File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 624


Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 13:45:11 -0600 (CST)
Subject: M-I: Mongolian universities bow to protesters' demands



07:23 AM ET 09/25/97

Mongolian universities bow to protesters' demands

By Irja Halasz
            
ULAN BATOR, Sept 25 (Reuter) - Three Mongolian universities
bowed to student protesters and cut tuition and lodging fees on
Thursday, a day after the country's prime minister intervened.
            
The Medical University, the University of Economics and
Finances and the University of Arts and Culture in Mongolia's
capital Ulan Bator said they had reduced their tuition and
lodging fees by 25-50 percent.
            
Other universities were still negotiating with student
protesters, who staged big street demonstrations earlier this
week.
            
The Mongolian Student Union said students would continue to
boycott classes until all their demands were met.
            
``We will not stop our struggle until all universities have
cut their fees,'' student leader Bold-Baatar said.
            
On Wednesday, after 6,000 angry students boycotted classes
and marched through the capital for a second day, Mongolia's
prime minister told universities to cut tuition and lodging
fees.
            
The prime minister threatened to sack principals of 12 state
universities and cancel the licences of 30 private colleges if
they refused to reduce their tuition and lodging fees.
            
Mongolia's universities have raised tuition and lodging fees
over the past several months, more than doubling education costs
for many students.
            
Although the government was not involved in the decision to
raise fees, students had been demanding its intervention to
force universities to reverse the increases.
            
Campus activists say higher costs threaten to kill
university education in the cash-strapped nation by putting
universities beyond the reach of many ordinary Mongolian
families.
            
Despite laws banning protests in Sukhbaatar Square, police
monitoring the students made no attempt to intervene.


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