Students today declared autonomy and “liberated” the university, which will be under student control. They asked constitutionally guaranteed autonomy so they will sleep in the university and also hold alternative lectures.
– Our requirements and our arguments were ignored, the students were labeled and circled, Minister of Education avoided a debate with us, counter-Professorial plenum, which argued that the law is good, was formed and, on top of all that shame, the Law on Higher Education was passed in 3 am. Now, suddenly, after all this, the Government decided to postpone the bill. However, if the Government thought that this would prevent the voice of the students, they are wrong. We will not compromise with the autonomy – said Ana Knezevik from “Student plenum”.
Students demanded the whole package of amendments to the Law on Higher Education to be postponed until 2018 in order to prepare a new law and to sign an agreement between the rector and the Ministry of Education, which will reads that the students from “Students’ plenum” and professors from “Professorial plenum” will have an equal part in creating the new law.
– We demand the working groups to be formed immediately, not only to delay the bill and forget all this. We will be here until these demands are not approved. Today, we proclaim autonomous zone and invite all students to join us in the liberation of the university – said Knezevik.
In the hall of the Faculty of Philosophy, students sung the anthem “Vivat Akademia! Vivat Profesores!”. Then they headed towards the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics, shouting “You won’t get away with it”, “Independent and strong students” and “Autonomy” to invite students from those faculties to join the occupation.
Students were supported by their professors, who say they are privileged to be part of one of the greatest historical events in Macedonia.
– We all the talk about freedom, but no one did something like the students did. Students won the freedom of universities. They won it for all of us while we waited, criticized them, while we found their flaws because they did not meet our expectations. My expectations are met. I think that today begins a new future for Macedonia. I am proud that I am a professor of these students – said Sinolichka Trpkova, professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts.