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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President

On January 25, the European Students Union issued the resolution which supports the position of the independent student organizations and other relevant stakeholders on their estimation of the progress in the fulfillment of the Belarusian Roadmap provosions. 

Full text of the resolution:

In 2015 when joining EHEA Belarus undertook obligations to implement the Roadmap provisions into national legislation. These obligations including diversification of graduates forced employment system, erasing discrimination in financial support for students to ensure social equality, simplifying procedure to establish and register student organizations, incorporating the principles of the Magna ChartaUniversitatum and Council of Europe recommendation Rec/CM(2012)7 on the state responsibility for academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

The new edition of Code of Education was introduced in spring 2017 and since then it has not been submitted for public discussion with relevant stakeholders. in addition the government has not proceeded with further steps to amend or adopt the Code. The current edition shows that should it be adopted by the National Assembly in its current format, none of the Roadmap provisions on students rights and interests would be fulfilled, as there are no articles that address official student representation, which needs legal support in order to correspond to the EHEA concept of student participation in HE governance.

Furthermore there are no signs of ensuring that the country will have an independent Quality Assurance agency, only the one under the ministerial structures. Old terminology of educational degrees is preserved, what can make the implementation of the Bologna architecture more sophisticated.

The new Code doesn’t introduce even the definition of National Qualification Frame remaining with the old National Classification of Specializations.  The definitions of Academic freedom and institutional autonomy are also absent from the new Code. The ECTS system is presented only as an alternative to existing traditional evaluation, and the duration of study programs are not measured in ECTS making recognition of mobility complicated. Graduates forced employment system was not revised.

The fact that within two and a half years the government didn’t introduce any changes doesn’t leave much hope that in less than 6 months before the Ministerial Conference there will be crucial changes to the code edition. Should the Code be adopted according to the current edition this would mean that Belarus didn’t comply with the conditions under which the country was accepted to the EHEA. Noncompliance with the Road Map automatically means absence of significant changes to the system of higher education and student participation in the country.

With this in mind ESU supports the position of independent student organizations and other relevant stakeholder in:

  1. Insisting on Belarus government full compliance with the Roadmap provisions concerning students rights and interests.
  2. Insisting on extending the Roadmap provisions implementation to 2020 considering a pace of new legislation development,
  3. Insisting on retaining the international control (by BFUG) of Belarus full compliance with the Roadmap provisions through its implementation.