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Students, teachers, and co-workers of three universities in the city of Sumy (Ukraine) ask for your support in their struggle for principles of democracy in education and preservation of independence of three native universities: Sumy State University, Sumy State Pedagogical University named after A.S.Makarenko, and Sumy National Agrarian University.
Despite the decision of labour collectives to continue functioning as independent educational establishments (that, in particular, is officially declared by the decision of a labour collective meeting of Sumy State University and the bodies of students' self-government), contrary to the Law of Ukraine "About Higher Education" that provides for a preservation of the legal status of educational establishments at their voluntary association (item 3 of Article 23) here, in Sumy, the principles of freedom and democracies proclaimed by the Constitution of Ukraine are being roughly trampled.
By the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as well as the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Ukraine the three unique universities with their own history and powerful scientific potential are liquidated (!) Their property, intellectual and information capacities are being usurped by a group of people under the pretext of creation of a single educational establishment, the so-called Sumy National University. Similar actions are planned for other cities of Ukraine.
The consequences of such a process can be catastrophic! The system of education is being monopolized. The main purpose-which the authors of the action openly and cynically admit-aims to replace a competition among educational establishments with a competition among staff inside various departments. Instead of cooperation, people are expected to fight each other! The purpose of the current action is to take the right to choose away from teachers and students and transform them into a docile and obtuse mass.
The very first steps of the plan's realization have shown its true nature. Laws of Ukraine, the Code for Work are being broken, people's self-respect is humiliated, memories of the universities as well as their cultural and ethical values are being destroyed, and the cost for education is increased. Does the Bologna Convention really call for this?!
We, thousands of students, teachers, and co-workers of the universities, simply Sumy's citizens, ask for your support of our will to Law and common sense. We ask everyone, for whom the ideals of democracy are close, to address our President with an appeal to stop his Decree about the merge of the universities in our city!