Critical Success Factors of Research and Education Process at Slovak Universities

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Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Purpose: The paper intends to present and partially resolve the issue of a relatively short-aged higher education institution of regional importance; which is presented in the frame of the Slovak universities wide-ranging environment and the point of their complex accreditation.

Objectives: Objective of the paper is to explore the state and tendencies of developing the university environment; and also the influence of both external and internal factors that will impinge upon the University in the foreseeable period. The paper is intended not only for professionals involved in or that are in some other ways interested in improving research and educational processes of universities but also for those ones who are interested in attaining some information about the system of Slovak higher education institutions complex accreditation.

Methodology/approach: Used in the paper was a case study; which presented the groundwork method of researching elementary issues of developing the Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin (ADUT); built upon interviews with a selected sample of employees and randomly selected sample of the academic personnel and the student and with officers evaluating the Slovak universities within the European University Association. That was followed by the analysis of social; legal; economic; environmental; ethical; political; and technological aspects (SLEEPT) as a mnemonic tool to facilitate understanding of the Slovak universities’ environment "big picture". Benchmarking was used as the method for comparing performance of Slovak universities from the point of the internal setting factors; and the criteria of complex accreditation; respectively. The method of pair comparison has been employed in the importance ranking while selecting critical factors of success.

Findings: Intricacy and inconsistency of some factors are due to not only the external environment but also to the university internal conditions. From amongst external factors we have explored social; legal; economical; ethical; political and technological environment. The internal environment has been considered from the point of complex accreditation attributes; and from the point of the EUA (European University Association) evaluating criteria. Based on the testimony of respondents; and in accordance with the university commonly shared values; its vision and new strategy established has been factors critical for successfulness of the young regional university. Considered as critical for success factors are: financing of university from budgetary and non-budgetary resources; ethics and corruption-free behaviour of individuals; quality and quantity of research and educational processes; critical interdisciplinary mass for research and education; and the university structure.

Research limitation/implication; Applicability of the model procedure in the form of SLEEPT external environment analysis and of the internal environment analysis based on a case study and of the complex accreditation and EUA evaluation criteria – at real-life strategic managing of universities.

Originality/value: The paper presents critical success factor of university using SLEEPT tool for external environment analysis and criteria of complex accreditation and EUA evaluation report.


Critical success factors; research and education process; SLEEPT analysis; university complex accreditation


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