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Minister will not report on Trenčín University affair

Parliament decided on Tuesday, October 27, that Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party (SNS)) will not have to report to MPs over a case involving Alexander Dubček University in Trenčín. The university has allegedly granted degrees that usually require five years of study to some students after just a few months.

Parliament decided on Tuesday, October 27, that Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party (SNS)) will not have to report to MPs over a case involving Alexander Dubček University in Trenčín. The university has allegedly granted degrees that usually require five years of study to some students after just a few months.

The main three opposition parties - the Slovak Christian-Democratic Union (SDKÚ), Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) and Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) – had earlier in the day appealed to Mikolaj to report to parliament about the case. Mikolaj refused, saying that politics should not enter the affair. However, if it emerges through an inspection that the university has been granting degrees in an inappropriate way it may lose its accreditation and the right to bestow university degrees, the TASR newswire quoted the minister as saying on October 26.

According to media reports, the daughter of Daniel Banóci, the dean of the School of Social and Economic Sciences at the university, obtained a degree that usually takes five years of study in just a few months. Banóci's daughter, Daniela Banóciová, took her final exams in June 2007, when her father was still the vice-dean. Under the University Act, it is only possible to obtain 60 credits per year, and Banóciová's degree required a total of 300.

Trenčín University has been accused of similar practices in the past, for granting degrees to part-time students after just two years of study.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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