The Voice of Universities

On June 20, 2023, the 110th meeting of the Slovak Rectors' Conference was held on the grounds of Technical University in Zvolen and was chaired by the SRC´s President Dr. h. c. prof. Ing. Rudolf Kropil, PhD. It was an election session of the SRC, at which the president and three vice-presidents were elected. On professional topics, the SRC´s members discussed the conclusion of performance contracts and the financing of measurable performance indicators beyond the state budget subsidy for public universities.

SRC´s members elected during the 110th meeting doc. Ing. Vladimír Hiadlovský, PhD., rector of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, as SRC´s President for his first term of office from August 22, 2023 to August 21, 2025. 

Members voted for three SRC´s Vice-presidents who are Dr. h. c. prof. Ing. Rudolf Kropil, PhD., Rector of Technical University in Zvolen, Dr. h. c. prof. PaedDr. Tomáš Lengyelfalusy, PhD., Rector of DTI University and Dr. h. c. prof. MUDr. Peter Šimko, CSc., Rector of Slovak Health University in Bratislava. Since March 2023, prof. Ing. Ferdinand Daňo, PhD., Rector of the University of Economics in Bratislava, is a Vice-president as well.

SRC´s members adopted a resolution in which they request the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic to sign performance contracts with all public universities on the same date and only after the discussions at individual universities have been completed and after the methodology for the breakdown of subsidies for public universities has been approved and the breakdown of subsidies from the state budget for the year 2024 as well. In connection with the implementation of performance contracts, SRC requests the Slovak government to purposefully increase the budget of public universities for the years 2024-2026 by 10 per cent annually to cover the costs of implementing agreed measurable performance indicators, as recommended by the OECD and stated in the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

SRC further appeals to the Slovak government to include higher education in "comprehensive material for public discussion on Slovakia's long-term spending priorities" in accordance with its priorities and program statement. Universities have aligned their study programs and quality assurance processes with the standards of the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education, part of which is alignment with the needs of the labor market. The Slovak Republic must increase the funding of universities from the state budget to at least the level of the EU average in the near future. The VER 2022 periodic evaluation of research, development, artistic and other creative activities confirmed that public universities also perform world class science. However, their funding lags behind the European average. Universities also need investments in infrastructure to make them attractive enough for Slovak and foreign students.
At the meeting, the SRC President, on ​​behalf of the members, said goodbye to the rectors, whose terms of office and thus their membership in SRC will end during the summer. He said thank you for their cooperation and wished them much success in their professional and private lives. Acknowledgments were addressed to doc. Maria Heinzová, ArtD., Rector of Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, prof. PaedDr. René Bílik, Rector of Trnava University in Trnava, prof. RNDr. Pavol Sovák, PhD., Rector of University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice and Dr. h. c. prof. Ing. to Stanislav Kmeť, DrSc., Rector of Technical University in Košice.
At the same time, SRC´s President thanked the Rector of the University of Constantin the Philosopher in Nitra, prof. RNDr. Libor Vozár, CSc., whose second term as SRC´s Vice-president of SRK will end on June 24, 2023.

Photo: Miroslav Rusnák, TUZVO

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