European legislation

Slovak universities are part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the result of the Bologna Process (since 1999), which aims to harmonise higher education in 49 countries so that it is as interconnected and systematised as possible. One of the areas of the Bologna Process is quality assurance in higher education, which is the responsibility of politicians, school leaders - their staff and students, including you. Quality assurance is not just about studying, but in a broad context, from applying, through the admissions process, attending lectures, tutorials, seminars, completing work placements, eating out, accessing library literature, using laboratory, physical and sporting facilities, to passing the national examinations and receiving your diploma - your whole university life. The quality of the processes at the university must be seen in a holistic way, cared for and improved, where there is room for you. European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) on quality assurance can be found at:

National legislation

The internal system of quality assurance of education at higher education institutions in the Slovak Republic is enshrined Law No 269/2018 Coll. on quality assurance of higher education and change and supplementing Act No 343/2015 on public procurement and amending and supplements to certain acts, as amended. This Act created a new independent institution, the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SAAHE). Its task is to carry out quality assurance tasks at the national level, which includes two student representatives (nominated by student representative bodies) on the SAAHE Executive Board.

The main mission of SAAHE is to contribute to quality improvement in higher education institutions according to the principles of the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG), in particular to decide on the granting of authorisations to universities on the basis of their application. The Accreditation Agency is a recognised member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and is subject to external evaluation.

The internal quality assurance system regulates its internal processes, methods, rules and procedures relevant for the quality functioning of education and creative activity (research and development), i.e. it must regulate the rules for the creation, approval and implementation of each study programme. The internal system of each higher education institution must comply with the SAAHE standards, i.e. Standards for the Internal System, Standards for Study Programmes, Standards for Habilitation Proceedings and Inauguration Proceedings, the implementation of which is personally supervised by the Agency and the internal system is independently assessed by external evaluators (university staff, students, practitioners) (https://saavs.sk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Methodology-for-the-Evaluation-of-Standards.pdf).

The University's role in quality assurance is to:

  • guarantee the involvement of students and external assessors in quality assurance;
  • ensure the link between education and creative activity;
  • guarantee the protection of students, staff and applicants against any form of intolerance or discrimination based on sex, gender, race, colour, age, language, sexual orientation, religion, disability, political or other opinion, national or ethnic origin, descent or property;
  • ensure that scientific integrity and academic ethics are maintained, and in the event of breaches, ensure that they are detected and that consequences are imposed;
  • not to burden teachers, students and other creative workers with unjustified bureaucracy in quality assurance;ensure regular monitoring, evaluation and revision of the internal system with the participation of all stakeholders.

University legislation

The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, in accordance with its mission, ensures and is responsible for the quality of the provided higher education (HE) and the quality of research activities or other creative activities by implementing and developing its internal system.

The internal system of UVMP is based on the legal regulation defined in Law No 269/2018 Coll. on quality assurance of higher education and change and supplementing Act No 343/2015 on public procurement and amending and supplements to certain acts, as amended (https://saavs.sk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Act-No.-269-2018-Coll.-on-Quality-Assurance-of-Higher-Education.pdf). The internal system of quality assurance of education regulates the way of fulfilling its mission in the field of higher education through the strategy of quality assurance of higher education research activities and through the interconnection of these activities in the respective disciplines. The quality assessment of eductaion and research activities at UVMP is carried out in accordance with the European Quality Assessment Framework on the basis of the implementation of formal procedures comprising a complete qualitative, so-called PDCA cycle (Planning, Doing, Checking, Acting). The application of the internal quality assurance system for education at UVMP is binding for all UVMP employees and students.

The main objectives of quality assurance at UVMP:

  • Raising the level of quality of the University at national and international level;
  • Improving the quality of the University's individual activities;
  • Involving student representatives and other stakeholders in the various cycles of curriculum development, modification, approval and periodic evaluation (Article 5 of the Internal Regulations and https://vsk.uvlf.sk/en/vsk_csp/);
  • Informing the academic community about the quality assurance of the higher education and research activities on the UVMP quality portal

The organisation of the internal system of quality assurance of education at UVMP is ensured by the bodies of academic self-government and commissions:

  • Rector
  • Academic Senate
  • Board of Trustees
  • Scientific Council
  • Quality Council
  • Commission for Education
  • Commission for Scientific Research
  • Commission for Clinical Activities
  • Commissions for curriculum development, modification and preriodic evaluation
  • Accreditation Commission

How can you contribute to quality assurance at your university?

  1. Complete the questionnaire in the Academic Information System (AIS) once a year in a responsible manner. This will give you feedback on your satisfaction with the teaching process, with the teaching staff, with the way the courses are run (evaluation of the course supervisor), the quality of support services and the environment of the university.
  2. Actively participate in the development of questionnaire feedback, in the activities of interest clubs, organize informal discussion meetings of students on a variety of common topics.
  3. Run for the student section of the Academic Senate of the University and thus decide on important processes, or you can represent students in various representative bodies at national or European level. You will gain experience that will enrich your personality and influence your future.
  4. As a member of the accreditation committee, you can be directly involved in the preparation of the proposal, the assessment of the proposal, the final form of the study programme and its approval.
  5. Present constructive ideas to the university on how to improve the quality of education or communicate concerns that are not conducive to quality. You will then be seen as a respected partner by the faculty and the university administration, and you will be helping your fellow students and the university.

As a student representative, you can take an active part in the running of the university and quality improvement through these committees:

  • Student section of the Academic Senate - 9 students;
  • Accreditation Commission - 2 students;
  • Student Disciplinary Committee - 3 students;
  • Editorial and Publishing Committee - 1 student;
  • Commission for the creation, modification and periodic evaluation of the curriculum:
    • Pharmacy - 2 students
    • General Veterinary Medicine, Animal Science, Veterinary Nursing - 2 students
    • Food Market and Quality, Feed and Food Safety, Food Hygiene - 2 students
    • Cynology, Human-Animal Relationship and its Use in Canister therapy and Hippotherapy, Animal Welfare and Protection - 3 students
    • 3rd degree (PhD) - 3 PhD students
  • Quality Council - 4 students + 2 PhD students
  • Commission for International Mobility Programmes and Internationalisation - 1 student
  • Commission for Production and Professional Practice and Internships - 1 student
  • Website Commission - 1 PhD student
  • Education Commission - 3 students
  • Admissions Committee - 1 student
  • Accommodation Committee - 2 students + 1 PhD student

What are you not allowed to do as a student representative?

  • Enrich yourself at the expense of others by taking advantage of your position.
  • Demand a different/better approach from teachers.
  • Violate the GDPR (e.g. to amplify the problems of specific students).
  • To be an inactive member of a given Board and fail to fulfil the responsibilities of your position.
  • Being part of the board for your own benefit (to improve your name or CV).

Opportunities for student involvement in the UVMP and improving the quality of education

Opportunities for student involvement in the UVMP and improving the quality of education
CMPESP - Commission for the Creation, Modification and Periodic Evaluation of Study Programme