Фото: Tyler Callahan, Unsplash

Empty amphitheaters, empty student dormitories – the pandemic has emptied the locations where students used to live, study and socialize. During last year, the lectures and the exams took place at home and the new conditions for studying additionally stressed the problems that the students faced even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, several events marked the academic year i.e. the end of 2019/2020 and the start of the 2020/2021 academic year, and the studying transferred into distance learning. But, at the start of the pandemic, not everyone was agreeable about this approach. There was a reaction by the students’ leader Borjan Eftimov who then said that neither the students nor the professors or the colleges themselves were ready for an online exam session. The other students were adamant that distance studying has its advantages, but what they mostly missed was the interaction during the lectures. They stressed the comfortable home surroundings and the video calls from the online lectures as some of the advantages of distance learning during the pandemic.

The exam sessions took place differently, depending on the decisions of various universities. Therefore, the June exam session at the University in Štip took place online while at the University in Bitola the session took place with physical attendance.

There were student elections where student representatives were elected i.e. the presidents of the faculties’ parliaments.

To meet the needs of the students, the Government allowed them to apply for a one-time financial aid in the amount of 6.000 MKD to pay for semester registration, dormitory accommodation, or private accommodation.

Last year, the students presented the Minister for Education and Science, Mila Carovska, a Declaration for the Young, Education, and Future, where they presented their requests for better education, investments in science, and the educational infrastructure, a higher student standard, and inclusion of the young in the creation of education policies.