Letter of support for the protests by Belgrade University students


Public statement by Freedom Fight and the Coordinating Committee of Workers Protests

Letter of support for the protests by Belgrade University students

Dear students and future colleagues,

For decades already we've been confronted with the irresponsible attitude of the government towards the economy in this country, resulting in increasing economic inequality and a drop in the standard of living for a large number of people. Economic decay, deindustrialization, and political corruption are conditioned by the specific circumstances of our history and political life but are also reflective of global currents expressed by the increasing subordination of all aspects of society to the exclusive needs of those individuals and corporations that have secured a monopoly not only over the market but also over political decision-making. The educational system is also experiencing its own commercialization and the decline of teaching standards stemming from systemic reforms, known as the Bologna process, as well as the introduction of increasingly higher tuition fees.
The Bologna process is facing resistance across the world primarily because it annuls the autonomy of the University and subordinates it to the demands of the market. Educational programs are adapted to meets the markets need for specialized cadre, transforming the University into a factory for the production of corporate and party aparatchiks. The survival of educational programs that aren't competitive in the market, particularly humanistic sciences, is increasingly being put into question in University's across the world. Furthermore, the implementation of the Bologna Declaration in Serbia has been carried out without the adequate reform of study programs, meaning that students face increasingly difficult circumstances for fulfilling degree requirements. The first generation of 'Bologna students' are seen as 'guinea-pigs' on whom the success of educational reforms should be tested.

Instead of state leaders creating the conditions necessary for a society in which knowledge will be accessible to all - so that a larger number of our citizens can be empowered for life in today's complex information age - state policy, following global trends, presents knowledge as a commodity that can be bought and sold and that isn't for just anyone.

Conscious of the difficult position in which you find yourselves given increasing tuition fees, the implementation of the Bologna process, and the irresponsible attitude of the government of the Republic of Serbia towards the future of our society, we wish to suggest to you that it is important that you persevere in your protests until your demands are met. Important not only for yourselves personally, but for the future of higher-education and with that the future of our society.

In Belgrade, 24 November 2009

Freedom Fight (Pokret za slobodu)

Coordinating Committee of Workers Protests

www.pokret.net
www.freedomfight.net
 
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