Students are finding it difficult to afford books these days. For the Mechanical Engineering program at the Polytechnic University, the textbooks required for one semester alone cost over 10,000 lekë.
“I haven't got all the books because they cost about 10,000 lekë. It's not affordable for our parents who have no economic opportunities,” said several students.
Unable to purchase their books—where one along can run up to 3,000 lekë, students are still being forced to use them as they get them half off.
“It cost me about 6,000 lekë because I bought them “used” due to the expensive price,” said one student.
Another option students use to avoid hefty prices is photocopying, but not all faculties allow this.
“We get half of the photocopied books but we generally have to buy them for 35,000 lekë even though they cost around 50,000 lekë. They are very expensive,” complained a student.
For students of literature who require many textbooks to complete the program, the problem not only lies in the unaffordable prices but also the overall lack of textbooks in the faculty's library. Textbooks are limited and not available to many students.
“There are often times when we simply can't find the books we need,” said another student.
Textbooks with expensive price tags were just one of the problems students raised a year ago during country wide protests. They even addressed allegations of university professors forcing them to buy textbooks of which they were, themselves, the authors.