VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Slovak Republic  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

VET/HRD related research is insufficiently developed due to several reasons:

  • There was no institution specialised on VET research in Slovakia within the former Czechoslovakia; there were only isolated researchers within universities and one department at the Institute of Experimental Pedagogy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. A department within the Pedagogical Institute affiliated to the SR Ministry of Education served Slovak VET schools to mak use of the research infrastructure provided by the Research Institute of VET in Prague.
  • In contrast to VET research, research in the field of labour, social and family affairs had solid grounds, partly also due to backing by the Research Institute of Labour, Social Affairs and Family located in Bratislava, with responsibility for Czechoslovakia as a whole, to some extent balancing the dominance of Prague in VET; this research infrastructure gradually diminished due to the brain drain (many of the researchers entered politics) and to the gradual reduction of the number of research positions.
  • During the 1990s hard times of restructuring the economy and insufficient funding of research caused a reduction of research activities. What is more serious, research in VET and HRD is still only to a limited extent able to reflect the new socio-economic conditions and to offer results usable in policy making. After 2002 first signs of revival in research became visible. It will however take more time to create efficient research teams in these fields. In this context a research study, within the state programme of R&D, aimed at the social protection of young PhD students is of crucial importance. 
  • There are no vivid links between the almost exclusively private productive sector and the almost exclusively public research institutions; private research institutions are still rare.
Although policy making cannot be considered as separated from research initiatives, the Slovak Republic is far from havinga developed system of mutual interlinking between policy-making and research. Policy-making is influenced from ad hoc short-term research activities rather than from long-term and interrelated research of well-established research teams. The year 2006 is anticipated to be crucial in two respects: increasing funds invested in research and more sophisticated mechanisms in support of research after the implementation of the new legislation (which came into force only in 2005). 

Future VET/HRD research

The Slovak Republic needs to strengthen activities aimed at the popularisation and presentation of science and research results. Activities in this field are needed to attract society and particularly young people, to enhance their interest in science and research at the level of primary and secondary schools. Science in this country can evolve only if there is sufficient demand for research in the society and when it has adequate social prestige. Therefore it is necessary to improve the science and research perception of the society as one of the corner stones of improving the well-being of citizens. This is also one of the tasks of the "Action Plan for Science, Research and Innovation of the Competitiveness Strategy for Slovakia until 2010". This programme is aimed at improving the public perception of science and its role in society and everyday life, at increasing the interest of young people in scientific career and at supporting the public involvement in the dialogue on the transfer of knowledge into society. 

 The improvement of information infrastructure will be the second important point to be carried out in the near future. This means to provide more consultation and further education and training services to R&D and the business sector. Upon the support of these activities, Slovakia will be gain more profit from the increased knowledge potential of businessmen and the science community. Also the qualification of workers will be improved; new business subjects with a view of innovation firms will be supported. In this way, a closer interconnection between R&D and the business sector will be launched and HRD will be more appreciable. All aspects mentioned above are a guarantee for creating a more competitive Slovak economy, which will reflect the Lisbon Strategy priority and will assure more successful EU policy implementation. 

A Central Information Portal is proposed to be created at the Ministry of Education of the SR with the aim to monitor data on publicly funded R&D projects. It is supposed to be operated at the end of 2006 and will represent a great contribution to the transparent and efficient use of public R&D funding.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Slovak Republic (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO