Rectors create an alternative platform to discuss less popular yet pressing issues

It was symbolically established on November 17.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Rectors of nine universities and colleges in Slovakia have created a new, independent platform. It should serve as an alternative to the officially presented line of the Slovak Rectors’ Conference (SRK).

The new platform was established symbolically on November 17.

“We don’t want our initiative to be perceived as a fight against somebody,” the rectors, who created the Alternative Platform of Slovak Rectors, wrote in a statement. “We want this platform to serve for free and open discussion about issues most representatives of Slovak universities pass in silence.”

Insufficient discussion

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Since the rectors do not want to remain silent about these issues, they decided to create a platform that will be open for all their colleagues. They also want to stress that the SRK is not a homogenous unit, although its presidium tries to create this image.

“Rectors should be strong personalities who aren’t afraid of presenting controversial or minority opinions, if they are convinced about them,” they continued, stressing they are prepared to discuss the future of Slovak university education.

They also think that the inner discussion between the representatives of schools, mostly in the SRK, is insufficient and inadequate given the current situation.

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“University education is at a crossroads and needs to decide what's next,” the rectors wrote, adding that students have to play an important role in the discussion, too.

Diversification of schools or university education

The new platform offers discussion on various topics, but it focuses mostly on these:

  • the diversification of universities and colleges in Slovakia;
  • the quality of education, and the meaning and structure of bachelor and master studies;
  • the management of universities and colleges, particularly stronger managerial competencies for rectors who bear responsibility for the operation of schools, and also tasks of academic senates or university boards;
  • inner mechanisms of university education;
  • discussion on the failures of individuals and the whole system;
  • the restoration of trust in universities and colleges.

The platform was created by Marek Števček of Comenius University in Bratislava, Miroslav Fikar of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Stanislav Kmeť of the Technical University of Košice, Pavol Sovák of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Jana Mojžišová of the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Bohunka Koklesová of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Juraj Stern of Pan-European University in Bratislava, Egon Krák of the Ján Albrecht Music and Art Academy in Banská Štiavnica, and Samuel Abrahám of the BISLA – Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts.

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