Decision No. 288 by the Albanian Council of Ministers has created tremendous dissatisfaction among Albanian students, which have evolved to mass student protests. The decision outlined the double charging of repeated exams. Since the start of the protests on the 5th of December, they have developed to the biggest student protests since 1990. While the government has decided to abolish this measure, students are asking for a higher quality of the higher education system. The demands of the students are as follows:
1. Increase the budget at 5% of GDP in order to allow for a half-rate study fee for each level of study, improvement of teaching and infrastructure (universities and dormitories);
2. Transparency with the budget from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), publication of all online expenses;
3. Increase from 10% to 50% of the total student vote to elect the candidates for deans, rectors and faculties to have a student representative in the academic senate;
4. Review of Academic Titles and Verification of Plagiarism of PhDs and Textbooks;
5. Based on Article 99 on Student Councils, Higher Education Law, point 2, we require that the HEI Management Board has an equal number of votes from both the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and the HEI and to add a representative to this board from students;
6. Provision of all students with a student card within the academic year 2018-19;
7. Construction of European and online bookstore libraries free of charge for students in Albanian language;
8. Evaluation of performance in the teaching and research of the pedagogue, his online publication and lecture registration.
ESU stands with the Albanian students and therefore supports the aims of the ongoing peaceful student protests.
The European Students’ Union is an international student umbrella organisation that functions regardless of political persuasion, religion, ethnic or cultural origin, sexual orientation or social standing. Our members are also student-run, autonomous, representative and operate according to democratic principles. ESU highly values inclusivity and strives for solidarity within the students’ movement, with condemning every violent action.