Statement of the SAAHE Executive Board on the media criticism of its activities by Executive Board member Mr. Bálint Lovász and an ex-employee Mrs. Renáta Hall and on the related draft amendments to Act No. 269/2018 Coll. on Quality Assurance in Higher Education
The Executive Board of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education objects to the statement of Mr. Bálint Lovász, one of its members, which was published on 8 March 2022 in the newspaper Denník N and further disseminated by him in the media.
The Executive Board of SAAHE
- categorically rejects the false claim that the Agency is failing to fulfil its tasks, is not contributing to the improvement of the quality of higher education institutions in Slovakia and that its functioning needs to be changed. This claim by Mr. Bálint Lovász is not supported by facts, is based on false, incorrect, misleading or purposefully used information or parts thereof; the Agency fulfils all its statutory obligations, complies with the European Standards and Guidelines and, following the departure of the Coordinator of Analytical Activities, Mrs. Renáta Hall, is gradually eliminating the deficits in analytical activities that have arisen during her tenure at the Agency.
- points out that Mr. Bálint Lovász’s statement is likely to be coordinated with the activities of Mrs. Renáta Hall, an ex-employee of the Agency, currently Adviser to the Prime Minister (from 15 March 2022). This statement was issued at the time when the higher education legislation was being discussed in the National Council of the Slovak Republic, while almost simultaneously a large-scale proposal for amendments to Act No 269/2018 Coll. on quality assurance in higher education was presented by Mrs. Renáta Hall herself (10 March 2022). This was preceded by similarly critical statements by Mrs. Renáta Hall in the newspaper Denník N (21 February 2022). In this context, the Executive Board sees Bálint Lovász’s statement as expedient and pursuing his personal interests.
- considers that Mr. Bálint Lovász’s statement, as one of its members, directly harms the Agency, disparages its standing not only in the university environment but also in the broader context, and disparages the work of many hundreds of people carried out in the public interest;
- considers Mr. Bálint Lovász’s actions to be a violation of the Code of Ethics of the Slovak Higher Education Accreditation Agency, he has lost the trust of his colleagues and calls on him to consider his continued working on the Executive Board of the Agency, on which he has served for three years and voted for the vast majority of its resolutions.