european students’ union

BM82: Resolution on inadmissibility of discrimination against students from Belarus

July 15, 2022

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine unprecedented sanctions against Russia have been imposed. To the greatest regret, Belarusian authorities have also played a role in the war. It allowed Russian troops to enter Ukraine from Belarusian territory and provided them with military infrastructure, such as air bases and supplies. Thus, most of the sanctions against Russia were imposed against Belarus as well.

It is worth mentioning that harsh repressions against civil society in Belarus have been going on for 2 years since the elections in 2020. It is impossible for people to protest the decisions of the authorities. Right now around 1200 people are considered political prisoners in Belarus, more than 60 of them are students. Such sanctions as termination of visa issuing for Belarusians affected solely civil society and have limited impact on the regime. 

Restrictions also include higher education, as some European universities declared that they would not accept applications from Belarusian students. For example, such decisions were made by Estonian universities. Moreover, Czech authorities claimed that students from Belarus might be a threat to the state security of Czech Republic. For this reason Czech universities limit the admission of Belarusian students. There are also discussions about the expulsion of current students, although the financial support systems such as developed by the European Commission (SALT program), are still relevant.

Bearing in mind all the above-mentioned facts BSA urges:

  • University of Tartu, Tallin University of Technology, Tallin University, Czech Higher Education Institutions to ensure the right to education without discrimination of Belarusian students, namely, allow the students to get enrolled and continue their studies in safe countries.
  • NUSes:
    – to monitor the situation with discrimination against Belarusian students in respective countries;
    – to advocate for student rights of Belarusian students together with respective Higher Education Institutions;
  • Ministries of Internal Affairs and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to resume issuance of visas for Belarusians.
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