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Slovakia: The Most Expensive Apple Computers

University of Economics in Bratislava (EUBA) has recently signed a contract to acquire electronics and software for its Faculty of National Economy for a total price of over 1.8 million euro. Many of the items are overpriced (see the contract here [sk, .pdf]).

For example, one MacBook would cost the university over 9,000 euro, despite the fact that it was not the latest model (and, to be accurate, the price of “9,000 euro for a MacBook” also covers a 24-inch Apple LCD display, an external keyboard and a mouse – normally, all together, it would cost 3,000 euro or so – plus an extended service contract).

According to media reports [sk], the university feels no problem with such a contract, explaining that the prices are the result of a public competition, and it was enough to offer the lowest prices to win it. And, anyway, Apple computers make up “just 4.03% of the total expenses.”

The supplier that won the contract, Gratex International, declared [sk] that no profit was being made from some items, so they decided to make it from others.

Here are some comments [sk] from the discussion that follows the SME newspaper article linked to above.

Doctor X:

Parents! Entrust them with your children for 5 years. Application accepted until February.

Servius fortis:

That [school] lost the moral right to teach economics? Just the opposite! It has confirmed again that no better school exists for Slovak politicians!

petrik 12:

The nation's economists are learning how to deal with state [property]

Mima1406:

The best thing is that we students are freezing during lectures.

Hranol červený – najnebezpečnejší živočích:

Our professors do not know how to switch a data projector on … what do they need MacBooks for? The best thing is that we have to wear jackets during classes because it is cold there…

pressburgerzwilsonova1:

they behave like those in this classic joke: two Slovak nouveau riches meet in Paris and one asks: how much did you pay for that jacket? – 250 euro. – You are stupid, they have it for 450 next door!

medofil:

Software for creating PDF documents for 8,748 euros.

Gimli:

I have software for creating PDF documents for 0 euros – Open Office. It is no special wonder but I think for a school it should be enough.

tom_sk:

University of Economics in Bratislava owns the most expensive MacBook in the world. They have to lose their accreditation immediately! It is in direct conflict with what they are teaching.

tlstoch:

It is a hoax. It is simply impossible to believe this. It must be a hoax.

sedmokraska321:

Is this how they understand “higher investment in education”?

Corvus corax:

Isn't [Slovakia's Minister of Finance] Ivan Mikloš their graduate, too?

seth82 (in reply):

If it was only he… But also the present minister of education Eugen Jurzyca

Servius fortis:

Will some politician or NGO file a lawsuit? Or will we just jabber?

lexik:

It seems I was wrong. For many years, I thought that economists were stupid and unable to act. Probably they are not, they are just graduates of our EUBA and have knowledge from their study rooted deeply in their minds.

mozilko:

You probably do not know how such competitions are designed. Already in conditions are such criteria …. that immediately disqualify 99% of the Slovak companies.

Hujanita:

I've always said that MacBooks are too cheap… People are ready to pay much more… This university is a shining example ;-)

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