All Slovak university students who submit a graduation thesis will now have to agree to it being published online. Their permission will be required in order for them to be admitted to defend their thesis. Under an amendment to the law on universities, which the Slovak Parliament passed on Tuesday, December 14, only habilitation theses (used to achieve the highest academic qualifications) that are published as a book that is publicly available will be exempt.
Among other things, the new law is intended to limit plagiarism. From September 1, 2011, Bachelors, Masters, dissertation and habilitation theses will have to be published on one website. Students already have to submit the theses for which they receive their degrees to libraries. MP Dušan Čaplovič (Smer) expressed his opposition to the amendment, stating that this might make theses the subject of academic theft. Former Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party (SNS)) does not agree with the new bill either, as it requires approval for the publication of theses which may be faulty or have not been defended yet.
Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKÚ) MP Beblavý disagreed with the criticism. “We are only moving them from a local library to a global library,” he argued, pointing out that today the theses are available in libraries and moreover, they were written with the help of public funds.
Parliament rejected an amendment to the Criminal Code submitted by SNS MPs Ján Slota and Rafael Rafaj. The draft suggested that rewinding odometers in vehicles would become a criminal offence. The Ministry of Interior argued that manipulating data on a vehicle’s odometer can already be classified as a criminal offence of ‘unfair commercial practices against the consumer’ according to the Criminal Code.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Dec 2010 at 14:00