On Tuesday, the President of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, signed an amendment to the Higher Education Act. TASR was informed about it by its spokesman Martin Strižinec. The legislative change will shorten the external study to five years, among other things, the election of the rector will be adjusted.
The aim of the amendment is a systemic change in the management of public universities with the intention of modernization in order to make decision-making processes at the level of universities and faculties more flexible. In particular, the method of appointing the Rector, the composition of the University Board of Trustees, the establishment of faculty bodies, the competence of the University Academic Senate and the Board of Trustees of a public university will be strengthened by strengthening the position of the Board of Trustees.
The Rector’s candidate will be elected by an electoral assembly composed of members of the Senate and the Board of Directors, by an absolute majority of votes. A novelty is the public hearing of candidates at a meeting of the Electoral Assembly. A member of the academic senate or the administrative board of the university will not be able to run for rector during the performance of the function of a member of the senate or the council. A member of the Executive Board of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education will be able to run at the earliest three years after the end of membership.
The dean of the faculty will be able to serve a new position for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The university will be able to determine in its statute that the position of dean is filled by election. If this is not adjusted, the function should be filled by a selection procedure. They will also regulate the conditions for dismissing the dean so that there is no “arbitrary exercise of the rector’s competence in relation to the dean”.
The Academic Senate will approve the budget of the public university, with the subsequent approval of the Board of Trustees. A 45-day deadline has also been set for the Senate to have to discuss important strategy papers. It is supposed to be a protective mechanism. The representation of students in the academic senate of a public university should make up one third.
The method of filling the positions of university teachers and the positions of professors and associate professors will also be adjusted. A better and more open set-up of the process should be achieved, and public scrutiny should be involved. Performance contracts concluded between the ministry and the relevant university are defined in order to increase the quality of education. The change will also affect the division of accreditations of the habilitation procedure and the inauguration procedure.
The changes also respond to the situation in Ukraine. In the case of persons who are granted asylum or protection, proof of attainment of the required level of education should be replaced by an affidavit and a general study test.
Among other things, a new type of scholarships will be introduced following the recovery plan, to be provided as a matter of priority by the ministry. These are scholarships for “top doctoral students, top graduates, students at top universities”. Provision is also made for the provision of a “sports” scholarship as a special form of incentive scholarship.
The amendment is to take effect on April 25.
Source: Pravda – Správy by spravy.pravda.sk.
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