FOUR universities may lose their title of ‘university’ as of September 1, 2013, the Education Ministry proposed as reported by the SITA newswire.
The proposal is based on the Accreditation Commission’s decision to strip the universities of their status due to their failure to improve some of the issues in revealed in the process of comprehensive accreditation of universities in 2009. The proposal still needs to be approved by the parliament.
A university is a school that provides education in study programmes at all three levels (bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD), and conducts research. A high school is a lower-level school which provides education on the first two levels only, and is not required to pursue research.
The four universities in question are two state universities – the Police Academy in Bratislava and the Military Forces Academy of M. R. Štefánik in Liptovský Mikuláš, and two public universities – the Trenčín University of Alexander Dubček and the János Selye University in Komárno, the only university with Hungarian as a language of instruction in Slovakia.
Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič and the government proxy for national minorities László Nagy met over the issue on July 13.
The proposal is not necessarily a final verdict, Nagy stressed after the meeting, adding that he hopes for the János Selye University to retain its status, even though its requalification to a high school is a lawful process. Nagy expects “certain benevolence” in the case of the Hungarian university, since it’s the only one of its kind in Slovakia, SITA reported.
Čaplovič is opposed to such arguments and denies that the issue is political.
“Everywhere around the world a university is a high school that apart from teaching does also research,” he said as quoted by SITA.
All the universities that will lose their current status will be eligible to undergo the process of comprehensive accreditation again in 2014 and win their title back.