They have set an ultimatum to the university.
In early November, the parents of fee-paying students who study at BSUIR wrote an open appeal to the rector. In the document, they demanded to put an end to the persecution of students for dissent, and to stop the dismissal of teachers. Otherwise, moms and dads promised to stop paying for their studies. In the letter, the parents indicated the deadline - November 15. The deadline has passed. Tut.by has figured out what the situation is now.
Maryna (at the request of the heroine, the name has been changed) is the mother of a first-year student. The woman explains that the parents sent two letters to the university administration. The first is “more emotional”, the second is “an ultimatum”. The key requirements in both of them are similar: relatives opposed expulsion and dismissal from the university for political reasons. If, the mothers and fathers wrote, their requirements are not met, then the families of fee-paying students will not pay tuition fees. Judging by the information on the BSUIR website, the nearest payment deadline for the second part of the autumn semester of the 2020-2021 academic year is November 15. The relatives indicated this date in their letter.
- Did the university meet the parents' requirements? - journalists asked Maryna.
- Last week we met with the vice-rector for educational work, - says the interlocutor. - He said that BSUIR is fighting for its students. As far as I know, only a few have been expelled from the university. The main reason for expulsion, as I understood from the explanation, is absence from studies, since if a person is under administrative detention, this is not considered a justified reason for missing classes. The rest of the active guys received reprimands and warnings.
According to the situation with the teachers, the mother continues, they were told that leaving the university is the decision of the teachers themselves.
What then did the parents decide with the payment? There is no consensus on this issue, says Maryna. Each family decides by itself.
- I can only say about our parent chat. There are about 500 people in it. According to the mood of the parents, we can say that some of them are in no hurry to pay. How many of those who did not pay? We do not have such statistics, - says Maryna. - Someone thought that in case of non-payment, a penalty of about 27 rubles a month should be paid. Parents say that the civil position is more important than this amount. I also decided not to pay yet.
The question of payment, the interlocutor continues, arose not only because of expulsions, but also in connection with COVID-19 and the transition of students to “distant learning”.
“Parents want their children to completely switch to distance learning, but at the same time the quality of education should not suffer,” says Maryna. “There was also talk about the need to reduce tuition fees in case of distant learning. But, as the vice-rector for educational work explained to us at the meeting, with the “distance learning” the load on the teachers becomes greater, so no one will reduce the payment.
According to Maryna, the administration of the university calmly reacted to the parents' ultimatum about non-payment.
“They made it clear to us that even if a couple of hundred parents from the chat didn’t pay yet, it wouldn’t have a big impact on a university where thousands of children study,” continues the mother. “We were also told that if we do not pay, then no one will expel our children, at least immediately. First, a warning letter will come, then another one, - says Maryna.
- How long are you going to delay payment?
- I don’t know, I think until there is a question about the expulsion of my kid. If this situation arises, I will pay. My daughter likes BSUIR. We saved money so that she could study here, - says the interlocutor.
Another mother of the student, with whom the journalists talked, said that she decided to postpone the payment until December 1, “and then we'll see.” On November 12, in the parent chat of BSUIR, a poll appeared, where community members were asked whether they plan to pay tuition fees before November 15. The survey included about 150 people. 25 percent of them answered that “they will categorically not pay for tuition until November 15, 2020,” while 20 percent believe that: “we need to pay the entire amount on time.”