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Debate ensues over higher education

THE ACCREDITATION Committee is currently evaluating six projects to establish private universities in Slovakia. Education analysts, however, say that Slovakia does not need more universities than it currently has.

Libor Vozár, the chairman of the Council of Universities, told the daily Hospodárske noviny that Slovakia has too many universities. Although he welcomes an influx of private capital into higher education, he thinks Slovakia should avoid the situation in which Poland finds itself: universities with varying levels of quality.

The president of the Slovak Rector Conference, Juraj Sinay, thinks that newly established universities would have to invite professors from abroad to teach, and these instructors would likely not have time for consultations with students or research.

On the other hand, Andrej Salner from the Institute for A Well Managed Society is enthusiastic about the establishment of new universities in Slovakia. He says that the demand for non-paid state university education exceeds the capacity of existing universities every year.

The Education Ministry agrees with Salner's argument. "If there is a demand, there is no reason why universities should not be established," said Monika Múrová, the Ministry's spokesperson. The Ministry wants to emphasise quality as well as quantity, she added.

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