grants and financing, claiming that otherwise
only the most well-off students will be able to study abroad.

 

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