Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

The lull in the tuition battle is nearing its end

January 8th, 2013

In an unusually bitter column, a pro-government columnist urges the government to reconsider its higher education reforms in order to give the children of poor families access to free tuition.

In Magyar Nemzet (print version), Matild Torkos suggests that the government should take advantage of a temporary lull in student demonstrations “to think over all the measures it is planning to introduce.”

HÖOK, the elected student organisation, is continuing its talks with government officials on the reforms that – despite the concessions made by the Prime Minister in December – continue to be opposed both by professors and students. (See BudaPost, December 21, 2012).

A more radical student union (Student Network) revived its series of meetings on Monday, January 7th, but most students are busy sitting their winter exams.

Torkos reminds the governing parties that they owe their two thirds parliamentary majority to a successful referendum they initiated against the tuition fee system which the previous left wing administration planned to introduce in 2008. Free education, she continues, is the only chance for people living in misery to climb the social ladder and then help their communities to raise their cultural and living standards. “Social peace is inconceivable if that path of social mobility is closed,” Torkos argues. She acknowledges that the state may not be able to finance everybody’s university studies, but finds it unacceptable that no free tuition should be offered for anyone intending to study economics or law. She also rejects the idea that those who get access to free tuition should commit themselves to seeking employment in Hungary for a period twice as long as the duration of their future scholarships: “such a contract is not likely to keep those here who want to leave.” Meanwhile Torkos hopes the students will be able to repel those “left wing politicians who try to stick to them like leeches.”

Tags: ,