Results of last year’s accreditation process are slowly becoming known (to me) and according to a recent news article the University of Matej Bel (which hosts our evangelical seminary) has one year to improve its credentials and maintain its status as a Slovak university.
What Does This Mean for our Seminary?
It doesn’t seem to be much of a threat. Apparently, there were three main areas of evaluation and our university passed two areas relatively well, according to the article and our University President. Those two areas were the publishing and teaching activity of the faculty. In the third area we are borderline. That is the area of grad student publication. According to our President, however, we already fulfill these requirements and they plan to file for a reevaluation before the one year deadline is up.
At our seminary, for example, we just last week graduated our first batch of PhD students. It’s only when students have graduate that their publishing activity counts for the university. So last year we had a PhD program with no publishing activity. That counted against us for accreditation. Now that our first group of students have graduated, their publishing activity will count positively.
Apparently, there are similar situations throughout the university that will help us to meet that third criteria and maintain our status as a university.
Still, Slovakia seems to be Struggling with its University System
An organization called QS ranks universities worldwide. When I read about rankings in the newspaper in Slovakia it is their rankings that are referred to. That’s all I know about the quality of their rankings. I know almost nothing about their ranking system.
Nonetheless, it can’t be good that Slovakia does not have a single university among the 800 schools that they rank as the top in the world. That puts Slovakia in the company of Albania, Moldova, and some of the less well off states that broke off from Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, etc.).
Putting that in Perspective
How do Slovakia’s immediate neighbors rank according to QS? Austria’s highest ranked school is 156, Czech Republic 244, Poland 335, Ukraine’s is somewhere in the range of 421-430, and Hungary’s is 551-600.
Here are some stats to put it in a US perspective. MIT is number 1 in the world (with six US schools in the top 10 and 144 in the top 800). The Big Ten has three schools in the top 100 (University of Michigan 23, University of Wisconsin-Madison 41, and University of Illinois UC 63) as does the state of Illinois (University of Chicago 11, Northwestern 34, UIUC 63) which has three others in the top 800 (University of Illinois Chicago 186, Illinois Institute of Technology 431-440, Loyola University of Chicago 601-650).
Forty one out of fifty states have universities in the top 800 (plus Washington DC has four). States that don’t? Alaska, North and South Dakota, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nevada, West Virginia and Wyoming. The largest of these states is Nevada with a population of 2.8M (Slovakia is 5.5M).
On the other hand, Slovakia is just 22 years old.