Information on the Amendment to the Quality Assurance Act

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The Chair of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education, prof. Redhammer announced the adoption of an amendment to the Quality Assurance Act. The full report is available below.

Dear Rectors,

let me inform you about the adoption of the amendment to Act no. 131/2002 Coll. on Higher Education Institutions and on Amendments to Certain Acts by the National Council of the Slovak Republic, which also amended Act no. 269/2018 Coll. on Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

One of the significant changes brought by this amendment is the adjustment of the term specified in the transitional provision of Sec. 36 par. 2 of the Act on Quality Assurance, according to which the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education will not reject an application of a higher education institution for the granting of accreditation of a study programme for a reason pursuant to Sec. 30 par. 5 letter a) of the Act on Quality Assurance, if in the relevant field and degree it was already authorized to carry out study programmes as of 31 October 2018. This deadline is postponed from 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. The submission of applications for accreditation of the study programme, and thus for a reasonable reassessment of the offered composition of study programmes.

Another change is that it is possible for universities to apply for accreditation of a joint study programme by the end of 2024, if the university in the relevant field and degree of study implements a study programme that is not a joint study programme. This is aimed in particular at the opening of universities, which can also gain international acceptance and offer a joint study programme already in this transitional period.

The amendment also postpones the deadline by which higher education institutions must request an assessment of their internal system from the end of 2024 to the end of 2022. I would like to point out that universities still have legal provisions and their own internal regulations; this also applies to the conditions under which they obtained previous accreditations until they were notified to the Agency that they had aligned their internal system with the law and standards pursuant to § 37 par. 1 of the first sentence of the Quality Assurance Act.

The exact wording of the changes will be known only after their publication in the Collection of Acts of the Slovak Republic. At the same time, I would like to once again offer your universities the opportunity to consult with the Agency, even repeatedly. So far, only about half of all universities in Slovakia have used them.

Robert Redhammer, the Chair of the Agency