In the strange land that is Croatia, many fairly simple things seem to find themselves the subject of bizarre questions. A man wondering whether or not he is a student is one of them.
Just when you thought bureaucracy and inexplicable amounts of red tape couldn’t get any worse.
Mario Miletic, a Dubrovnik local, softly reached out to me recently and told me the story of his unbelievably ridiculous ordeal, before linking me to an article, which, if you’re able to read Croatian, you can see by clicking here. To keep it brief for now, Mario is the first person in Croatia who, amazingly, cannot safely say whether or not he is a student. Yes, you read that correctly. His status as a student at the University of Dubrovnik, he says, is disputed and uncertain, and the Split Administrative Court is involved.
Owing to this odd dispute over his status, the frustrated Mario filed a lawsuit against the university he attended and as such was the first student to ever bring such legal action against the Dubrovnik higher education institution. His story goes all the way back to the year 2012. As Mario says, after launching a petition against a certain professor and from then on, he is constantly dancing around various different documents, not a new story when it comes to paper on paper on paper (and not in the good way). He is 35 years old, and began his further education somewhat later in life than the norm, on the basis of this, Mario emphasises that he is clearly no longer a naive, young person who is afraid to face the system and simply suffer in silence – as many sadly do. Mario also selflessly stresses that he doesn’t want future generations, especially younger people, to have to deal with and go through the mind-boggling ordeal he and several of his fellow students are experiencing.
So far, Mario has filed a total of eight criminal charges against responsible persons at the University of Dubrovnik. He filed a report to the Ethics Committee and the first administrative lawsuit since the foundation of the University.
The response from the University of Dubrovnik’s spokesperson was that Mario’s charges are unfounded. ”Mario Miletic filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court in Split against the University of Dubrovnik and the proceedings are pending. By the decision of the Administrative Court, the status of Mario Miletic was put into an idle state until the end of the procedure.”
The Public Relations Department of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County police say they have conducted an inquest into the situation and went about the job based on the order of the Municipal State Attorney’s Office in Dubrovnik. They declined to comment further or provide more information on the matter due to legal regulations and keeping the investigation of criminal offences secret.
And so Mario’s bizarre predicament goes on and it seems the world of the Uhljeb only evolves. Image attending an educational institution to study and not knowing whether or not you’re a student?