Polish science and education ministry threatens universities

Representatives of the Anti-Fascist Student Committee in agreement with the Polish National Women Strike, protest against the tightening of the abortion law in Poland in front of the University of Warsaw, in Warsaw, Poland. [EPA-EFE/RAFAL GUZ]

Some Polish universities could lose government funds after they cancelled compulsory classes currently held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday and allowed students to participate in protests against the Constitutional Tribunal’s abortion ruling, Education and Science Minister Przemysław Czarnek has warned.

“Please do not forget that I am competent to distribute investment funds for universities, research funds and other grants. The ministry will take into account the recent actions of the authorities of these universities,” Czarnek added.

The early completion of classes at some of the universities put students at risk and had “exposed them to the danger of losing their health and life due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the education minister added.

The decision to cancel part of the classes was taken, among others, by the authorities of the University of Wrocław, Wrocław University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk.

Part of the classes were cancelled to give students the choice of whether to take part in demonstrations, explained Wroclaw University Rector, Professor Przemysław Wiszewski, who said he did not urge anyone to do anything. (Anna Wolska | EURACTIV.pl)

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