UCU demands impartial expert consideration of allegations about plagiarism against Acting Minister of Education: He must resign if they are proved correct
Despite the well-founded accusations that educational community has levelled at Serhiy Shkarlet (violation of academic integrity, lack of an open public opinion on key issues and principles of the reform of Ukrainian education, ignoring the position of the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Education), the Cabinet of Ministers appointed Shkarlet Acting Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The UCU administration met the appointment with severe criticism.
"Prime Minister Denys Shmygal's reference to the President's meeting with rectors of two dozen universities on June 2 doesn't bear scrutiny. There were no preliminary consultations with all the rectors present at the meeting, nor there was voting. If the reference to the meeting is the only legitimation of the government's decision, it is deplorable that the Presidential Office resorted to such manipulation, convening a meeting during the quarantine for the sole purpose - creating the appearance of legitimizing their desire to put Rector Shkarlet in the Minister's chair," - the statement of the UCU reads.
The UCU administration is surprised that the authorities have not investigated the grave accusation of plagiarism against the candidate for the post of Minister and openly ignores the fears of the authoritative academic community.
UCU advises to take after civilized countries in dealing with such cases:
"Given such grave allegations of academic dishonesty, the candidate for the post of head of the Ministry of Education and Science, and now the so-called Minister, should either apply to the competent authorities for an independent and transparent investigation or (if convinced of his rightness) to go to court to refute these accusations. We talk about a deliberate violation of professional ethics, which underlies the viability and productivity of the educational and scientific community, crucial for the capital and the culture of trust as the main sign of the authenticity of the academic world. Nothing is more corrupt than stealing other people's thoughts and texts. It is the source of further corruption - falsification of research results, scientists' conspiracy of citing each other, bribes to get higher marks, cheating and a multitude of other things."
UCU expects unbiased expert consideration of allegation about plagiarism:
"We hope that The National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance will do it aptly and professionally. Provided these allegations are correct, we will have little choice but to demand the resignation of Acting Minister Serhiy Shkarlet and the appointment of a person with an impeccable reputation."
Also, UCU is waiting to hear the public position of the newly appointed 'Acting Minister' regarding his readiness to continue the course of reforms initiated by the three previous heads of the Ministry after the Revolution of Dignity, as well as on certain steps of the Ministry in this regard.