of the Czech Rectors Conference on the Higher Education Institutions Responsibility for the Quality of Education in times of epidemiological crisis
Czech Rectors Conference (CRC) observes with concern, that in a time of exponential progression of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic the autonomy of Higher Education Institutions, guaranteed by the Higher Education Act and ensured by proven internal management and quality assurance systems, which are found, for example, in the granting of institutional accreditation, is seriously jeopardized. We are surprised by the unpredictability of interventions by external actors, often without any synchronization on their part. Only in this way it can happen that the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education, on the one hand, does not allow the transition to full distance education and, on the other hand, the Hygiene Station of the Capital City of Prague prohibits other than distance education, with minor exceptions.
During the first wave of the epidemic and during the preparation for the complications associated with the second wave, Higher Education Institutions have built systems that ensure a responsible approach to teaching, its various forms and the needs of individual study programs. In order to fulfil its mission, i.e. full-fledged higher education, which is characterized by a combination of creative and educational activities, it is necessary to maintain a minimum standard of contact and practical teaching. Higher Education Institutions are able to manage risks according to the specifics of study programs by involving either full distance or hybrid ("blended") teaching.
Czech Rectors Conference therefore appeals to the external actors: Trust Higher Education Institutions – they are responsible, they respect the rules and they know best how to fulfil their mission even in these risky times!
Prague, 21 September 2020
On behalf of the Czech Rectors Conference
Prof. Petr Sklenička
Czech Rectors Conference President