PRISTINA (Reuters) - Police in Kosovo used pepper spray and batons to disperse hundreds of students demanding the resignation of the head of Pristina’s state university on Thursday over reports their professors had forged academic works.
At least five police officers were injured when students threw rocks as they tried to enter the university building, a police spokeswoman said. Dozens of students also received medical treatment.
A flurry of reports in the Kosovo media have accused professors at the university of publishing works in fake online journals in order to further their academic credentials.
The controversy has struck a nerve in Kosovo, where corruption is rife and the education system is widely regarded as politicised and of poor quality.
In parliament, opposition parties called for the resignation of the university’s governing body. The police and prosecution have taken no action over the reports.
“Special police forces should get out of the university because you cannot protect ignorance with repression,” said Afrim Kasolli, a deputy from the opposition Self-determination political party.
The government has suggested a review of all academic work published since 1990.
Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Matt Robinson and Tom Heneghan