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NUM students protest for fair administrative decisions and student’s rights

By M.ZOLJARGAL

A group of delegates from several student unions at the National University of Mongolia (NUM) has protested against problems that have risen for students due to recent university reforms.
The students demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Education and Science on Monday and demanded Minister L.Gantumur to resolve the issues as their previous demands to the NUM administrations failed to initiate any action.
The ministry’s Chief of Division for Higher Education, P.Erkhembulgan, received the demands and promised to have it discussed at the NUM’s managing board meeting, which was scheduled on Tuesday.
The students reported that the university administration has failed to consider interests and rights of students when it reformed the new rules, which are affecting studies and students’ convenience.
First-year students are studying according to a curriculum that hasn’t been approved by the Ministry of Education and Science. Another problem is that many of the NUM administrators are also teachers, which makes it hard for students to find and meet the administrators to have their problems resolved.
Students are facing financial losses as well due to faulty online student information system of the NUM.
“NUM students choose and confirm their curriculum, teachers and classrooms at Sisi.num.edu.mn within a given time from the university administration. However, many students end up missing the deadline as the system website frequently freezes and are obligated to pay 11,400 MNT to choose their curriculum after the deadline,” said Z.Otgonzaya, deputy head of the NUM Student Union and Student Congress.
The reform caused a problem for both students willing to stay in dormitory this academic year and the university finance, explained the student delegates.
A merged academic management office of the NUM became responsible for dormitory registration and supply following the reform. However, the students complained that the registration system has become bureaucratic with too many stages to pass since the merge.
A total of 250 beds are vacant at the NUM dormitory after a month since the new academic year started and the NUM is running an approximately 100 million MNT deficit because of it, reported student representatives.

NUM teachers demand dismissal of Director A.Galtbayar

Teachers of the NUM has reported to journalists about their demand to dismiss the NUM’s Director A.Galtbayar from his position as they believe the university reform is violating the Budget Law, Higher Education Law as well as other related regulations.
The teachers have handed their demand to Minister L.Gantumur and said that if it is not addressed, they will present it to the Prime Minister. The teachers held a press conference on Monday, on the same day as the student protests.
They criticized that the director simply reshuffled the university officials in the name of reform and is operating the university without comprehensive policies that are based on proposals of staff and surveys conducted by teachers and students.
The teachers revealed that a survey has been taken where 80 percent of the NUM teachers opposed the reform, which wasn’t considered by A.Galtbayar.
About the unapproved curriculum for the first-year students, teachers said that students are forced to restudy what they have learned in general education schools.
“First-year students are restudying the same subjects they passed in general education schools at the NUM, paying course credit payments. These students will choose their major from the next academic year, but each program is accepting only 25 to 30 student according to grade records. Students might not have a chance to choose their intended major due to this reformed system,” said B.Bold-Erdene, Head of Association of the NUM Teachers.

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