Susanne Shaw, professor at the University of Kansa and executive director of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, had been invited to visit faculties of three three journalism program in Slovakia, representatives of Accreditation Commission and Department for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, the head of International Cooperation and the honorable Theodore Sedgwick, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Slovakia. Sedgwick is the founder of Pasha Publications, a specialty publisher.
Wednesday, Septgember 15
We arrived in Vienna and took a 30-minute taxi drive to Bratislava. After we arrived, we met for dinner with Dr. Jana Illesova, public affairs specialist at the U.S, Embassy, and Chase Beamer, the press attaché of the US Embassy in Slovakia for an overview of media in the region.
Thursday, September 16
We visited The Comenius University, the oldest and most prestigious university in Slovakia. It was established in 1919. The Faculty of Medicine opened in 1919 and the Faculties of Law and Philosophy in 1921.
During World War II, Slovakia was under the influence of Nazi Germany and academic freedoms were reduced at the university. Then, in 1948, the communists severely limited academic freedoms. However, the university continued to grow, and new faculties were established.
After the Velvet revolution in 1989, the university created a democratic self-government, and mandatory courses on Marxist ideology were abolished.
The Department of Journalism of Comenius University is is in the Faculty of Philosophy and is the oldest university journalism program in Slovakia and in former Czechoslovakia. It was established in 1952.
It offers an accredited Bachelors and Masters degree. The bachelor program is three years and the masters is two years.
No more than 50 students are admitted each year for a total of 250. The faculty is comprised of six full-time faculty. After 1999 the faculty indicated that the curricular focus moved more to practical education rather than theoretical. Tuition is free.