The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SAAHE) is starting to address doctoral students of Slovak universities with the opportunity to answer questions concerning the quality of studies at the third level (Ph.D.) of higher education. The results of the survey will be used as a basis for proposals to improve the conditions of the provision of education at the highest level of higher education.
“We want students to have the opportunity to have a direct say on the quality of education. The survey allows every doctoral student to get involved,” says Robert Redhammer, chair of the Agency’s Executive Board. “In formulating the questions, we have drawn on international best practice – the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, the so-called ESG, as well as the International Agreement on Higher Education Qualifications in Europe,” he adds.
The questions in the questionnaire also focus on the flexibility of study, experience with supervisors, projects, and mobility, as well as the availability of scientific literature, technical infrastructure, and the possibilities of publishing Ph.D. students’ work results. It also addresses the social and economic aspects of studying and provides space for ideas to improve their studies.
As the third level is intended to be linked to scientific research, some of the questions are also devoted to the research work and scientific results of the relevant departments of the universities and students.
Doctoral students of Slovak universities and their recent graduates will be contacted. In Slovakia, 5 750 students are studying at the third level of higher education, of whom approximately 41 % are studying in the external form.
The responses will be processed in bulk and the anonymity of the respondents will be preserved. The overall results will be published in the form of a summary report on the SAAHE website. Where the number of respondents allows, sorting by groups of study fields is also envisaged.