Students’ opinions matter – SAAHE extends survey of doctoral students’ opinions on the quality of higher education

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The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SAAHE) is conducting a questionnaire survey asking for the opinions of doctoral students. This is a complementary status check to the ongoing accreditations. Students can complete the questionnaire by 7 November 2023.

“The focus of the ongoing accreditations is on quality assurance of education. In line with the European Standards, the focus is not only on the qualifications achieved by the graduates but also on the student’s experience of the learning process,” explains the implementation of the survey by the Chair of the SAAHE Executive Board, Robert Redhammer.

The questionnaire aims to find out doctoral students’ opinions and their real experience with the quality of their studies. Part of the questionnaire is dedicated to student participation, for example in the choice of thesis topic, supervisor, or research methods. The agency also asks about the flexibility of the studies and the student’s choice of subjects.

The questions also ask about general experiences with trainers, school facilities and their accessibility, or scientific literature and licensing availability. Students also answer whether they are satisfied with the opportunities to publish and present the results of their work.

Another set of questions is directed towards scientific research, success in obtaining grants, or international cooperation of training institutes. The social and economic aspects of the study are not left out.

Doctoral students can comment on foreign stays and scholarships. They also have the opportunity to express any ideas for improvement. The Agency thus invites all PhD students to contribute to improving education at Slovak universities through the questionnaire within the current possibilities.

“The survey is open to all doctoral students at Slovak universities and their recent graduates. The current number of students is 5,750, of which 41 % are external students,” says Redhammer. Responses from the questionnaire will be treated with the anonymity of the respondents. The results will be published in a summary report on the SAAHE website.