Rector: Relocation of Academy of Security Sciences to Narva must be meaningful
The new Estonian government coalition's wish to relocate the Academy of Security Sciences from Tallinn to Narva must receive clear political support and be meaningful, the rector of the institution said.
"We're awaiting a clear political decision," rector Katri Raik told BNS on Monday. "Broadly speaking, there are three questions: who is going to teach, who will be taught, and where will the funds to relocate this institution come from?" It is an issue that will require thorough consideration as well as a very clear and unambiguous decision, she emphasized.
A 2011 survey showed that two third of professors and staff polled were against relocating the academy to Narva, she recalled.
When it comes to academic staff, it must be taken into consideration that lecturers paid by the hour account for one fifth of the volume of study at the institution as it seeks to engage the best practitioners in their fields in teaching, and it would not be a paying proposition if they had to travel to Narva, the rector explained.
Speaking about future students, she said it was unclear how and under what conditions Southern Estonian cadets, for example, could make it to Narva to study.
Touching on the third big question, Raik brought up the cost of building a new complex for the institution. Construction of a complex including dormitories and sports facilities would cost an estimated 50 million euros, she said. Around 15 million euros could be sourced from EU funds, but the state would nonetheless have to make up the remaining 35 million euros.
"I was rather skeptical about this idea even earlier, when I worked at the University of Tartu Narva College, and my principal argument at the time was that there had been no discussion on the substantive side," the rector recalled, adding that she had not seen serious substantive analysis in her current position either.
The incoming government coalition pledged in its coalition agreement to work out a program for the support of Ida-Viru County, including the necessary investments in infrastructure and improving life quality, likewise stating its intention to relocate the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences to Narva.