The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education has decided to cancel 135 accreditations of habilitation and inauguration proceedings. The decision was made based on the specific applications from higher education institutions.
This is a new possibility of cancelling accreditation rights without restricting universities in the future, which was introduced by the previous amendment to the Act on Quality Assurance of Higher Education last year.
‘Accreditation of habilitation and inauguration proceedings are rights of universities tied to a specific discipline, based on which they can organize the procedure, assess the candidate, and decide on his/her appointment as a professor with the President of the Republic. As this is a proceeding that ends with the appointment of the candidate by the Head of State, the process is regulated by a specific ministerial decree and monitored by the public. However, according to the latest amendment to the Higher Education Act, such an appointment with the Head of State does not also guarantee appointment as a professor at the university,‘ said Robert Redhammer, chai of the Agency’s Executive Board.
The Agency has previously withdrawn 7 accreditations of habilitation and inauguration proceedings in cases where it found non-compliance with legal regulations, ‘usually the decree of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport or the criteria based on which the universities obtained the accreditation. In such cases, the university lost the possibility to apply for a new accreditation of habilitation and inauguration rights in the same field for another 5 years,‘ says Redhammer.
The current changes at universities are mainly related to the introduction of quality assurance systems according to Act No. 269/2018 Coll., which requires universities to comply with the requirements of accreditation standards by 1 September 2022. Therefore, higher education institutions are not only introducing their own ‘protection‘ mechanisms but also starting to apply them. In doing so, they are reviewing the curricula provided and also the accreditation of the appointment of the professors in specific disciplines. As of September, they should only offer study programmes that meet the requirements of the quality assurance standards.
The Agency will announce further changes in September.
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PR SAAHE- The Agency has cancelled 135 accreditations for the appointment of associate professors and professors