RIGA - Current amendments to the Higher Education Law may lead to degradation of higher education and science system, said the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Latvian Rectors' Council and the Latvian Association of Universities in a joint statement.
The three organizations have adopted a joint statements in relation to the amendments to the Higher Education law prepared by the Education and Science Ministry and accepted by the Cabinet of Ministers. The higher education institutions believe that these amendments contradict the fundamental values of European higher education institutions - their autonomy, higher education quality ad democracy of the academic circles. They also contradict Latvia's international liabilities in the EU education space.
The planned amendments are in contradiction the Magna Charta of the European Universities, the Lisbon Convention, the Sorbonne Declaration, the Bologna Declaration and other international documents on higher education and science.
"The planned amendments aim to change governance of universities, but they threaten one of the cornerstones of development of European higher education and science - autonomy of universities," the statement says.
The amendment destroy the role of Constitutional assemblies and Senates, handing decision making to councils, thus, in fact, eliminating a possibility for universities to make decisions on their development. The amendments also liquidate representation of students, lecturers and academic staff, administration in decision making.
The higher education organizations turn to parliament lawmakers and call on them to reject the amendments to the Higher Education Law.
The organizations are not against the reform in higher education, but call to introduce the reform in a democratic way and in consultations with experts on Latvian and European levels.