Yesterday Gazeta Wyborcza announced plans by the government to stop paying for students to do two degrees – one’s your limit. Today’s paper lets the cat well and truly out of the bag. There’s an interview with professor Kazimierz Stępień, chairman of the Rada Nauki (Education Council, more or less) at the Ministry for Privatising Education. He says quite openly (that is to say: he doesn’t hide behind childish arguments like “free education is a myth,” a headline in last week’s newspaper) that the constitutional guarantee of free studies should be abolished (“konstytucyjny zapis o bezpłatnych studiach powinien być zniesiony”). But wait – what’s this – oh he does go for the childish argument: “Studiów bezpłatnych nie ma, ponieważ płaci za nie całe społeczeństwo” (There is no such thing as free education because society as a whole pays for it). It’s depressing that such a weak argument can be made (and made repeatedly) in serious newspapers. Aside from the government’s desire to exclude poor people from university education, there is the question of when Gazeta Wyborcza is going to wise up to all this. It’s quite alright to have ago at the poor, the sick, the old and the working classes but university educated people…? They’re the ones who buy the newspaper. If you alienate them, who’s going to buy your product?