On the 19th of January in Chisinau, Moldova BFUG Advisory group “Support for the Belarus roadmap” held its first meeting. ESU is a member of the group together with representatives from Belarus, Council of Europe, EI/ETUCE, European Commission, France, Germany, Holy See, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and United Kingdom.
The agenda of the meeting included presentation from the Belarusian representative introducing advisory group with the current higher education system in Belarus as well as the planned reforms according to the Roadmap that was adopted in EHEA Ministerial conference in Yerevan, Armenia in May 2015. The presentation was followed by a discussion on current challenges and support that the group could provide for Belarus on the implementation of certain reforms. Also, the group set the working schedule for the upcoming period and the next meeting is planned shortly before the summer.
Belarus entered Bologna Process in May last year during the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Yerevan when ministers welcomed its application together with the commitment to implement Bologna Reforms. In order to foster the implementation of necessary reforms in higher education, Bologna signatories and Belarus agreed on a Belarus Roadmap that sets clear schedule when and what reforms should be implemented.
After Belarus’ admission to the Bologna Process, one of the important tasks of ESU is to overlook that the country is living up to the commitments to fully implement academic freedom and stop restrictions of student participation and self organisation of student organisations. As reported, several universities in Belarus, including Belarusian State university had carried out severe violations against students who have been engaged in protests and peaceful demonstrations against introduction of complementary fees at universities.
ESU calls on protection of academic freedom and student rights in Belarus