BM76 Resolution: Higher Education Institutions’ student representative bodies in the Republic of Croatia

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BM76 Resolution: Higher Education Institutions’ student representative bodies in the Republic of Croatia

The Law on Student Councils and Other Student Organisations (1) in Croatia regulates the way in which student councils are constituted, funded and what are the obligations of these organisations.

Student councils in Croatia are divided into two types of student representation bodies:

  • Public University Students’ Councils  (PUSC)
  • Private University Students’ Councils and University Colleges of Applied Sciences (PUSC-UCAS)

CSC is constituted of 8 representatives with voting rights of PUSC and one representative of the PUSC-UCAS. Its duty is to represent all the students equally, and CSC has been including students from both types of bodies into all of the national bodies.

On 7 September 2016, students from PUSC-UCAS had adopted their Rules of Procedure excluding public Universities.

As stated below, PUSC-UCAS tried to form a national union in direct conflict with the Law on Student Councils and Other Student Organisations, on these several points (among others):

  • This newly formed union claims to have rights of representation on a national and international level, while the Law says this is the function of CSC
  • It allows representation from HEIs which have not formed a student union, while the Law prescribes that all HEIs must have a student union
  • It allows passing decisions with only 1/3 of the members present, making representativity doubtful
  • It separates representatives into those from public and those from private institutions

As the highest representative students’ body that represents all of the students in the Republic of Croatia, CSC cannot allow students’ representatives to form associations contrary to the Law, and this has been happening for the past 3 years.

Since the PUSC-UCAS union is not registered officially as a Student Association at the Croatian Ministry of Administration, their status does not give the students’ representatives any legal power to represent students publicly nor to represent themselves as the highest representative body for students from Private Universities and University Colleges of Applied Sciences. It also does not allow this union to represent students internationally nor to elect them into the National bodies.

The Croatian Ministry of Science and Higher Education should support the CSC as its only legal students’ representative body and condemn informal and lawless practice in student representation on the national level, as well as on the local. This practice is damaging fundamental principles of student representation, such as that each student should be able to vote for their representatives and that decision-making procedure is sufficiently reliable.

ESU strongly supports CSC as its board member and we stand behind what was stated above. We deem this situation as something that without question the Ministry, as the policy forming body, should not have allowed and we emphasize the need for resolution in favour of the participation of student representatives from Private Universities and Colleges of Applied Sciences in the CSC. We believe that the common goals can only be achieved through cooperation and communication with the CSC constituents.

Proposed by: CSC



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