The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development has presented the Draft Law on the Dual Studies Model in Higher Education, under which students should work for at least 450 hours (around 60 days) at the employer, being paid at least 50% of the salary of an employee doing the same or a similar job.
The work of university students is defined in the same way as the work of high school students in the Law on Dual Education – as “learning through work”. As students` work is thereby not defined as work, but learning, they have no rights to benefits like contributions for pension and disability insurance or the possibility of a union membership.
The Ministry of Education explains that the dual model of education is implemented in higher education institutions “due to the positive experiences of European countries”.
– Students who finish their studies under the dual model, considering their considerable and relevant practical experience, considerably increase their competitiveness in the labor market and will have a better chance of being hired by the employer they carried out their dual education with, but also other employers from the same field – the ministry says in its explanation.
Under the law, student`s work should earn them a certain number of ECTS credits. A student signs a contract on learning through work with the employer.
The employer obliges to provide the students with the means and the equipment for work, to compensate for food and travel expenses, as well as to provide insurance in case of injury.
Also, the draft law says that students who learn through work have the right to a compensation of at least 50% of the salary of an employee doing the same or a similar job, and if the employers pays the student`s scholarship, they can reduce the compensation accordingly.
The draft law excludes the implementation of the Labor Law, considering that it defines the practice as “learning through work”, and the “protection of students` rights is realized in line with the law which regulates higher education”, which is supervised by the Ministry of Education through the education inspection. The labor inspection is in charge of controlling work conditions and workplace safety in line with the Law on Occupational Health and Safety.