The Pristina University with the seat in Mitrovica North was, is and will be part of the educational system of the Republic of Serbia, and there is no compromise about it, said Rade Grbic, Rector of the University.
The Serbian List MP in the Assembly of Kosovo, Igor Simic says that none of the Serbian List MPs will vote on a law that would allow the inclusion of that university into the Kosovo education system.
The Pristina University, relocated to Mitrovica North after 1999, is the only higher education institution in the Serbian language that also conducts classes according to the plan of the Government of Serbia.
The draft Law on Higher Education in Kosovo provides that the statute, organization and internal procedures of that institution be “in accordance with the central legislative framework of Kosovo”.
The Kosovo Ministry of Education says it is “unreasonable that the institution in Kosovo continues to function according to the Serbian plan and program”.
Rector of the Serbian University in Mitrovica north, Rade Grbic, visiting the RTS News, reminded that the right to education is one of the basic human rights. He sees the Pristina’s announcement as an attempt to stifle the human rights of Serbs in Kosovo, and adds the ultimate goal is to lead the Serbs to the assimilation or emigration.
Membership of the University in international organizations, Grbic believes, is a kind of protection from the Pristina’s intention.
“The University with a temporary headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica is an equal member of the Conference of Universities of the Republic of Serbia and, more importantly, an equal member of the European University Association, where we are registered as a university in the education system of the Republic of Serbia with teaching in the Serbian language, so it presents the significant protection of our university,” explains Grbic.
Another in a series of pressures
Grbic says that no one from Pristina has contacted him in connection with the eventual change in the status of the Serbian university.
“The unequivocal attitude of all students, teachers, employees is that there is no compromise around the University. This university was and will remain in the education system of the Republic of Serbia, and every other solution, the change in the status of this university would call into question the survival of the Serbian national being in Kosovo and Metohija “, warns the Rector.
However, in order for a law that would allow the change of University status to be adopted, the votes of the Serbian List are necessary.
The Serbian List MP in Assembly of Kosovo, Igor Simic told RTS that the announcement from Pristina is another in a series of pressures.
“They know very well that the Pristina University with temporary headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica is one of the pillars of the Serbs’ survival in this region, and that is why it is thorn in the eye primarily of those who want to take the north of Kosovo,” says Simic.
He notes that he would not be surprised by any Pristina’s unilateral actions. Nevertheless, he points to the fact that, legally speaking, the Law on Higher Education in Kosovo cannot be adopted without four votes of the Serbian List MPs.
“Serbs will not allow this in any way, nor will any MP of the Serbian List support such a scenario,” Simic explains.