Prominent scientist registered with labour office

Slovakia may now face international shame.

Róbert BidulskýRóbert Bidulský (Source: TASR)

Scientist Róbert Bidulský, who decided to return from Italy to Slovakia, is currently registered with the labour office. Slovakia may now face international shame, according to the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party.

“I was addressed by first-class scientists who have achieved world successes in science and research and they have told me a horrible story of how a prominent scientist ended up in the labour office after arriving from Italy to Slovakia,” said SaS MP Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “His whole stay was covered by EU funds.”

In the beginning, the Technical University of Košice (TUKE) responded to the Education Ministry’s project, which was approved and the school received nearly €700,000. Part of the money was expected to be used for Bidulský’s reintegration to allow him to settle in Slovakia permanently and devote his time to science and research.

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Under the project’s conditions, the agreement with TUKE was to be valid until 2021. As the cooperation was terminated, the conditions have not been met. As a result, the school cannot draw the EU money.

“If TUKE’s management doesn’t come to its senses, we will turn to the European Commission,” Ďuriš Nicholsonová said, as quoted by SITA.

Moreover, Slovakia might face a fine, the TASR newswire wrote.

Bidulský plans to go abroad again

Dean of TUKE’s Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling, Iveta Vasková, did not explain why they ended the cooperation, according to the scientist.

“It was without discussion,” Bidulský said, as quoted by SITA. “The dean told me the law doesn’t allow her to voice the reasons.”

He returned to Slovakia to help improve the quality of science.

“The more successful in the world we were, the more trifles we had to deal with in our faculty’s management,” Bidulský said, as quoted by TASR. “The dean eventually told us she isn’t interested in further cooperation.”

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Bidulský, meanwhile, addressed both TUKE’s Rector, Stanislav Kmeťo, and Education Minister, Martina Lubyová, but none of them helped him solve the problem.

He says he does not want to burden Slovakia’s social system and return abroad. He does not know how long he will wait, as reported by TASR.

Vasková later repeated this explanation to SITA, stressing she cannot do it without the people’s written approval.

“Slovakia is witnessing brain drain, which is one of the most serious problems we are currently facing,” Ďuriš Nicholsonová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that most people who leave are graduates from medicine and technical specialisations.

About 14 percent of graduates go abroad just after leaving university. Every year, €44.8 million from public sources invested into education are lost, with both the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission calling on Slovakia to solve the problem, she added.

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