This year, universities will start offering new study programmes already accredited according to the new European rules. The Slovak Accreditation Agency has accredited 74 new study programmes in 40 fields at all three levels of education at the request of sixteen universities. Graduating upper-secondary students can already apply for many of them.
Young people should make their choice of studies based on what activities and subjects interest them, what their strengths are, and also on their prospects for employment after graduation. Under the new requirements, universities should be more open-minded and provide examples of careers in the programme descriptions.
As part of the accreditation process, each new study programme has been evaluated by a review panel of experts, including foreign experts who have visited the university. They took into account the new accreditation requirements in line with European standards and guidelines. These include a clearer description of the learning objectives, the fulfillment of the requirements of the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area, as well as the inclusion of examples of the professions for which graduates will be qualified. The continuity of courses and their provision by teachers and other conditions were also considered. One student participated in the work of each review panel.
The law stipulates that universities will adjust other study programmes to meet the requirements of the Quality Act and the requirements of the accreditation standards no later than September 1 of this year. The Accreditation Agency provides support to universities, guiding them through seminars and consultations, which was also highly appreciated by the OECD in its report on improving Slovak higher education last year.
In addition to the accreditation of new study programmes, universities last year canceled almost 1 000 study programmes and their mutations that they no longer offered were not prospective or decided not to offer from September. Perhaps of most interest to school leavers will be the new study options at the bachelor level.
One example of an interesting study programme is the University of Trnava’s Counselling programme, which focuses on the care and accompaniment of people in need, people with disabilities or disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as the elderly or children. This offer has a profound social and community dimension. Graduates will have the opportunity to work in social care and in the health and social services sector.
Most study programmes have been accredited at Comenius University in Bratislava, especially at the third level. Study programmes such as Medical microbiology and immunology or Health psychology, the need for which has arisen directly from the difficult and prolonged covid situation, also appear to be very necessary. The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice has accredited a non-medical health professional bachelor’s degree programme in Laboratory investigation methods in health care. The Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava offer Applied Analytical Chemistry in the study field of Chemistry. It is professionally oriented towards practical application.
Another interesting feature is the bachelor’s degree programme in Applied informatics and software development at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. Thanks to the practical focus of the study programme, its graduates will find employment in the development of software systems that can be used in various sectors, e.g. in industry, healthcare, education, etc. The Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava also offers a new bachelor’s programme in cybernetics – Process control.
The Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava has accredited study programmes that integrate a number of separate study programmes, such as Theatre arts, offered at all three levels of higher education.
For those interested in finance, the University of Economics in Bratislava offers a study programme entitled Finance, Banking, and Insurance, whose graduates will gain knowledge of economics, focusing in particular on the areas mentioned in the title of the study programme, but also linking them to the broader context of economic and regional policy, public finance and tax policy.
An overview of the newly accredited study programmes is given in the Annex.
Media contact: Zlata Petrusova, zlata.petrusova [at] saavs.sk; tel.: 0948/988 265