About 500 students gathered in front of the Trenčín local government headquarters on Monday, April 4, and demanded an apology from Mayor Richard Rybníček who reportedly stated that their school, Alexander Dubček University, does not make any contribution to the town, the TASR newswire reported.
"The mayor said about the school that it's bad and doesn't represent any contribution to the town. We students feel offended by the statement," TASR was told by one of the student organisers, Martin Grenčík, who added that the students view the university as well-managed, pointing to the fact that the School of Social and Economic Relations has received accreditation from the Education Ministry.
Mayor Rybníček said in response to the rally that he wants to see a quality university in the town. He stressed, however, that the whole discussion emerged following his private discussion with university Rector Ivan Kneppo who subsequently provided details of the talk to the media. Rybníček apologised to the students for causing them further trouble because of his statements but maintained his opinion that there is something wrong with the university.
TASR wrote that the university made headlines in 2009 with a scandal involving degrees awarded quickly to certain students and that the involved students were allowed to keep their degrees.
The situation involving Rybníček's opinions about the university emerged after he refused to extend rental contracts for 27 flats owned by the town to the university at a price between €50 and €150, which is ten-fold less than market price. Following that action Rector Kneppo considered moving the university to a different location, TASR wrote.
The university was established as one of several new universities in 1997. Essentially a technology or technical university, it was originally called Trenčín University and was renamed Alexander Dubček University in 2002, the year that marked the 20th anniversary of his death, TASR reported.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Apr 2011 at 10:00