1. MU educational activities
Masaryk University is a public university-type institution of higher education offering:
- accredited degree programmes at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral levels in on-site, combined and distance modes of study;
- advanced (“rigorozní”) state examinations for graduates of Master’s degree programmes holding the title of “magistr” (Mgr.);
- lifelong education programmes.
2. Explanation of terms
An accredited degree programme provides a higher education that concludes with a state examination and the awarding of a degree and accompanying title (the most common being Bc., Mgr., Ing. and Ph.D.). There are three types (levels) of accredited degree programmes, Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral, following after one another in that order. In accordance with the Higher Education Act, Master’s programmes that do not follow a Bachelor’s programme may be accredited and offered, though only on an exceptional basis.
Accredited degree programmes always include one or more fields of study. A field of study is a coherent academic discipline or branch of knowledge. The field of study is delimited by a set of courses and conditions for the creation of a study plan. Fields of study may be further divided into specializations in specific areas (usually on the basis of the student’s taking a certain block of courses).
The study mode may take the form of on-site, combined or distance studies. The on-site mode is mostly based on class attendance, while the distance mode comprises independent learning complemented by consultations with teachers. The combined mode shares features of the two other modes; classes are usually concentrated in blocks.
The standard length of studies indicates the time, expressed in years, that an accredited degree programme is expected to last. If the actual length of studies of a particular student in a degree programme exceeds the stipulated standard length of studies, this has a number of consequences relating to entitlement to some kinds of scholarships and grants, while exceeding the standard length of studies by more than a year brings with it the obligation to pay for studies.
The course of studies in an accredited degree programme is recorded by means of a credit system based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Each type of accredited degree programme requires, for completion, a certain minimum number of credits: 180 – 240 credits for Bachelor’s programmes, 120 – 160 credits for Master’s programmes, 360 credits for long-cycle Master’s programmes and 180 - 240 credits for doctoral programmes. Credits are a quantitative expression of the workload of a full-time student; the standard student workload is 30 credits per semester (60 credits per academic year).
Lifelong learning programmes (LLP) provide university-type studies, but without the awarding of an academic degree. Masaryk University offers a wide range of lifelong learning programmes. These are directed towards participants’ interests (academic programmes) or are designed to extend and upgrade individuals’ professional qualifications.
Some lifelong learning programmes may be carried out within the framework of accredited degree programmes. In these cases, the studies follow the same course as those for students in accredited programmes, the difference being that participants in LLP programmes do not enjoy the legal status of university students. As a result, they must pay for their studies.
Within the framework of lifelong learning. Masaryk University also offers studies in the University of the Third Age (U3V).
By its very nature, the advanced (“rigorozní”) state examination for graduates of Master’s degree programmes who have received the title of “magistr” is on the border between lifelong learning and accredited degree programmes.
3. Responsibility for educational activities at MU
Accredited degree programmes are offered by MU faculties. Faculties may join forces to offer a particular degree programme. A degree programme may also be carried out in collaboration with another legal entity, in most cases another university (which may also be a foreign higher education institution).
New degree programmes must be approved by the Scientific Board of the faculty in question. In accordance with the Higher Education Act, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport accredits degree programmes.
With regard to admission to studies in accredited degree programmes and matters relating to the course of studies. prime authority lies with the Dean of the relevant faculty. If requested by an applicant or student, the Rector reviews the Dean’s decision in his capacity as the higher authority.
Lifelong learning programmes are most commonly provided by faculties, but may be offered by other units of MU. The activities of the University of the Third Age are coordinated by one of the university’s Vice-Rectors (administration is the responsibility of the Office for Studies at the Rector’s Office), while the actual teaching is carried out through the cooperation of MU faculties.
Details relating to the authority and responsibilities of the individual officers and official bodies of MU and its constituent parts in matters relating to educational activities and care for students and those enrolled in lifelong learning programmes can be found in the relevant internal regulations (odkaz).