Universities get poor grade

SLOVAK universities do not prepare their students in line with the expectations of the private sector, according to a survey conducted by the European Association of Universities. The survey claims that Slovak faculties still offer study programs that are of little use in practical life situations. The association visited 10 public universities this year in the course of its study.

Slovakia has 20 public, 3 state and 10 private universities.

Each year the state supports universities with more than Sk10 billion in public money, which represents 0.7 percent of GDP. The European average for state support of universities is 1 percent of GDP.

According to the European Association of Universities, Žilina University faces problems gaining top academics because of the low wages offered in comparison with the private sector. The university also reports a high number of dropouts among students - more than 40 percent - who leave the university after the first school year, the Pravda daily wrote.

The Economic University in Bratislava and the Technical University in Košice were advised to deepen their contacts with the private sphere.

The Slovak Education Ministry plans to address the situation in a revised University Law, which should make changes to improve the quality of university education.

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