The changing demographic curve, the pandemic and a chance for studying abroad have impacted universities in Slovakia. Hundreds of programmes are expected to close soon.
The Slovak Accreditation Agency has called on students to make sure their programmes will open next academic year, the Korzár daily reported.
The Comenius University in Bratislava, the biggest and oldest university in Slovakia, has alone closed about 200 programmes, followed by the University in Prešov with nearly 200 programmes and Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica with 150 study programmes.
The ongoing situation with the student shortage at universities started to accelerate two years ago. Closing study programmes less likely to gain students and seen as not having prospects is a natural process, university administrations say.
"More than half of the universities have sent an overview of the programmes they are keeping," Robert Redhammer, head of the executive board of the accreditation agency, told Korzár. Based on the data they provided, the agency estimates that about one third of all programmes will be scrapped by this September, compared to September 2020, when schools were offering the largest number of study programmes in recorded history.
This means that so far, 900 study programmes have been scrapped at Slovak universities and the agency expects the number to grow by another 1,000 before the start of the next academic year, Korzár noted.
Closing programmes a delicate issue