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Elections bring changes in education policy-makers in Central Europe

After elections in May and June respectively, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have installed new governments. In Slovakia, Eugen Jurzyca, was sworn in as the new Minister for Education, Science, Research and Sports. Jurzyca is a relatively new figure in Slovak politics, joining the Christian-Democrat party SDKÚ-DS in 2009. He studied at the University of Economics in Bratislava and completed several courses and trainings organised within the exchange programmes of international institutions such as the World Bank and the OECD. Beginning in 2000 he worked at the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO), which he founded. He was a member of the Open Society Foundation and also served as an adviser to several government institutions. Jurzyca plans to continue previously planned reforms, which include measures to increase access, enhance competitiveness, support mobility and foreign-language instruction, and combat diploma fraud.

Josef Dobeš serves as the Czech Republic’s new Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, since 13 July. He is a co-founder of the conservative-liberal VV party. A psychologist by training, Dobeš was elected to the City Council of Prague in 2006 and then to the national parliament in 2010. Before being officially appointed, Dobeš had already voiced his intentions to raise teachers' salaries, introduce a career order, continue with reform of higher education and support applied research at universities. One of the first things he did as the education minister was to decide on state school-leaving examinations at secondary schools. As for reform in the sphere of higher education structure, tuition fees will be the biggest change: new fees are to be implemented in 2013.

Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic)