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Premier signs contract for Ft 160 billion worth of college upgrades

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány signed PPP agreements for Ft 160 billion worth of higher education infrastructure upgrades today. The government is planning to build or reconstruct buildings at 20 colleges and universities in public private partnership over the next three years, including the construction of 10,000 new dormitory rooms and overhauling several old halls of residence. The schools will lease the new facitlities for 20 years for a fee including operation costs. Subsequently, the lease on the properties can be extended, or they can be acquired by the state or by a different private investor. The new Higher Education Act, which aims to make colleges and universities more financially independent, will be debated by Parliament in May.