Belarusian authorities disregard "sensitive" requirements in Bologna Process Roadmap
Last week, the Public Bologna Committee issued a statement, saying that Belarus had stepped up attack on academic freedoms and the rights of the academic community. In response to the recent initiative of the Belarusian State University students against the introduction of fees for retaking exams, the university administration has tightened its internal rules and put pressure on most active participants of the campaign – instead of engaging in a dialogue with the student community. The main reason behind Belarus’ participation in the Bologna process is to enhance attractiveness of Belarusian diplomas for students from the third world countries and to gain additional proceeds from exporting educational services. The authorities are unlikely to implement some of the most ‘sensitive’ requirements from the Roadmap for a full-fledged membership in the Bologna process, i.e. carrying out structural reforms in higher education and changing the situation with the student self-government and academic freedoms.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.