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Historical archive

Takes initiative for academic freedom in Belarus

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

Minister Tora Aasland has taken the lead in an initiative of European education ministers towards their colleague in Belarus and warned against developments that threaten academic freedom in this country.

Minister Tora Aasland has taken the lead in an initiative of European education ministers towards their colleague in Belarus and warned against developments that threaten academic freedom in this country.

Read the draft ministrial letter here

Norway concerned about developments in Belarus

Tora Aasland now received confirmation from six countries beside Norway that they want to take part in the joint ministerial initiative vis-à-vis Belarus. The fellow ministers for higher education of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, now write to Education Minister Sergey Aleksandrovich Maskevich and warns against development that threatens academic freedom in Belarus.

The minister's request to her ministerial colleagues stems from an initiative by the European Students' Union, ESU, through the Norwegian student organization, NSO.
- It is unacceptable to penalize students and academics in their studies just because they have used their freedom of speech, says Minister Tora Aasland.

 In her letter she refers to the arrests of students and academics during the demonstrations after the presidential election in December.

They are in great danger of losing work and study opportunities, in addition to other sanctions. This and other serious limitations of constraints imposed on educational and research institutions constitute a threat to academic freedom in the country.

In particular, she is concerned regarding the consequences for Belarus of the gradual integration of higher education in the rest of Europe as part of the Bologna process. It would be very unfortunate if Belarus were to remain outside the European  exchange  of knowledge.

The letter invites academic collaboration, but states that this depends on  respect of academic freedom and other fundamental human rights.

Link to The European Students Union 

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