Romanian Students Call Off Protests, Eager To Sign Partnership With Education Minister

The National Union of Students in Romania (UNSR) said it will suspend protest actions planned this week and will sign a partnership with Education Minister Daniel Funeriu meant to solve their demands.

UNSR head Ionut Poenaru said Tuesday, at the end of talks with Funeriu, that he informed the minister of students' demands, adding the minister will look into their claims and a protocol will be signed between the two parties.

UNSR said it called for an overdue 15% increase in scholarships, but the minister said there are no funds now to support the increase, stressing he "will seek ways to solve the issue in the future."

Poenaru added he also called for a plan of activities meant to refurbish student hostels and laboratories.

Funeriu also met Tuesday with the representatives of the National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR) and the alliance head Cezar Haj said Funeriu agreed to sign a partnership meant to solve their claims.

ANOSR demanded that students' statute be included in the new education law, student hostels become non-profit units, universities be depoliticized, volunteer work be acknowledged and scholarships be paid during coursework for PhD degrees.

Funeriu assured students there is money for scholarships, while funds for student camps were kept at last year's level.

Haj stressed that students will set off protests if their demands are not included in the new education law.

Funeriu said Monday that students' protest actions planned for this week and the upcoming period are not grounded and stressed that the scholarship fund was not at all reduced, but kept at last year's level.

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