The up-to-date education, the objectivity of exams, the communication with students, the cooperation with companies and scientific output are the benefits offered the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (FIIT STU).
Thanks to them, it has become the only faculty in Slovakia and the Czech Republic to receive the prestigious accreditation of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
“The international accreditation is a birthday present for us,” said Mária Bieliková, dean of the FIIT STU, as quoted in a press release, adding that they are celebrating their 15th birthday this year.
Bieliková stressed they are the only faculty focusing solely on informatics and IT. During the past 15 years, the importance of digital skills and the IT industry has developed significantly in Slovakia and has potential to grow.
“We need leaders and top IT experts,” Bieliková said. “We want young people not to seek IT education abroad. The accreditation from the biggest engineering organisation in the world confirms that the demands on the quality education of our students are comparable with the demands on quality at British universities.”
Differences from Slovak accreditation
The faculty had been collecting documents necessary for the accreditation for more than one year. At the end of September 2017, the members of the accreditation committee came to Slovakia and spoke with students and the faculty’s partners.
The committee sent a letter confirming the accreditation for all bachelor and engineer study programmes on January 18, 2018. The accreditation will last five years.
Unlike the Slovak accreditation committee, IET focused mostly on how education responds to IT development, whether the exams are impartial and transparent, how the school communicates with students and collaborates with companies, and what are the inner processes to secure the quality of education.
Work of teachers important
The IET committee also scrutinised the scientific outputs, particularly how the latest revelations are reflected in the education process and whether students can get to them. It appreciated that the students start with research and co-author nearly all scientific works when getting their bachelor degree.
“We especially appreciated the strong participation of industry representatives in study programmes and education content at the faculty,” said Mark Zwolinski of IET, as quoted in the press release. “As for recommendations, the faculty should focus on key employees, their professional growth and training.”
STU Rector Robert Redhammer stressed the importance of quality informatics teachers.
“It is a paradox that our IT experts achieve important international awards and there is a huge interest in their further education both from the side of employers and students, but we fail to appreciate them financially,” Redhammer said, as quoted in the press release.
He stressed it is time for the financing of public universities to reflect and respond to real labour market needs.