2012. december 13., csütörtök

'Reforming' higher education with the chainsaw

No detailed analysis, just the numbers.

Last year the number of higher education places (university etc) financed by the state was  halved from 80.000 to some 40.000, this two weeks before the student's deadline of filing the application for the places.

Now it has been announced (two months before the deadline...) that from 2013, there will be only 10.000 state-financed places. The rest will require co-financing or (mostly) complete financing by the students themselves.

In some areas such as law or economics/business studies, there will not be any state-financed places. A state secretary explained this by stating that in economics, students are taught, inter alia, how to avoid paying taxes, and thus there is no reason for the state to support this line of education.

Viktor Orbán stated himself that the final goal is a higher education system that is competely self-supporting.
 (prompting commentators to draw comparisons with professional football, where there seems not to be such a requirement of self_support, as a large many billion forints state money is being spent on all-new stadiums and artificial grass football-fields - NB Orbán is, as everybody knows in Hungary, a football-freak)

The governmet's steps have incited quite a reaction in high-schools and universities, with several protests and marches having been organised in the past days. Certainly the activisation of these age groups is new and spectators have agreed that the situation is highly dangerous for Fidesz.

Teachers reactions to the protests have been cautiously positive, although not everywhere. Let me conclude this post with another true Hungarian gem; please find below today's statement of the Cistercian Order's Nagy Lajos High School, published today on their website:

'Dear students!
Our school's leadership took the following decision in the context of the nationwide student demonstrations being organised for tomorrow against the change in higher education.  

In this uncertain situation it is <only> one's faith and confidence in the Lord's wisdom that can provide support. Therefore, tomorow the 11. and 12.-grade students will participate in a holy sermon where they can offer their destiny and future to God's mercy.  They shall do so safe in the knowledge that by that they do the most they can do in this situation. After the sermon the curriculum will continue as planned. Other grades' students are unaffected by this change.'

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