Current tuition fees system “has not worked”

in News · 17-01-2019 12:36:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has reiterated his position on tuition fees, arguing that experience has shown that the current system “has not worked” and calling for a calm debate, looking ahead to the next decade.

According to the president, “twenty years on, reality has shown that matters have not improved, that they did not work out as thought in terms of the transition from secondary to higher education.” As a result, he continued, “we have to think serenely and debate serenely, thinking about ten years from now.”
In his view, he said, policy makers should consider if it is not better to “change course and move towards countries, namely Nordic countries, which from the standpoint of social homogeneity, human development and qualifications go much further” than Portugal, in a reference to countries where students pay no fees to attend higher education.

The head of state was questioned on the subject after he had previously said that he agreed “totally” with the idea of moving towards ending tuition fees.
However, he, reiterated his explanation, starting by setting out his position on tuition fees when he was leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) 20 years ago, when the Socialist Party (PS) was in the government, as it is now: “My position was abstention and the party abstained.”
However, he added, “reality has shown that it has not improved, that it did not work”, and, in view of that fact, policy makers should take the time to debate what should be changed.


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