The bachelor's degree granted to Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ján Richter and 37 of his classmates back in 2002 is fully in compliance with the law, Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič said in parliament on Thursday, June 28, referring to the outcome of a ministerial inspection.
The Education Ministry sent an inspection team to the Law Faculty of Matej Bel University (UMB) in Banská Bystrica after the Sme daily reported that UMB had granted a bachelor's degree to Richter at a time when his course was not accredited. Richter's bachelor's diploma bears the date January 19, 2002. Five months later, then-UMB rector Milan Murgaš said that no accreditation had been granted for UMB bachelor courses in law, meaning that there should have been no graduates with such a degree before then, the daily wrote.
However, Čaplovič said – as quoted by the TASR newswire – that the UMB was entitled to grant bachelor's degrees during that timeframe, something which he said was also confirmed by the Slovak Accreditation Committee. Čaplovič stressed that the diplomas were acquired in line with all the requirements. "So it's legitimate that he [Richter] has it, he achieved it legally and it isn't possible to cast any doubt on it," said Čaplovič.
However, Sme reports in today's issue that Čaplovič failed to answer a question posed by KDH deputy Pavol Zajac, who inquired about the name of the person at the UMB Law Faculty who signed the diploma. Sme reported in May that the diploma bears an illegible signature that does not belong to Pavol Kandráč, who at the time of Richter's study was the dean. If the diploma was signed by an unauthorised person it is not valid. The school denies any failing. The ministerial inspection lasted for seven weeks.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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