European Humanities University Stops Financial Activity
The European Humanities University has already stopped its financial activity and on 10 May will also stop the educational process. These actions of the university authorities are caused by the refusal of the Ministry of Education to prolong the education license to the university. The university staff state that this step of Belarusian authorities will inflict considerable harm to EHU. The students of the university are also going to defend their right to study.
According to a Presidential decree, the Ministry of Education was to have completed the re-licensing of all educational establishments of the country by 1 May. However, the university received neither prolongation for the license, nor information about its liquidation. According to the Dean, Ala Sakalova, all kinds of activity are illegal without license.
(Sakalova:) “European Humanities University is in an extreme situation: the Ministry of Education, the Soviet of Ministers and the Committee of State Control give no reply to our inquiries about violations of all existing legislative norms. Our students are waiting for a decision. There is a thousand students, 250 lecturers and 2 000 of parents in such a situation, absolutely inapprehensible and dismal.”
According to the university provost Uladzimir Dunayew, the authorities also apply other means of pressure against the educational institution. For instance, the presidential administration blocked the finances, transferred for education by European grantors. The Council of Ministers of the EU submitted to Belarusian authorities a note of protest. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to express its position.
The vice-head of the MFA information board Ruslan Yesin said in his interview to RFE/RL:
(Yesin): “Every ministry has its own position. However, in this case I’d like to share it with the Ministry of Education and am ready to take part in discussion of this question.”
Officials of the Education Ministry also abstain from commentaries, referring to their business. The assistant minister on public relations Viktar Iwchanka said:
(Iwchankaw): “I won’t tell you anything, as I don’t have such information. This question of licensing is being decided”.
The university staff is sure that the present events are related to the attempt of Belarusian authorities to deprive the EHU rector Anatol Mikhaylaw of his position. We should remind, that the education minister Aliaksandr Radzkow proposed it to Mikhaylaw in the beginning of the year. That time the rector was defended by Ambassadors of a number of European countries.
At present the university administration is seeking possibilities to get out of this difficult situation and may apply to the Economic Court.