Kyiv Mohyla Academy files suit against Education Ministry
The National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” [NaUKMA] has filed a suit with the Kyiv District Administrative Court against the Ministry of Education over what it considers unfair distribution of State-funded places for the 2011/2012 academic year. It considers that the distribution was discriminatory and harmful for the interests of the country.
According to the President of NaUKMA Serhiy Kvit, the university considers that the present leadership of the Ministry has distributed student places “in an extremely subjective, non-transparent and unprofessional manner” and not taken the quality of the education provided into consideration. Mr Kvit writes that “such use of State resources usually borders on corrupt behaviour” and suggests that this is typical of the policy of the current Minister of Education, Dmytro Tabachnyk.
He stresses that the law suit is “aimed not only at defending NaUKMA’s rights, but also upholding the public interest which lies in ensuring fare, transparent and professionally justified distribution of State-funded places for training specialists”.
The suits gives examples of those specializations most discriminated against this year, which are at the same time, they say, unique and among the highest-quality training in Ukraine. These are the Master’s Programme in Journalism for which State funding was totally cancelled; the Bachelor’s Programme of Law (cut by 50%); Philosophy (cut by 50%); Economics (by 43%) and Finance and Loans (12 places left).
NaUKMA is the second most popular university in the country, and few saw the cuts and distribution of State-funding places in general as being merely linked with considerations of which professions are needed. According to Maxim Strikha, former Deputy Minister r of Education, “what the Ministry is doing fits only into one system. It is a fight with those who dare to have any opposition views, and incentive for those who need to be encouraged”.
Following Tabachnyk’s appointment as Minister of Education, the President of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Serhiy Kvit was the first to publicly speak out against the choice of Minister.
Besides the situation with cuts at NaUKMA, which experts call “political reprisal”, this year the Ministry of Education cut funding for institutes traditionally not in the Minister’s good books. According to Maxim Strikha, these included the Ostroh Academy and the Kyiv Polytechnic. The Dean of the latter, Mykhailo Zhurovsky has of late not been in favour with the current Minister of Education. The Polytechnic has had funding cut for a number of IT courses. This is while funding for those IT courses has been increased for the Donetsk Polytechnic which President Yanukovych once graduated from.
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