Students’ needs are not a priority for the decision-makers

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), on the occasion of 17 November – International Student Day, indicates the unfavourable status of students in Montenegro who are being deprived of quality education, and excluded from many decision-making processes that concern them directly or indirectly, hence further creating negative consequences on their competitiveness on the labour market, professional and personal development perspectives.

CCE points out that the initiation of changes to the Higher Education Law in part of the election of the rector of the University of Montenegro (UM) indicates to what extent the decision-makers do not care about students’ needs. Namely, those changes provide that only academic staff employed at the state university can vote about the rector, which consequently automatically excludes students from the procedure; i.e their right to vote is being abolished. In that part, the CCE supports the position of the Student Parliament of the University of Montenegro, which has previously expressed a protest regarding these announced changes.

CCE reminds that even though five years have passed since the establishment of the new 3+2 model, there are still problems in its functioning. The inconsistency of the regulations compared with the actual situation at faculties often leads to the detriment of students, and solving problems „by the way“ is not a sustainable option. Standardization of faculty rules and inclusion of students in the process of their formation has to be one of the priorities.  

On the other hand, the CCE states that students themselves demonstrate less willingness to be actively involved in issues that are of their and public interest, and their lethargy encourages the decision-makers to completely exclude this population when it comes to forming public policies. Such a situation results in an imbalance between the students’ needs and the policies which are being implemented on their behalf.

The recognition of genuine students’ needs, enhancement of their position through and after completing their studies, and making efforts to reinforce the quality of Higher Education are only some of the preconditions that have to be fulfilled and conducted by everyone involved in that process.  

Dragana Vasiljević, Project Assistant