Prishtina University. Photo: BIRN.

Professor Suspended Over Accusations of Threatening, Abusing, Students

The University of Prishtina has suspended Professor Bekim Bejta from his post after students accused him of using offensive language and behaviour for years.

After more than 10 years of student confrontations with him, the Senate of the University of Pristina suspended Professor Bejta from his job on Wednesday.

Over the years, students of the Department of English Language and Literature of the Faculty of Philology have accused him of making threats and being abusive.

“The UP Senate has unanimously decided that Professor Bejta be suspended from his position at the University of Prishtina, where he is prohibited from any engagement with students and faculty,” UP stated on its website. 

The disciplinary measure will last at least six months, until the end of the disciplinary procedure initiated in the Council of Ethics and the final decision by this body.

The Senate confirmed that on Wednesday it discussed concerns regarding the allegedly non-academic and unethical behavior of the professor, after complaints and denunciations were presented and repeated to the Ethics Council.

“The Senate of the University of Prishtina takes allegations of unethical and unacademic language and behavior seriously and will not tolerate any behavior that harms the well-being and educational experience of students,” the university said.

Students say no measures were taken for years, despite continuous complaints

“Generations of students over the years have had problems with Professor Bejta. He would threaten or verbally abuse students in front of everybody. Despite complaints to the Faculty of Philology, we did not see any measures taken against him,” a former student of Bejta, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Prishtina Insight.

Another former student of the English department says that despite finishing her studies years ago, she is ‘still horrified when the name of Bekim Bejta is mentioned’. 

“Bringing attention to the unprofessional, inhumane behavior of Professor Bekim Bejta makes me happy as much as it makes me sad. It makes me happy because finally something was done. It saddens me because no one dealt with this for years, despite numerous complaints, and I and many other students have had to suffer the consequences of institutional inaction”, says the former student, who prefers to stay anonymous. 

She claims that ‘the English department and the management of the Faculty have been fully aware of this, but they have failed to provide a good working environment and qualitative teaching for years. 

“[University of Prishtina] Rector, Qerimi, stated that this unit [the Faculty of Philology] has never filed any complaint against Professor Bejta, and this is a great misfortune for the professional and academic integrity of this institution. The only answer to the psychological torture, accusations, and insults of Professor Bejta is his immediate dismissal and accountability for his actions and behavior”, the source concludes. 

The former chairman of the Students’ Parliament, Edon Nishori, who is now a representative of the Student Council of the Faculty of Philology, said he had even received death threats from the professor.

“He threatened me too, saying ‘I will kill you!’ We were not afraid of him and we’re not. He used all the forms, the rudest that could be used, against students,” he told Prishtina Insight.

According to him, the professor also called some students “spies”.

“The professor has a way of managing to have 3-4 students in each department and through them he threatens other students; he gets information about who is with whom. During lectures, whoever walked through the corridors, he would come out and tell them: ‘You are a spy’.”

“I think he is mentally ill, he has no place at the University of Prishtina. He is paranoid, he thinks the whole world is conspiring against him,” continued Nishori.

BIRN sought a statement from Professor Bejta but received no response by the time of publication.

Two weeks ago, an audio recording was published on the online media “” in which professor Bejta can be heard addressing a female student with degrading language. 

On April 6, activists of the student organization Study, Criticism and Action, SKV, protested in front of the Rectorate of the University of Prishtina, with the request that measures be taken against Bejta, who teaches at the Faculty of Philology.

Meanwhile, Nishori from the Student Council says the professor has been denounced for 11 years, but they did not have the support of the university management to take measures against him.

“The most critical point of this case was in 2018, but they [university mechanism] left the Students’ Council alone. Even though we have been working without the media for two years now, we reported the cases. We needed a critical voice in the English Department to report the case.”

Nishori says that some students left their studies halfway through because of Professor Bejta.

“We have writings from students that say: ‘He ruined my life’, ‘I couldn’t breathe in his classes’. He has a subject that he teaches every semester.”

“There was a case when a student had the last name Nagavci, like the Minister of Education, Arbërie Nagavci, and the professor got angry with her and did not pass her in that subject,” he claimed.

Neither the Council of Ethics nor the Department of English Language at the Faculty of Philology responded to questions from Prishtina Insight about whether they previously received complaints from students about the professor and if they took any measures in the past.

The Council of Students of the Faculty protested on Wednesday in Prishtina, demanding the removal of the professor from the university. Nishori says that they will use different ways until reaching their goal.

“We will exert pressure, we will probably go on a hunger strike until the Council of professors gives a recommendation to expel the professor. We will block the faculty,” he concluded.

and 12/04/2023 - 17:30

12 April 2023 - 17:30

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.