12 countries in Europe has been faced with a number of budgetary cuts Southern Eastern European region has been the worst hit so far, namely Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania Countries such as Austria, Iceland, Lithuania and Romania reported that despite promises for budgetary increases for education, such promises were not delivered
In 4 cases, NUSes reported governments investment through stimulus packages. This has been so in the case in France (FAGE), Lithuania (LSAS and LSS) and Norway (NSU) 7 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden) reported that over the past months there has been an increase in infrastructural investment in education Five countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (LSS), Romania and Sweden) reported pay freezes for administrative and / or academic staff.
Financing Students and Social Assistance
4 countries (Bulgaria, Ireland, Romania and Ukraine) reported a change in tuition fees. Lithuania reported an introduction in tuition fees Ireland commented that in light of the cut in public funding that HEIs have undergone, heftier administrative charges have been imposed,forcing students to pay for the decrease in funding Student loans have been affected in the case of five countries
12 countries reported an added financial burden on students and their families 5 countries reported an impact of the economic crisis on student enrolment rate 10 countries reported a decrease in the employment rate amongst the students and 8 countries reported a decrease in the internship prospects students have
The Student Movement
Absolute majority of respondents did not agree with the final measures taken by their respective governments NUSes in 8 countries reported that the changes introduced were discussed with them Most NUSes presented counter-proposals In the case of FAGE and NSU, some of the proposals the NUSes raised were included in the final plan
12 NUSes reported a decrease in in/direct public and/or private funding The operation of 9 NUSes has changed including: - changes in services ofference - reduction of internal activities - less external representation - pay freeze or reduction in administrative staff - participation at events USI reported an increase in participation in the activities they organise
Where do we head now? Will we let the titanic sink?