scholarship

“I do not know finance my research,” complain 150 college students in Brussels

“Given the price increase, it’s a waste,” was the motto of the mobilization that took place this Thursday in the Place du Congrès, quite clearly. The students can’t make ends meet. A few hundred gathered at the initiative of the Fef (Federation of French-speaking Students) to demand a change. “I don’t know how to finance my studies, I live off my savings,” says Rosalie, a student at EPHEC.

IMG_5099

Growing insecurity among students

“We are here today because it is difficult to pay our bills, our rent,” explains Emila Hoxhaj, Fef President. “When we go shopping, we find that our groceries are far too expensive.”

The students had come from all over to testify and challenge the minister. “I’m from Mons,” explains Younes. “I have to pay for my stool myself. I’m eligible for the CPAS, but it’s still difficult.”

The assembled students came from all over Belgium
The assembled students came from all over Belgium

But not all students are lucky enough to receive help. “My father is disabled and my mother works in a shop,” says Swann, a social sciences student in Brussels. “I applied for a scholarship, but it was turned down because my mother lives with her husband.” The student lives in a shared apartment in the capital. “I was lucky enough to find accommodation under 500 euros, in Brussels it has become almost impossible.” She can count on the support of her parents, but knows that not all students are able to do so. “I don’t know how they do it,” she admits.

Swann studies social sciences in Brussels
Swann studies social sciences in Brussels

Fanny can also count on the help of her parents. “They help me financially, but it’s more difficult for them,” says the ULB architecture student. “I have two student jobs to pay my expenses.”

There are many students who, due to lack of money, do without accommodation near their university. “We can’t afford it, so we drive mornings and evenings,” explain Lenaïk and Maureen, students in Mons and Tournai.

Lenaïk and Maureen are students in Mons and Tournai
Lenaïk and Maureen are students in Mons and Tournai

A cry for help

“We started a petition that collected more than 10,000 student signatures in less than 20 days,” analyzes the president of the Fef. There are five main demands in this petition, including the provision of affordable housing and a reduction in public transport fares for students. “SNCB and De Lijn still have pretty high prices,” comments Emila. The Fef is also calling for the provision of heated space to accommodate students and a one-euro meal plan in institutions. “We also want social assistance to be increased because it is currently not sufficient,” she denounces.

Emila Hoxhaj is the President of the Fef
Emila Hoxhaj is the President of the Fef

“We are sending a clear message to the government to take direct action to increase the purchasing power of young people,” explains Nel Van Slijpe, national officer for young CSCs.

Nel Van Slijpe is the national CSC youth leader
Nel Van Slijpe is the national CSC youth leader

Around 1 p.m., the rally started in the direction of Place de Chokier, where the Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation is located. “We will deliver the petition and meet Minister Valérie Glatigny,” said the Fef President.

IMG_5096

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button