Higher education should be free only for those students who, after graduation, stay and work in Bulgaria, believes the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria in response to the proposal to waive the fees for all students, a state order.

It came nearly a month ago from the Council of Ministers on the grounds that in this way higher education will become more accessible, its quality will increase, and the lack of fees will keep students in Bulgaria.

Last week, the Academic Council of Sofia University "St.

Kliment Ohridski" came out with a position according to which the elimination of fees will not lead to the desired effect.

The proposal announced so noisily at a briefing in the Ministry of Education met with increasing disapproval, even among some of the students.

The Board of Rectors also does not accept the idea unconditionally.

Their view is that it should be seen in the context of a more general decision on funding higher education.

We have yet to find out whether the fees will actually be waived.

The proposal is included in a project for changes to the Law on Higher Education and has been uploaded for public discussion on the strategy.bg platform, which lasts until February 28. 

The government is proposing to waive tuition fees for students and PhD students

"Higher education should be free only for those students who are realized in Bulgaria.

And now there is such a mechanism: when concluding a contract with an enterprise where the student will work after graduation and if he studies in the priority professional fields with a shortage in the labor market.

This opportunity can be generalized for all students," believes AIKB chairman Vasil Velev.

"All those who intend to stay and work in the country for a certain period, not for life, and conclude such contracts - for them it should be free of charge, regardless of specialty and professional direction.

But, since he has a contract with a specific enterprise, there should obviously be a need for such a specialist and the situation we are in at the moment should not occur - over 40% of graduates work in positions that do not require higher education at all" , he added, relaying Darric.

"Abolition of fees for students will not have the desired effect, there are many other measures that could support access to higher education and lead to an increase in its quality," said SU rector Prof. Georgi Valchev.

"Take only that the scholarships that students get for excellent results, although they have been indexed in recent years, are infinitely low, i.e.

measures that do not differentiate the students who need to be supported are not suitable for us," said Prof. Valchev. 

According to UNSS Rector Prof. Dimitar Dimitrov, Vice-Chairman of the Council of Rectors, the idea of ​​dropping fees should be considered in the context of a more general decision to finance higher education.

"The fact that the students will pay the fees or the budget will pay the fees doesn't seem to matter much for the financial situation of the university, but in the long run it raises many other questions about the motivation of the students as well.

I don't even think about the alternative use of these BGN 150 million," said Prof. Dimitrov.

And he emphasized that the position of the Council of Rectors is to seek a common solution for the financial provision of higher education. 

A survey among 11,000 students shows that the majority of them - 92% approve the idea of ​​dropping fees, 6% are against it, and 2% cannot decide.

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Vasil Velev

aikb

Prof. Georgi Valchev

university fees

Prof. Dimitar Dimitrov