The latest negotiations between the University of Belgrade Rector Ivanka Popovic and a group of students from the #1 in5 Million protest movement lasted for two and a half hours. After the meeting, Popovic said that she believed they were one step closer to the agreement.
“We will continue tomorrow and we believe we will reach a solution which will be the best for the whole academic community,” she told reporters after the meeting.
Last week, Education Minister Mladen Sarcevic, University School of Languages Dean Ljiljana Markovic and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the protesting students were jeopardizing the work of the Rectorate, while students responded that such statements were an introduction to the media lynch of the students who have been “defending the dignity and autonomy of the University”.
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Serbian officials have said that the students’ protest at the Rectorate was political and even that it violated the autonomy of the University.
Belgrade University students have been blocking entrance to the University building for 11 days now.
After the Monday’s meeting, student Valentina Rekovic said that “in agreement with the professors who support us, we decided that it is in our best interest try to solve the issue of Sinisa Mali (Serbia’s Finance Minister) doctorate. The University will be blocked during the negotiations and no officials would be allowed in.”
To remind, in 2018, 335 university professors and researchers have signed a petition asking the University of Belgrade’s Rectorate to revoke the Doctor of Science title given to the then Belgrade Mayor and now Finance Minister, Sinisa Mali.
“Three and a half years ago, our colleague Rasa Karapandza discovered that most of Sinisa Mali’s doctoral thesis had been plagiarized. And the saga has been going on for three and a half years now … A group of people, consisting of more than 335 professors, including eight academics and around 150 full-time professors, thinks that they have waited long enough for something to be done“, said one of the petition’s initiators, Dusan Teodorovic.
This post is also available in: Italiano