On Friday, January 17, 2020, President Zuzana Čaputová received members of the Slovak Rector's Conference and representatives of the Slovak Academy of Sciences at the Presidential Palace.

She thanked for the huge amount of work done by universities and academies of science in the past period for our society, for the development of the scientific potential of the republic and for the overall development of the education and culture of our population. In addition to thanks, she has wished all teachers, scientists, employees, PhD students and students much success in the New Year. The president told that no modern country can develop without the development of science and education, so it is vital that centers of educational and scientific excellence are set up in Slovakia to a much greater extent than before.

"We have to honestly admit that we cannot be satisfied with the involvement of our science in the international division of labor, when it comes to using prestigious and generous European scientific grants in Slovak conditions. It is precisely excellence is a key word, a key concept around which the essential should be made - a profound change for the better, a profound change for the higher quality."

According to the President, the Slovak Republic urgently needs our universities and colleges to become a place where the intellectual and cultural potential of our homeland can be appreciated in a new, more effective way. "In addition to new knowledge, new levels of education, excellence in Slovakian conditions should bring another fundamental change that the republic needs - we must slow down and stop the large outflow of young talent from Slovakia to foreign universities and abroad. Our problem is not that students leaving for a shorter or longer stay abroad, because it can be very beneficial for them in many ways. The problem is that only a small part of them will return to Slovakia, and we all know that there is only one way we can stop this trend and to reverse. Our scientific talents need the opportunity not only to get quality education, but also the prospect of scientific self-realization at home so they don't have to go anywhere."

The President promised the attendees that she would do her best to increase the prestige of science and social recognition for scientists. She will fight for the freedom of scientific inquiry, cultivate and strengthen respect for facts and society's trust in scientific rationality. According to the President, education and science, educators and researchers, all of them need more than ever before to be able to face the great challenges ahead.

Submitted by: Matej Lackovič
Responsible person: Mgr., Mgr. art. Lenka Biba Slovak
Source: Department of External Relations
Inserted: 20.1.2020
Updated: 21.1.2020