SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: July 15, 2022

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University

Region & Country:Europe | Ukraine

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 15, 2022, Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University expelled a fourth-year student for a social media post. In the post, she suggested that she did not support either side in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and to “accept the enemy with kindness”, according to RBC Ukraine.

In a statement, the university shared that an urgent meeting of administrators was called regarding the post. During the meeting, the administration decided to expel the student and shared information about the incident with state law enforcement agencies.

SAR has not verified if the expulsion process followed university procedure and whether the student was appropriately notified of the decision.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the expulsion of a student for exercising their right to freedom of expression – conduct which is protected by international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Ukraine is a party. University authorities must refrain from taking action to restrict nonviolent expressive activity. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, the expulsion of a student for expressive activity undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.