Hungarian high school and university students went ahead Wednesday with protests against changes in the education system despite the government’s acceptance of some of their demands. In the capital Budapest, several thousand students gathered outside the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Calling their protest the “Winter Rose Student Revolution,” they later marched downtown and threw rose petals into the Danube River.
Government spokesman Andras Giro-Szasz said that the Cabinet had decided to drop plans greatly cutting the number of state-sponsored scholarships and will guarantee at least 55,000 full scholarships next year, the same number as this year. He added that spending on higher education would increase by at least 24 billion forints in 2013.
Students, however, oppose signing a contract requiring them to work in Hungary for several years after graduation if they accept studying at the state’s expense. They are also calling for comprehensive reforms to the education system, saying the current changes were planned haphazardly. Therefore, they want the government to consult with them before implementing any more reforms.