Reforms – hot topic still hot, report students from Brno.
It’s over a week now (written on 10.2.) from the day that city of Brno witnessed the largest student protest in a very long time. The students’ opposition to reforms is now thus entering new phase. What is currently going on in and what can we expect in the upcoming days?
Before I try to answer these questions, let me sum up the events that we have witnessed in the last couple weeks. We’ll have to start even a little bit further though.
Last year the ministry of education gradually prepared several versions of two draft bills, which are to cause a great change in the way Czech higher education works. The draft bills are controversial for numerous reasons.
Firstly, it’s because, were they adopted, they would limit universities’ autonomy; introduce tuition fees for the first time and damage public higher education in Czech Republic.
Secondly, from the perspective of professional lawyer, they are criticized for very sloppy job that the ministry has done. The drafts are not yet a “paragraph” version; it’s more of a statement of what is to be achieved. However, they are so poorly written that they allow for many conflicting interpretations and as of now can’t be easily translated into precise legal terms.
Last but not least, they are controversial because of the defects in the procedure of the drafting; i.e. the fact that the ministry has not followed legally defined rules that demand that the drafts be discussed with representatives of higher education institutions and has not taken into account at all number of objections.