Ukraine PM urges to scrap investment in Science Academy, directly invest in “science” instead

23.09.2016, Ukraine.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groysman addressed the Parliament with an offer to change the philosophy of financing education and scientific and technical field, and to start investing budget funds in science instead of the Academy of Science, Ukrainian media informed.

As for the Academy of Science. I want to support the initiative of financing science instead of the Academy of Science. This is my point of view, and I am ready to discuss it. We must invest in science and provide for the development of the country. If we are going to finance the Academy of Science, we shall finance the overhaul, buildings, which is not acceptable,” Groysman said.

The statements of Groysman make one wonder if the Ukrainian Government is about to declare war on the scientific institutions of Ukraine. The National Academy of Science of Ukraine is a self-governing state-funded organization. It is the main research institution along with five other academies that specialize in various scientific disciplines. The Academy consists of numerous departments, sections, research institutes, scientific centers and various other supporting scientific organizations solely focused on scientific work. As of 2013, 55.5% of all published Ukrainian articles and 19.4% of Ukrainian monographs published in the international sources belong to the National Academy of Science. However, the speculations on the inefficiency of the Academy of Science appear in the Ukrainian media from time to time. Already in 2016 the financing of the Academy was cut down to 88 million euro, which is 25 million euro less than its minimum requirements.

Because of the drastic finance situation, the Academy of Science adopted the decision (January 1st, 2016) on the reorganization, integration or termination of the inefficient scientific centers or institutions. Many of the well-known scientific institutes faced the grim possibility of being closed. One example is the famous Frantsevich Institute for Problems in Materials Science. According to some sources, the scientific staff of this Institute is currently employed only 2 full days per week.

In March and June 2016 Ukrainian scientists protested against the cutting of financing. Each time Ukrainian government promised to increase financing. According to the draft of the national budget of 2017, the Government is indeed planning to increase the funding up to around 100 million euro, which is still by 10% lower than in 2013. Taking into account the significant increase in the rates for public utilities, it can be expected that the scientific institutions and centers will not be able to pay the bills in 2017. The draft of the national budget of 2017 also assumes that the National Academy of Science and other specialized academies should organize the land auctions to lease out the state-owned lands. It should be stressed that the National Academy of Science owns a very expensive real estate often located in the historical or prestige parts of the cities and towns.

 

Source: Ukrainian media

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