MP Vladimir Odnostalko, member of the Communist and Socialist Bloc, criticizes the university reorganization plans announced by the Ministry of Education, saying they have been drafted in a non-transparent manner, without any analysis of their impact on the economy and the development of higher education, and in a manner that will lead to the “liquidation” of renowned institutions, such as the Agrarian University or the University of Taraclia.
“What will we get as a result? There is no analysis of the current situation, there is no analysis of what our economy needs, what specialties it needs, what specialties it doesn’t need, what is the demand of the business, what unions say, what employers say about all these things. This is extremely important”, the Socialist lawmaker noted during an IPN debate on this subject.
Vladimir Odnostalko also criticized the government for not discussing with the actors involved and with the academic community the plans for reorganizing the universities before making them public. “These are complex and sensitive issues, which had to be discussed with each direction of education separately. This has not been done, as we can see from the reaction of absolutely all educational institutions that are now going through these liquidation processes. No sign of transparency here. You just took out a piece of paper and said: guys, this is how it’s going to be. Do you have any suggestions? Okay, let’s see them, but this is how it’s going to be anyway. This is the rhetoric of the talks today”, the Socialist declared. Also on transparency, the opposition lawmaker suggested that the Ministry of Education has a hidden agenda related to potential alienations of the properties administered by the institutions involved in the reorganization.
The Socialist believes that the proposed reform, being “essentially liberal”, is focused on optimizing resources to the detriment of “the development of the creator, the development of the specialist”. However, when asked by his opponent, the PAS deputy Virgiliu Pâslariuc, what would be the opposition’s vision regarding the university reorganization, Vladimir Odnostalko said that the government is the one that has to formulate proposals.
Vladimir Odnostalko spoke in particular about the Agrarian University (UASM), which is proposed to be absorbed by the Technical University. Giving the example of a commune mayor who, he says, cares more about his own village than about the others included in the commune, the Socialist lawmaker believes that the UASM will be sidelined following the reorganization. Instead, given that Moldova is an agrarian country, the Socialist MP believes that the state should strengthen the UASM, including by creating vocational retraining courses in value-added fields, and also by attaching research institutions to it.
The MP also mentioned the University of Taraclia, stating that if it is closed, “the whole district will die”, because it’s “an ethnic institution of higher education”. According to him, the reorganization of this institution is one of those “issues that should not be touched. We need peace.”
Also, Vladimir Odnostalco wondered why the reorganization process only targets state institutions, when there are many “very small” private educational institutions, which, according to him, would be advantaged after the reorganization.
The debate was the 255th installment of the “Political culture” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.