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Smieško: Slovak Universities to get less money from state next year

Slovak universities will get less money from the state next year, Council of Universities Chairman Viktor Smieško said on November 10. Smieško added that the universities will suffer a year-on-year drop of 2.9 percent in funding despite the fact that the Education Ministry’s overall budget is due to rise by 8.2 percent in 2010 to €2.35 billion. Smieško noted that spending on universities is supplemented by EU structural funds.

Slovak universities will get less money from the state next year, Council of Universities Chairman Viktor Smieško said on November 10. Smieško added that the universities will suffer a year-on-year drop of 2.9 percent in funding despite the fact that the Education Ministry’s overall budget is due to rise by 8.2 percent in 2010 to €2.35 billion. Smieško noted that spending on universities is supplemented by EU structural funds.

"The European Commission requests that the state do the bulk of the financing, and EU money represents an additional bonus only," said Smieško. "We spend little," he pointed out, highlighting that total spending is 2.9 percent less than last year and stressing that Slovakia invests less than 0.6 percent of its GDP in universities, while developed EU countries spend as much as 1.5 percent. The state budget for 2010 allocated €456.17 million for universities, science and social aid for university students. Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party, SNS) said in reaction that a period of austerity is planned for universities but EU structural funds could be used to top up the budget. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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