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Baltic and Czech Universities Withdraw From the Organisation CESAER, Which Refuses to Exclude Russian University From it’s Membership

27th of February
The Ukrainian flag has been waving on RTU Ķīpsala campus for two years, since the war started by Russia, in solidarity with Ukrainians in their struggle for independence. Photo by Elīna Karaseva, RTU

The leading technical universities of the Baltics and the Czech Republic, in solidarity with Ukraine and underlining their commitment to fundamental human values and international law, are withdrawing from the Conference of European Scools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), because, after lengthy discussions, it has not, in the context of war in Europe, excluded from its membership the university of the aggressor Russia - Tomsk Polytechnic University, which openly supports the Russian war in Ukraine. Nor has the CESAER Board of Directors voted to make it clear that this Russian university has no place in the organisation.

Riga Technical University (RTU), Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Kaunas University of Technology and the Czech Technical University in Prague have all opted out of CESAER, which plans and develops policy initiatives to shape European Union higher education and science policy in engineering studies, research and innovation.

«After extensive discussions, taking into account our institutional principles, we regret to announce that Tallinn University of Technology, Riga Technical University and Kaunas University of Technology are withdrawing from CESAER,» says the letter addressed to CESAER President Rik Van de Walle and Secretary General Mattias Björnmalm and signed by the Rectors of the three universities - Tiit Land, Tālis Juhna and Eugenijus Valatka respectively.

The rectors stress in the letter that the decision to leave CESAER is rooted in the strong conviction of all three Baltic universities to support peace and stability and to respect international law, which is why CESAER's current position of only suspending the mandate of Tomsk Polytechnic University but not expelling it from the organisation is unacceptable to the universities, even though this university openly supports Russian aggression and efforts to destroy the independence of the Ukrainian state.

The decision of the Baltic and Czech universities to leave CESAER was not taken suddenly and hastily, but after lengthy discussions in which these universities argued for several months to persuade CESAER to exclude Tomsk Polytechnic University from its membership. Unfortunately, CESAER ignored this initiative of the Baltic States. RTU, on the other hand, already two years ago, immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, withdrew from cooperation with Russian universities and scientific institutions.

RTU was admitted to the Belgium-based CESAER in 2015, having demonstrated its compliance with the organisation's high criteria for study, science and innovation in the pre-entry assessment and accreditation process.

CESAER was founded in 1990 and is made up of around 60 leading technical universities from more than 20 countries.

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