Tuition Fees Rejected in Denmark
May 23rd: As the battle against tuition fees continues across Europe, ESU’s Danish member, DSF, had good news to share. DSF has long demanded that the education system remain free for all and that the law on Higher Education be overviewed in order to ensure there are no barriers such as tuition fees. As many of their European colleagues, they believe that in order to create a knowledge society independent of individual social inheritance, then the educational system must remain free of charge.
Stinna Gammelgaard from DSF says: “We have fought through the media, by raising questions in the parliament, through actions, through videotaping discussions in the parliament and through cooperation with other stakeholders in the field of higher education”
It was decided in Parliament that the committee of science and technology, in which all political parties in the parliament are present, should discuss it further, and present a report representing the joint opinion of these parties in order to instruct the government on the necessary course of action.
On Wednesday this week (21st May) this report was released, stating that:
- the committee as a whole agrees that the Danish principle of free education for all shall remain in HE. That it is a joint political task to ensure that the Danish educational system continues to offer free high quality education. The members of the committee agree that it is necessary to break with social inheritance, ensuring equal opportunities for all, and to ensure a general rise in the level of knowledge amongst the population.
- the committee have a shared political goal; that the Danish education institutions participate actively in internationalization and exchange, however it must not happen at the cost of free education. Furthermore the committee note that the EU does not have the competences to make decisions in the field of education, and that the members will actively oversee new initiatives and reforms in the field of education so that there is not a slide towards tuition fees.
- the committee encourage the government to ensure that the present legislation is clear enough in the matter of tuition fees and that a report for the committee regarding this will be released for discussion in the last term of 2008. Furthermore, the government are encouraged to produce a report concerning the development of tuition fees in the EU member countries and in the EEA countries.
This is a huge victory for Students, and supports all the points put forward by DSF over the last few months.
Stinna: “It is not impossible to combat tuition fees, as long as you believe in the cause, have strong arguments, and plan strategically”