In Slovak academia, it doesn’t pay to be proved right

What supervising an undergraduate thesis taught me about how the system works (or doesn’t).

(Source: Unsplash)

I was recently lucky enough to supervise the bachelor-degree thesis of a Slovak undergraduate. The experience revealed, in microcosm, some admirable aspects of the Slovak education system, as well as some of its more retrograde features.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

My student – let us call him Milan – was interested in how disinformation was affecting Slovakia’s politics and foreign policy orientation. Disinformation was a live issue back in 2020, when we started discussing it, but mainly because of the way that Covid conspiracy narratives were distorting the public debate. The effect of disinformation in the foreign policy sphere was a less hot topic.

Still, it was hot enough to cause immediate jitters among those overseeing thesis subjects. It was not (so far as I could tell) that the presiding academics were politics-averse. It was more that they feared the subject’s topicality.

Cells more considerate than whole humans

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

A huge scale model of Banská Štiavnica.

Weekend: Bratislava is all set for summer

Meet Ukrainian cinematographer Leonid Burlaka through a screen, explore Slovak science, or hop on historical trams.

24. jun
Slovakia's former UN youth delegate Petra Pauerová.

The UN is only as good as we are, says Slovakia's former UN youth delegate

Petra Pauerová, a university student, talks about her experience as a UN youth delegate.

24. jun
Israeli artist Menachem Edelman-Landau who lives in Banská Štiavnica.

Life of Israeli artist changed forever after he painted a Slovak woman

Painter Menachem Edelman-Landau had to alter his travel plans after an unexpected event turned his life upside down.

20. jun
SkryťClose ad