Your right to speak up as a student

  • Find it in the Law:
    Law on Higher Education, Article 31 “Student rights and obligations” and Article 33: “Student organizations”.
  • Who is responsible:
  • Who can help me:
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As a student exploring the endless world of ideas, you might have strong opinions on issues you care about and that you want to actively promote. Some of these opinions might be controversial with your peers or with university officials, and you might fear that you could face consequences if you speak out. You need to know that, unless your actions break other applicable laws or regulations, there are legal provisions which protect you from the consequences of speaking out and promote your right to do so.

Your rights as a citizen to the freedom of speech, association and assembly are not only guaranteed by the Constitution, but as a student they are also protected by specific provisions in the Law on Higher Education. This Law obliges institutions of higher learning to contain clauses in their statutes which prohibit discrimination, sanctions or punishments against students as retaliation for the public expression of controversial opinions. It also obliges them to establish mechanisms through which students can address complaints about the quality of teaching or infrastructure. Institutions of higher learning are also obliged to allow the creation of student organizations which fulfil the social, cultural, academic or entertainment needs of students.

The Law on Higher Education states that institutions of higher learning should establish within their statutes mechanisms that address student disciplinary issues in an impartial and fair manner. So check with you respective higher education institution to see exactly how and where you can address your complaints.  However, the Law also stipulates that students have the right to challenge decisions or actions undertaken against them by higher education institution “in the Ministry and the Competent Court” (Article 31.7). Violations can also be addressed to the Ombudsman.

  

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