24.03.2010
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Belgian students take to the streets to demand study cost reduction

“Everybody knows that the cost of studying is too high for most students. It is time for the government to honour their promises to reduce the costs, says Nic Görtz, secretary general of FEF, the Federation of Francophone students in Belgium.

At least 1000 students will be protesting in Brussels today (March 24). The protest is part of the campaign Sauvez Wendy (Save Wendy), which is a concretisation of proposals to reduce study costs. The preceding campaign, ResPACT, was created to raise awareness of the study costs.

According to FEF estimates, the average cost of studying (housing not included) is 7200 EUR. This encompasses indirect costs like transportation, food, and other costs that a students needs to cover if she or he is trying to study. After the ResPACT campaign of the two last years, the government of the French community in Belgium has promised to reduce the cost of studying.

“It’s been nine months since the elections took place and the promises were made, so now we want a reply from the government: What are they going to do for students?”, says Görtz.

You can read about the demands in full in French here. Below are some of the demands:

  • Reform the law on leasing
  • construct 4000 new student dormitory places in the Brussels region
  • Construct 1000 student dormitory places in the Wallonia region
  • Abolition of tax levied on students who have a second home
  • Free public transportation for students
  • Abolish the fees for students who have lowest income
  • Freeze the increase in tuition fees in general
  • Introduce a maximum total sum for cost of study materials
  • Harmonise and increase the HEI budgets for social affairs

 

See also the campaign group on Facebook.

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