THE HAGUE, 8 October 1998 - The following statement was released today by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel.
"I welcome the efforts of the Government of Romania to find a compromise solution for a difficult problem in the field of tertiary education by initiating the procedure regarding the establishment of the "Petofi-Schiller "multicultural State university with tuition in Hungarian and German. I equally welcome the subsequent decision of the UDMR to continue its participation in the Government. The international norms regarding minority education do allow the formula chosen by the Government. This formula is fully in line with the tendency of increasingly complex and open societies to enlarge the range of alternatives providing meaningful choice in the field of education.
"It is my understanding that the decision to establish the Petofi-Schiller University has to be seen in the following context:
"1. The creation of this university has not to be considered as an alternative to the development of the concept of multiculturalism at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, but as a complement. The further development of the multicultural system at the Babes-Bolyai University remains indispensable.
"2. Though the Petofi-Schiller University would have tuition in the Hungarian and German languages, the right of interested students of Romanian or other ethnicity to follow the courses at this university will not be curtailed in any way.
"3. It is to be noted that the Board of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania has also pronounced itself in favour of the creation of a Hungarian-German multicultural State University. "