02.02.2007
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VVS Demands Hearing in Parliament

Friday 02/02/2007: VVS, the national union of students in Flanders, handed over a petition with 18 000 signatures to the Flemish parliament.  With this petition, VVS demands a hearing in the commission of education.  The minister of education of Flanders is planning a new decree on the financing of higher education institutions.

VVS is not satisfied with the current plans.  With this hearing they want to make sure that there is a democratic debate in parliament about this very important issue.

VVS demands a student friendly financing system that will enhance quality and the democratisation of higher education.  VVS fears that the output financing the minister proposes, is dangerous for the participation of target groups who have lower success rates than average.  The minister also plans on introducing a system in which students who don’t finish their studies in time, will have to pay twice as much tuition, or who’s enrolment can even be refused by the HEI so that they can’t finish there studies.

Instead the Flemish students ask a financing system that is adapted to the students needs.  Therefore they ask more money for democratisation projects, more money for institutions with many students from target groups (students with disabilities, students from ethnic minorities,).   Also, the new system shouldn’t make a shift from money for education to money for research.  Finally, the Flemish students want more money for higher education.

After many protests last year (including a demonstration with 10 000 students and staff members), the proposals of the ministry haven’t changed much.  VVS hopes that with this hearing, the commission of education will have a fundamental debate and that finally the student demands will be heard.  To reinforce their demands, they gave a press conference.  After the press conference, a small delegation of student representatives went to the parliament to hand over the petition.

National and international support was ensured by delegations from FEF and ESIB.

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