Romanian students stand up against government proposals
BUCHAREST – Romanian students are taking action on 9 March. With this they hope to convince their government to support students electing university rectors and being part of administrative decisions.
Proposals of the Romanian government in reforming the higher education system through a new law have provoked active protest. The changes among which student participation in governance of higher education institutions have been cut, have met irk and resistance by student organizations.
The National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR) is in the middle of a wide national action campaign in favor of student participation. Actions include students hanging their linen outside the dorm windows, packages of food being sent as irony to “aid” the Ministry officials just to remind lack in student support. Furthermore, a press campaign and demonstrations are taking place this week.
The ANOSR is arguing for restoring student influence in decision-making in higher education institutions, especially in administrative issues in which students have an important claim as management affects the quality of teaching and learning very heavily. The campaign at hand focuses currently on getting students to have a quarter of seats in bodies electing university leadership like a rector and faculty leaders.
According to new law, the leverage of students is only at about 5% and although the universities can decide to have a higher student rate there, ANOSR feels it does not secure one of the most important rights student organizations and unions should have. A higher rate, namely 25%, ANOSR argues should be secured by special provisions to the law to be agreed by the government.
The European Students’ Union (ESU) and a number of national unions of students from all over Europe are supporting the cause of Romanian students. The ESU has addressed a letter to the minister responsible for higher education that asks support for ANOSR and for recognizing students as equal members in the academic community. The ESU emphasises that students should not be seen as a legitimization tool for managers, but seen as the most crucial stakeholders in university governance.
You can find more information about the demonstrations and the actions taken by Romanian students can be found at ANOSR website.