Albania's government fulfills demands of boycotting students

December 26, 2018 - 6:57 am

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's government says it has fulfilled the demands of public university students, who boycotted classes for more than two weeks this month.

A statement Wednesday said the Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting and decided to meet all the students' requests.

Students had boycotted lessons for more than two weeks, pledging to resume protests in January.

Tuition fees will be cut for excelling students and those in need, who also will get a 10,000 lek ($92.5) monthly scholarship. All others will pay half tuition.

The package includes raising government money spent on public universities to 5 percent of gross domestic product and better accommodation.

Students had asked for their demands to be met without formal talks. It is to be seen whether students will accept the government's concessions.

An organizer of the protests, a group called "For the University," said the government's decisions were coming too late.

It complained of the amount of tuition for a master's degree. The group also said that students will not have enough representation in decision-making boards and that the government doesn't show in real figures how it will increase the budget.

The group called on all students to resume protests until the government withdraws a law on reforming higher education that was passed three years ago.

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Follow Llazar Semini on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsemini

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