Under the motto “It's time to move forward, the bribe must end”, the demonstration was part of a national protest that also took place in Porto, Évora, Braga, Caldas da Rainha, Faro, Covilhã and Coimbra.
Throughout the demonstration, students shouted slogans such as “Millions go to banking, education gets pennies” and “Education is a right, without it being done”.
The Students Association of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universidade Nova was one of the eight associations that subscribed to the action and its president, José Pinho, told Lusa that the current state of higher education has brought “serious consequences for students”.
"This was already an old problem, but with the current crisis - both pandemic and economic - students and their families lose income with each passing day and it becomes difficult to continue to bear the costs of higher education," he said.
This was the case of Tomás Caeiro, a student at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, who had to abandon his degree against his will, a decision that brought him “enormous pain”.
"We all want to learn, but we cannot because of situations that are external to us", namely the lack of means, explained the student, who defends the need for urgent reforms at this moment because of the crisis.
After reporting the existence of “cases of students who have to decide between paying tuition fees and eating”, João Pereira, a student at ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, stated that “students will not give up fighting for their rights”.
In the Assembly of the Republic, in addition to many megaphones, a drum kept pace with the demands of the protesters, which go beyond the end of tuition fees and include more investment in social action, scholarships and residences, as well as better conditions in colleges.