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Slovak Republic  [1]  Context of national VET/HRD policies

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The "Competitiveness Strategy for Slovakia until 2010" represents the economic strategy which is to become the basis for the Slovak Government’s policy until 2010, within which the government declared its intention to create conditions for the growth of the country’s economic competitiveness. The strategy is built on two main pillars - successful completion of structural reforms and policies aimed at improvements in  the following four areas: Information society; Science, research and innovation; Investments in people and education; Business environment.

Following the approval of the "Action Plan for Science, Research and Innovation" by the Government, the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic now focuses on the implementation of reform steps as well as on the achievement of strategic goals set by the Competitiveness Strategy. A very important step in this reform was the adoption of the Act No. 172/2005 Coll. of 21 March 2005 on the Organisation of State Support for Research and Development, which entered into force on 1 July 2005.

National VET/HRD research was traditionally based on bottom up activities within the VEGA (Scientific Granting Agency) and KEGA (Cultural and Educational Grant Agency) granting schemes, and top-down state R&D programmes (see ERO National Report 2004 on respective 10 programmes) as well as state order based institutional research of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour affiliated institutions. Besides aforementioned changes related to establishment of Research and Development Agency the European Social Fund has a specific impact on R&D:

  • Programming the current ESF and also ongoing programming for the Structural and Cohesion Funds offers important signals for future operational goals for funding from European resources but also it signals national priorities worth of research. 
  • Despite not being designed for research and development purpose ESF funding attracts part of R&D professionals, which in particular in VET has a brain drain affect. On the other hand, however, it contributes to strengthening links between R&D and training of relevant target groups, which can support dissemination of R&D outputs. 
  • Sometimes considered as fragmented, national/regional/sectoral policies receive an important impulse from the Structural and Cohesion Funds projects, and a feedback from implementation of projects creates a demand for VET/HRD related research and development as well as for cohesion efforts in respective policies.
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Slovak Republic (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO