This week at the seminary we are being visited by the Slovak accreditation committee. Specifically, they are arriving on Wednesday to meet with us and review…? Actually, no one is sure what’s going to happen.
The State of Higher Education in Slovakia
Some time ago I wrote about the state of higher education in Slovakia and the potential threat that creates to our seminary. Basically, certain evaluations indicate that the Slovak university system is not keeping up with the rest of Europe and something needs to be done. What they want to do and how they will do it is a complete unknown right now but there seems to be some indication that universities and colleges like ours in Banská Bystrica are on the borderline of continued existence.
So this accreditation review is being bid as a big deal for us.
All Hands on Deck
This Wednesday (tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5), the accreditation committee shows up at our department. I have a special class scheduled to be in session while the committee is here. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with my students then. Is the committee going to ask us questions? Am I supposed to run a mock lecture?
Sometimes it seems a strange, Kafkian world.
Accreditation meetings were yesterday. I had a special class attended by three students during which we talked about why biblical languages are important and we also went through some Hebrew exercises. It was fun. No one from the accreditation commission stopped by and so I had no contact with them. The news is that the meeting was uneventful.
I also found out that the accreditation committee is not scheduled to publish their report until June of 2015. It seems like the process could be somewhat political. The government has been saying for a long time that they want to reduce the number of universities. Will they actually do it? Will it be based on accreditation results? Will it effect our seminary if they do?
Either way, I guess a slightly greater fear right now is budget cuts. Our university had to lay off a lot of staff this last year and if cuts continue then they may need to combine departments. That could mean combining the Department of Ethics and the Department of Theology. That would be a “no go” from our perspective and certainly a new direction for training pastors and church leaders.