This decision concerns the university’s Faculty of Business and Economy. Photo credit: MENDELU.

Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – Mendel University in Brno has lost accreditation for doctoral degree programs in economics, Czech accreditation office director Robert Plaga told journalists today, following a decision from the office’s council.

This decision concerns the university’s Faculty of Business and Economy (PEF). Plaga said mistakes occurred at this faculty and the system of internal control failed to deal with them.

According to previously released information, some students of the controversial doctoral programs finished these programs in a very short time, in 22 to 30 months.

Plaga said the council also decided that the university cannot run doctoral degree programs in Economy and management in Czech and English.

He said the decision has not yet taken effect and may be appealed by the university.

“We continue to take steps aimed at eliminating errors and ambiguities in the course of securing studies on controlled study programs,” said the rector of Mendel University, Jan Mareš, in a press release. “New, significantly stricter standards have already been set in the requirements for supervisors, the requirements for students of doctoral study programs at PEF have been unified, the conditions for assigning dissertation topics have been tightened, and last but not least, cooperation with foreign agencies recommending paying students from abroad has been terminated.”

Unsuccessful presidential candidate Danuse Nerudova, who was the university’s rector from February 2018 to January 2022, said on Twitter that she hoped that the office’s decision would make the university stronger in the future. She said she believed the university would soon get the accreditation back.

The controversial doctoral programs at Mendel University were one of the main issues over which Nerudova was criticised by Czech media during her presidential candidacy.

When asked how responsible Nerudova was for the mistakes, Plaga said the primary responsibility was that of the dean of the given faculty and those who guaranteed the individual programs.

Jiri Smrcka, from the Czech accreditation office, said when the decision to take away the accreditation from Mendel University was first made last year that it would affect neither current students nor future students of other programs.

Plaga said the problem at the Faculty of Business and Economy was in different study conditions for foreign students who paid for their studies, and who used an agency as a mediator. But he said this case certainly was not as serious as the previous case of the Law Faculty of the West Bohemian University in Plzen.

Plaga said the office’s council recommended him to launch another check aimed at the system of quality control.

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