Slovakia National Experiences

Published: 08/03/2011 | Modified: 17/12/2014, 11:44 am

Contact details of the institution hosting the BHO

 

SAIA, n. o. (Slovak Academic Information Agency)

Nam. slobody 23, 812 20 Bratislava 1
Phone: +421 2 5930 4700
Mail: euraxess@saia.sk
URL website: www.saia.sk
URL national EURAXESS portal: www.euraxess.sk

Bridgehead Organisation

The BHO is hosted by the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA). Since its establishment in 1990, this non-governmental nonprofit organisation has been implementing programmes and providing services aimed at enhancing civil society and helping to internationalise education and research in Slovakia. Currently SAIA runs offices in six university towns with 18 employees. In 2009, the overall budget for scholarships and projects in all its programs totalled €3.33 million, including operational and other programme costs.

The main programmes of SAIA, n. o. in 2010 included Academic Mobility; Action Austria–Slovakia, Cooperation in Science and Education; CEEPUS, Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies; NIL Fund Supporting Co-operation in the Field of Education (Norwegian and EEA Financial Mechanisms); EURAXESS Services Centre for Researchers; Sciex-NMSch–Swiss Scientific Exchange Programme; and the National Scholarship Programme for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students, University Teachers and Researchers.

EURAXESS Services Centres

There are six ESCs (5 ESC + 1 BHO that acts as ESC as well). The ESCs are regional branches of BHO without legal subjectivity

Local Contact Points

There is no formal network of LoCPs. Nevertheless, there is a network of universities and research organisations each of which acts as an LoCP.

Structure of the national network

The BHO is based in SAIA, n. o. in Bratislava and serves also as an ESC.
The other ESCs are located in five different regions of the country so as to cover the whole Slovakia and assist researchers regardless where they reside.
The LoCPs operate as an informal network of universities and research organisations providing assistance to the researchers in their institution.

Full-time equivalent staff:   Number of persons:
BHO: 0,6 BHO: 1
ESC: 3,6 ESC: 10
LoCP:  n/a LoCP: n/a

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

SAIA, n. o. has signed the DoC also on behalf of its regional branch offices that function as ESCs.

National funding of the EURAXESS Services Network

The Slovak EURAXESS Network is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (currently based on the agreement signed for 2011 – 2014). Specific activities are also covered from the participation in EURAXESS-related European projects.

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisation

  • Incoming and outgoing researchers
  • Local and National Authorities
  • Administrative staff of universities and research organisations
  • Media

Target groups of EURAXESS Services Centres

  • Incoming and outgoing researchers
  • Local Authorities
  • Administrative staff of universities and research organisations at regional level
  • Local Media

Target groups of Local Contact Points

  • Incoming and outgoing researchers within the organisation

 Relationship and communication between the BHO, the Steering Group for Human Resources and Mobility for Researchers (SG HRM), the National Contact Points (NCPs) and the Programme Committee

Up until 2009, the BHO and the SG HRM were interconnected directly through the staff participating in their respective activities. From 2009 on, communication between the SG HRM representative and the BHO has been quite limited. The People Programme Committee delegate is involved in BHO activities; the NCPs are out of the new structure of the national EURAXESS network at the moment. However, discussions have begun with the MESRS about the possibility of placing at least the NCP for the People Programme in the BHO/ESC.

SL_Slovakia update 10_2013

1. Benefiting from the long-standing experience of a host institution

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:43 pm

SAIA, n. o. is an NGO assisting in the internationalisation of higher education and research and enhancing civil society in Slovakia. It was established as one of the first NGOs in this field in Central and Eastern Europe after political and social changes in 1989, and thus has been active for 20 years. SAIA is widely recognized internationally as well as by its stakeholders in Slovakia. One of the institution’s main activities is providing information and assistance—particularly concerning available funding opportunities—to Slovak students, university teachers and researchers interested in pursuing part of their studies or jobs abroad, or foreign students, teachers, and researchers in Slovakia. SAIA handles various scholarship funds directly and therefore is in touch with this target group on an everyday basis.

It seemed like a natural step for SAIA to broaden its programme portfolio in 2004 to the ERA-MORE Research Mobility Centre project (EURAXESS Services Centre), which was in full compliance with its other programmes, focusing on the same target group and with similar activities. The new project was able to rely on the existing infrastructure, trained personnel, previous experience in the field and active contacts with critical institutions and individuals for the project. In a very short period of time, researchers and research institutions were able to benefit from the services provided by the BHO. The Centre’s effort was multiplied by the programmatic and geographic structure of the host institution, cooperating with SAIA staff in its five regional offices located in university towns throughout the entire country.

Programmes belonging to the SAIA portfolio allow everyday cooperation of SAIA staff in several areas that are also central for EURAXESS, combining efforts and resources. One of them is the area of so-called ‘practical information’, where programme managers can consult individual cases and provide mutual support.

2. Promoting research careers through publications

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:43 pm

The Slovak BHO/ESC has been very active in publishing promotional materials and guides for outgoing and incoming PhD students, researchers and university teachers. The common goal behind all these efforts has been to promote research mobility and careers in research. The guides for incoming researchers helped map research in Slovakia, present it internationally and attract researchers interested in cooperating with Slovak institutions. The guides help researches to gain a better understanding of life in Slovakia and its whole environment, its present and its past, and also to find ways of dealing with practical everyday issues. The guides for outgoing researchers are especially aimed at stimulating mobility by providing an overview of the available funding opportunities.

The EURAXESS Services Centre publications are broadly welcomed not only by the research community but also by other groups working with researchers and interested in their mobility and the further development of their careers. These include not only universities and research institutions but also embassies, international organisations, ministries, etc. Guides have been proactively sent out to a broad range of relevant stakeholders, state representatives, research institutions and universities in Slovakia as well as abroad.

Guides and other promotional materials (not only the EURAXESS guides but also other materials, such as an overview of all study programmes, including PhD study programmes, taught in English at Slovak universities) have been very successfully presented and disseminated at different national and international events, including international education fairs outside Europe (especially Ukraine, Russia and several Asian countries) attracting PhD students. These publications were also welcomed by fellows coming to Slovakia under the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic Supporting Mobility of Students, PhD students, university teachers and researchers from more than 50 countries all around the world.

In the pursuit of our mission to provide reliable and relevant information regarding all aspects of mobility, we use state-of-the-art technology to communicate our findings and knowledge base. For SAIA, and thus also for the ESC, web portals are a natural solution. The national EURAXESS portal has not only tried to follow the recommended structure within the EURAXESS network, but has also been linked to other existing host institution portals, providing information not only about scholarship programmes and the whole online application process, but also, in some cases, information about visas, residence permits, social security, and other important areas for incoming and outgoing scholarship holders.This interlinking offers the ESC a unique opportunity to encourage research institutions to publish their job vacancies on the EURAXESS Jobs portal and individuals to seek them effectively, while also providing visitors with complex information about scholarships and fellowships available for incoming and outgoing researchers.

Implementation of European policies at a national level is a complex and demanding process requesting the involvement of all concerned parties. ESCs can play a very important role as intermediaries in these processes.

Thanks to the initiative and impulse of the ESC in Slovakia, Slovak universities and research institutes were among the first signatories to the principles of the Researchers Charter and Code (the Slovak Rectors’ Conference on behalf of all member universities, and the Slovak Academy of Sciences on behalf of more than 50 research institutes).

The ESC began a dialogue with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport and the Ministry of Interior and the Office of Border and Aliens Police in an attempt to come up with examples and best practices of the implementation of the EU instruments on admission of third country researchers (Scientific Visa), and was also involved in promoting this new instrument at a national level.

Discussions also began with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic about the European Partnership for Researchers and the possibility of adopting a National Action Plan in Slovakia.

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1. Promoting research careers through publications

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:43 pm

The Slovak BHO/ESC has been very active in publishing promotional materials and guides for outgoing and incoming PhD students, researchers and university teachers. The common goal behind all these efforts has been to promote research mobility and careers in research. The guides for incoming researchers helped map research in Slovakia, present it internationally and attract researchers interested in cooperating with Slovak institutions. The guides help researches to gain a better understanding of life in Slovakia and its whole environment, its present and its past, and also to find ways of dealing with practical everyday issues. The guides for outgoing researchers are especially aimed at stimulating mobility by providing an overview of the available funding opportunities.

The EURAXESS Services Centre publications are broadly welcomed not only by the research community but also by other groups working with researchers and interested in their mobility and the further development of their careers. These include not only universities and research institutions but also embassies, international organisations, ministries, etc. Guides have been proactively sent out to a broad range of relevant stakeholders, state representatives, research institutions and universities in Slovakia as well as abroad.

Guides and other promotional materials (not only the EURAXESS guides but also other materials, such as an overview of all study programmes, including PhD study programmes, taught in English at Slovak universities) have been very successfully presented and disseminated at different national and international events, including international education fairs outside Europe (especially Ukraine, Russia and several Asian countries) attracting PhD students. These publications were also welcomed by fellows coming to Slovakia under the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic Supporting Mobility of Students, PhD students, university teachers and researchers from more than 50 countries all around the world.

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1. General information

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:37 pm

  • Social security coverage is based on occupational activity, not residence.
  • It covers social insurance, Sickness insurance(sickness benefit, maternity benefit, benefit for nursing a sick relative, equalisation benefit) and pension
  • Health insurance is not included in the scope of social insurance. Holders of mandatory public health insurance are entitled to health care provision and all related services in compliance
  • Commercial health insurance is compulsory for everyone, who does not fall into the scope of the public health insurance

2. Foreign employee

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:40 pm

  • Employers enjoy full social security coverage.
  • EU/EEA citizens need to bring their European Health Insurance Card
  • Citizens from countries where there is a bilateral agreement, will be covered by the Slovakian system.
  • Foreign nationals with permanent or temporary residence permit may contribute to the social insurance system on a voluntary basis and if needed and upon fulfilling stated conditions, may receive social benefits.

3. Foreign researcher without contract

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:40 pm

Before leaving their countries of origin, foreigners must make sure to be covered by their current health insurance also on the territory of Slovakia, or take out new insurance before or after arrival in Slovakia. Particular procedures apply depending on their personal situation, the length of stay and the terms of their current health insurance. They will either continue to be covered by the health insurance of the home country, or fall under the regime of the Slovak Republic. In both cases, it will be necessary to make specific arrangements for the continued health coverage

4. Foreign student

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:41 pm

  • Ph.D. candidates are not employed.
  • Candidates enrolled in Ph.D. programs may enjoy health coverage – internationals if they follow a program under an international treaty.
  • Candidates must bring own insurance and/or European Health insurance card.
  • Student may contribute voluntarily to schemes as sickness leave, unemployment, parental leave.

5. Comments on benefits

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:42 pm

All employed citizens

 

Health coverage – yes, but not part of social security syste

Sickness benefit – yes, part of sickness insurance within social insurance

Unemployment benefit – yes

Parental benefit – in Slovakia present within 2 main schemes: maternity benefit as part of sickness insurance within social insurance obtainable after some minimum duration of insurance; and parental allowance, child allowance, etc. within state social support) – yes/no.

Disability pension – yes/no.

Old-age pension – yes

Supplementary pension rights – yes

Guarantee and accident insurance, and solidarity reserve fund)– yes/no Guarantee and accident insurance, as well as the contribution to the solidarity reserve fund, are mandatorily paid by the employer in case exists a labour relationship exists in the form of a Contract for part-time work of students. Voluntarily pension insured persons contribute to the solidarity reserve fund.

6. Eager to learn more?

Published: 19/12/2014 | Modified: 09/01/2015, 1:54 pm

If you would like more information then download the complete table from here