NEKKAR – Bekřa Upel Urana, the leader of the liberal-conservative Parti Askandats (PA, Progress Party), wants to upgrade the international position of Řots universities. Apart from reserving some money to improve the overall quality of the country’s five universities, he has suggested that the universities should adopt Ingerish as their first language, in order to increase their accessibility for foreign students and investors. “A healthy education sector is beneficial for our country’s economy”, Bekřa Upel Urana said. “In the last ten years, successive governments have neglected our universities; the PA would like to change that.”
Prime minister Kar Basil Ītase, the leader of the socialdemocrat Řosu Parti Paressevuda (ŘPP, Workers’ Party of Řots), calls the idea to introduce Ingerish as the first language on universities ‘preposterous’. “The universities’ educational and financial situation is far from dramatic, so I don’t think that this proposition to throw away our native language to get a little bit more money can be considered serious”, she said, dismissing Bekřa Upel Urana’s words as election rhetoric. The universities themselves indicated however that they weren’t necessarily against the idea, but as only a few professors master Ingerish at an acceptable level, more than ‘some money’ would be required to organise the necessary language courses.
The next parliamentary elections in Řots will take place on 30 August. The PA, which used to be one of Řots’s largest political parties, surprisingly lost all of its seats during the 2011 elections; polls indicate however a big comeback.