Civil society says EHU as Belarusian public project is in crisis
Belarusian civil society representatives and students of European Humanities University (Belarusian University in exile in Lithuania) have expressed doubts about the fairness of EHU rector elections, which resulted in American professor David Pollick becoming the new rector. Three Belarusians and three Americans competed for the rector’s position at the EHU. Belarusian civil society and academic community had hoped the EHU would remain a social project, an alternative to the current Belarusian higher education system, and an important player in shaping Belarus’ national identity. The new rector is attempting to relieve tension between management, union workers and EHU students. In particular, he said, that the Belarusian component would be preserved in the EHU, however, had not yet presented a strategy for the university’s further development. Belarusian society representatives have concerns about American professor’s independency and ability to suggest a policy that would resolve internal crisis at the EHU.
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.