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Critics: Students left to fend for themselves

Students have been let down in the Penkowa case, say Student Council and student assistants' union

Milena Penkowa’s former students were left on their own, and forced to learn about the fraud case through the media.

This is according to several students quoted in the Danish section of this media

One former student even says that most of her knowledge of the case was through journalists asking her for information.

University should have taken action

The case highlights the university management’s responsibility towards the student assistants’ and PhD students’ working environment, the Student Council claims. Warnings by student assistant Kristian Kolind of Milena Penkowa’s false accusations against him, may have been ignored by management for a long period of time.

»What happened to this student is completely unheard of,« says chairman of the student council at the University of Copenhagen, Ea Busch-Petersen.

»It is hard to prevent a trusted member of staff from abusing her or his position, but if it happens, the university must take proper care of the student who has been affected,« she says.

In a part of the Milena Penkowa case that came forward some months ago, PhD students who worked with her were sidelined, and now ask for their work to be disassociated from hers.

Bottom of the hierarchy

Student assistants are at the absolute bottom of the university hierarchy, says chairman of the trade union for student assistants SUL, Tenna Malene von Cappeln. This was made clear when student assistant Kristian Kolind tried to make the University aware that he was found to be innocent of Penkowa’s fraud.

»The statement by the head legal consultant of Rector’s Office that the University had no way of knowing what the facts were in the case, is just another example of what many student assistants face. Statements like these tend to make students keep their mouths shut, and here Kristian Kolind is not the only case,« Tenna Malene von Cappeln says.

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