Since the fall of communism, accreditations for higher education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been handled without the formal participation of students. Student involvement in the process of accreditations has been marginal, with only occasional involvement in working groups as part of the accreditation agencies.
The newly amended Czech Higher Education Act of 2016 acknowledges students as equal partners present for all accreditation procedures in higher education. The resultant newly founded accreditation system requires selection of the first student evaluators. The system must be fully functional by 2019 when most reaccreditations take place.
The Slovak Ministry of Education has proposed an amendment to the Higher Education Act, along with the law that creates new, independent, national accreditation agency. So far, the Slovak Ministry of Education has not perceived students as an equal partner in the process of quality assurance. Furthermore, due to certain strict criteria, students are excluded from the final decision-making process of accreditation.
SK RVŠ and ŠRVŠ — with the support of ESU — urge Slovak and Czech governments, accreditation authorities, and HE institutions to adopt the following standards for a fair accreditation process:
The new laws should grant higher education institutions more academic freedom and independence if they receive institutional accreditation. Therefore, it is important to adopt these standards at both the institutional and national levels.