Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič is to arrange an inspection at the university which in 2007 granted a doctorate to Ján Figeľ, leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the SITA newswire wrote.
“We will ask the Accreditation Committee to check the published information,” Education Ministry spokesperson Michal Kaliňák said, as reported by SITA.
Kaliňák also said that the checks would prove whether it is possible for a student of one specialisation to submit a thesis in a completely different field.
The Sme daily reported on August 6 that Figeľ, who studied social work at St Elizabeth’s School of Medicine and Social Work in Bratislava, submitted a thesis concerning European integration based on which the university granted him a PhD. It also reported that the final work had several important shortcomings, but that Figeľ’s opponent when he defended the thesis, current rector Vladimír Krčméry, as well as head of the exam committee Alžbeta Mrázová, said that they took into consideration Figeľ’s position in the EC, the daily wrote. Figeľ served as Slovakia’s first European commissioner between 2004 and 2009.
Krčméry said that the ministry had checked all the graduates and PhD students in 2009 and 2010 without finding any errors. However, Kaliňák claimed that there had been no checks at all.
Meanwhile, several politicians, including KDH members, have criticised Figeľ’s PhD.
“I consider it embarrassing and I agree that it [strips Figeľ] of the remaining authority he had,” said KDH MP Radoslav Procházka, as quoted by SITA.
If the ministry inspectors find any discrepancies, the school might lose its right to grant academic titles and to offer PhD courses, SITA wrote.
Sources: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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