The implementation of the Roadmap for higher education enters its critical phase.
This year all the obligations assumed by the Belarusian authorities in 2015 should be fixed in the law. The regular monitoring report of the implementation of the Road Map prepared by the Public Bologna Committee covers the period of time from October 2016 to January 2017.
The authors suggest that the authorities are constantly delaying the submission of the draft of legislative amendments to the Education Code. The changes in law proposed by the Ministry of Education are neither available to the public nor openly discussed.
The available information indicates the absence of significant progress, especially in the social dimension of the higher education, academic values, establishment of an independent quality assurance agencies, etc.
Those interested in the implementation of the Bologna Process should insist on an open public discussion of changes and additions to the Education Code and other legislative acts; organize a public international expertise to control the correspondence of reforms, prepared by the Government, to the requirements of the Roadmap; provide expert assistance to Belarus in the implementation of the Roadmap requirements in national legislation.
"EuroBelarus" Information Service asked Uladzimir Dunaeu, a friend of the Public Bologna Committee to tell what kind of reaction to the report we should expect from the European colleagues.
- The AG2 or the Advisory group 2 on the "Support for the Belarus Roadmap", which was established in Yerevan, holds a meeting on January 23-25. This group will prepare a report on the implementation of the Roadmap in Belarus for the Ministerial Conference of the EHEA in Paris. Probably there will be no public reaction but the information may be exchanged with the interest groups, including the civil society of Belarus. The reports of the Public Bologna Committee on the implementation of the Roadmap are taken into account not only by the AG2, but in other European organizations as well. These reports are distributed on behalf of our partners, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
- If there are no results of the implementation of the Roadmap will the process of Belarus joining EHEA be completed or will we have to look for other ways to do it?
- The Roadmap requires changes in the legislation, rather than in practice. If there are good laws we can hope for positive changes in everyday practice. But I doubt the authorities have any ability and willingness to significantly change the law.
Not only does such dishonesty hurt our reputation in the EHEA, but it also undermines the credibility of Belarus as a partner in general. Probably this year a certain formula for future relations with Belarus in the EHEA will be developed. Nevertheless it is too early to talk about it.
- Is Belarus the only country that does not fulfill the Bologna Process obligations?
- All EHEA countries make common decisions at the the ministerial conferences and take on the responsibility to comply with them. But it is not always achieved in praxi.
There is no official list of "debtors", but there are public reports on implementation, which are prepared for the ministerial conferences. They make it possible to judge who is lagging behind in this process. However there iare "chronic debtors". A lot of our neighbors from the CIS are among them. Some countries clean up their act rapidly. Our country is falling behind everyone so far.