site.btaNational Assembly of Students' Councils Objects Against Increase of Tuition Fees

National Assembly of Students' Councils Objects Against Increase of Tuition Fees
National Assembly of Students' Councils Objects Against Increase of Tuition Fees
Photo: The National Assembly of Student Councils of Bulgaria

The National Assembly of Students' Councils of Bulgaria has objected strongly against a planned increase of tuition fees in public higher schools and scientific organizations for the academic year 2024/2025. 

In a statement on Monday, the Assembly said: "In the past year, we have witnessed chaotic policies initiated by the Ministry of Education, from the idea of tuition free education to the approval of the proposal of the academic leaderships to raise semester fees. For us, this is an indication that there is no consistency in the policy pursued to improve the learning and living environment of young people.".

"The latest requested increase comes after semester fees were dramatically raised by more than 30% in the 2023/2024 academic year. At the time, universities argued that this was necessary against the backdrop of high inflation and to provide higher quality education. The next scheduled fee hike is again based on proposals from the academic leaderships and should be reflected in the 2024/2025 academic year. This time the reasoning is related to raising the cost of tuition. The Assembly objects to the unmotivated increase in tuition fees," the statement said. 

In the last few years, we have the impression that the higher education system is pursuing a policy of systematically raising semester fees, which is always linked to the populist claim that this is necessary in order to improve quality. 

The Assembly says that they are aware of the situation that quality education also requires the necessary resources, but the adopted state policy of constantly increasing fees leads to an unclear horizon for sustainability in processes that include supporting students for their studies. “We believe that the state needs to regulate this approach of constantly increasing student fees and adopt a mechanism whereby a student has a fixed fee within their tuition rather than facing a vague horizon for their future.”

"The upcoming increase affects over 149,000 students. The current trend of steadily increasing fees is creating the conditions for 20% of higher education students to drop out. The highest increase is for agricultural sciences and veterinary medicine, health care, sports, arts,” the statement concludes 

The Education Ministry estimates that the average annual fee for students for 2024/2025 will be BGN 1,010. This is by BGN 40 less than the current average semester fees. Doctoral students will have to pay by BGN 50 more – BGN 1,350 BGN.

/MR/

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By 16:18 on 22.07.2024 Today`s news

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