Students protest state-wide higher education entry exam

Various student youth groups in Serbia have raised concern over the government’s plan to introduce a state-wide graduation exam for high school students to qualify for higher studies. On Tuesday 11 April, groups such as the Student Front and the Union of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia protested the introduction of the exam, Drzavna matura, claiming that it was being introduced only to comply with European Union standards for higher education, reports the Peoples Dispatch.

In the last week of March, a group of high school students, who named themselves I mi se pitamo (We wonder too), organised a demonstration at the Ministry of Education demanding the resolution of uncertainties and confusion regarding the implementation of the new state graduation exam. The group also submitted a petition signed by over 26,000 students raising concerns over its implementation.

Plans to introduce this exam have been in the works since 2017. According to a report in Masina, the exam serves as a new qualification criteria – on top of the existing qualification requirements for high school students to move on to college – and includes a set of three exams: a test in Serbian language and literature, a test in mathematics, and a test of one general educational subject of choice like history, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, philosophy or foreign language.
Full report on the Peoples Dispatch site