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.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.