BM73: Legislative Changes to Ukrainian Higher Education Law
Given Ukrainian Parliament’s latest effort to start a comprehensive revision of 2014 Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education”, European Students’ Union urges that effective participation of all relevant stakeholders, including students, in this process has to be ensured in accordance with the principles of the European Higher Education Area.
ESU fully supports the set of legislative proposals suggested by the Ukrainian Association of Students (UAS), namely those aimed at ensuring students’ participation in QA system as full and equal partners, further democratization of HEI governance, clarification of legal framework for student governance bodies, strengthening students’ rights protection, and ensuring transparency and accountability of HEIs.
European Students’ Union also welcomes an effort of the UAS to have Law of Ukraine “On Trade Unions” amended, removing so called “studentsky profspilky” (“student trade unions”) from the law. These organizations, while vested with some representative functions in HEIs, are hardly accountable to students, often chaired by non-students, and in fact duplicate the role of democratically elected student self-governance bodies, thus hindering effective student representation at institutional level.
At the same time, ESU is surprised and deeply disappointed by the fact that some non-representative organizations have put forward their suggestions misleadingly labelled as “students’ proposals”, never authorized to act as students’ representatives. In this connection, we reiterate that national student unions have the primary responsibility and right to voice out students’ position at national level, as they are mandated by student self-government bodies of higher education institutions.