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Ukrainian Students Protest Draft Law On Higher Education

Students say the draft could lead to higher tuition and fewer guaranteed jobs.
KYIV -- Some 100 university students picketed the Ukrainian parliament building today to protest a draft law on higher education that could lead to higher tuition fees, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The demonstrators say the draft "would kill equal and fair admission to Ukrainian universities."

They also say the draft, put together by the ruling Party of Regions parliamentary faction, would force students to cover the cost of tuition themselves. The protesters added that the draft would lead to dismantling the current system whereby the state guarantees jobs in certain fields for a specified number of students.

Deputy Education Minister Yevhen Sulima said today the new law would allow university rectors to raise tuition fees in line with inflation and/or the average increase in the minimal monthly wage.

The demonstrators told RFE/RL that today's protest was just a warning. They say that if the bill is voted into law, they will launch mass actions across the country.

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