Students criticize the elimination of free rail transport
To: the Prime Minister of Romania, Florin Cîțu
Subject: Students criticize the elimination of free rail transport
The European Students’ Union (ESU), together with the National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR), urge the Romanian Government to maintain free rail transport for students, provided by the Law no. 1/ 2011 of National Education and discuss students` issues and priorities (info).
We consider that eliminating these provisions will have a direct impact on the equality in higher education even more by restricting access to and completion of studies for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The measure will reduce the access to students’ mobility, both for participating in academic exchanges and limit the opportunities for participating in various artistic, cultural, sports or scientific events, organized by and for youth communities across Romania. At the same time, it will have a negative impact on the environment, through encouraging the use of other means of less sustainable transportation. Last but not least, this can also impact the students’ turnout in election procedures, due to the fact that students can only vote in their hometown.
In addition to the low budget expenditure (- 0.0189%) of the GDP forecast for 2021, the measure is also a form of support for the Romanian Railway Company (CFR Călători). Subsidizing students’ free rail transport is a measure that may help CFR and private operators to increase their investment capacity and, implicitly, to take the necessary steps to provide a better, quality service for all its users.
This student support measure exists in other European countries, such as Luxembourg or Slovakia, which have provided students with free rail transport, a right that has supported the increase in students’ quality of life (info).
The European Students’ Union, together with students` representatives of ANOSR emphasizes the imperative to maintain a free student rail transportation including the increasing equity of access to higher education, student mobility for teaching and professional development, environmental benefits as well as the essential support provided to CFR Călători through this measure, and:
- Urges the Romanian Government to maintain free rail transport for students.
- Calls for the Romanian stakeholders to elaborate a strategy on accessibility in higher education through the inclusion of free access to adequate means of support in order to take up, progress through and complete the educational programmes, regardless of their political, social or economic conviction.
- Recommends further steps to be taken in order to ensure full support for students during the pandemic since the current ones proved to be insufficient for a suitable approach to the development of the educational process.
- Calls for a meeting between Romanian stakeholders and students’ representatives in order to properly emphasize the importance of free rail transport during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
(ESU – European Students’ Union)
|Horia Șerban Onița
National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR)
The National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR) is the
non-governmental and non-partisan students’ representatives union which, for over 20 years, has the main purpose of representing students’ common interests in Romania, defending and promoting students’ rights and obligations, but also stimulating students to be an active part within the educational act and the society.
ANOSR reunites 110 local students’ unions from 19 university centers and 29 higher education institutions spread around the country. All students involved work together in order to maintain the function of the students movement.
At national level, ANOSR is part of the Alliance for a Clean Romania and member of the Romanian Youth Council. Also, ANOSR is the only structure in Romania that legitimately represents students at international level, through the full membership statute of the European Students’ Union (ESU).
The European Students’ Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 46 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 40 countries. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO. Through its members, ESU represents almost 20 million students in Europe.