Cases of dodgy qualifications and academic titles are not a rarity in Slovakia, with the system working from grammar schools to universities. Now general manager of Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party and new labour minister Jan Richter has come under attack for having a qualification on a subject he did not study and that he was not entitled to receive.
The case was brought to light by daily SME and points to how Richter boasts an academic title in law from Matej Bel University (from 2002) even though the course of study he was on was not accredited for a Bachelor’s degree. Now ten years on Richter finds himself in an embarrassing situation, at least it would be if he were not shrouded in the protective party cloak.
It just so happens that the rector at the time, Milan Murgas, was also a loyal member of Smer-SD. Confused by the situation, Murgas doesn’t understand how Richter and another 38 people could have received the diplomas, because even back in 2002 he openly announced that they were not entitled to a diploma from the unaccredited course of International Law and Relations (not Law as stipulated on Richter’s diploma).
There is another twist, because for the case to be investigated by the Accreditation Commission, education minister Dusan Caplovic (also from Smer-SD) would have to give the order, but he is passing the buck by saying jurisdiction to decide what to do falls to the commission, while the commission is saying it can’t act without his instruction.
Minister Caplovic said clearly that he is not interested in how Richter got his diploma and so he will not initiate any investigation and even the current rector of the university Beata Kosova says everything is in line with regulations. So no chicken, no egg, just some scrambled stuff that certain people hope might not taste or smell so bad.