In August 2018 the Slovak Accreditation Commission approved the launch of a new professional bachelor`s degree programme at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. The programme was created in the framework of the EDU-LAB project, where EFE is the lead partner, and is the first accredited professionally-oriented study programme in Slovakia.

The programme, leading to the qualification “Technologist in the Automotive Industry”, is offered by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in cooperation with Volkswagen Slovakia. It is structured in four years of study and corresponds to the level of the other undergraduate programmes of the university. However, the programme puts a stronger emphasis on practical training, combined with theoretical studies.

In the first and second year, the programme focuses on laying a theoretical foundation, serving as the basis for practical skills. In the third year, students are employed in one of the eight transnational partner companies based in different regions of Slovakia. Providing work placements for students in the country can mitigate brain drain from the region. Finally, 4th year students prepare their thesis with the assistance of mentors from both the university and the company. Students also have the opportunity to receive company-sponsored scholarships each year to support their studies.

The launch of the programme in Slovakia is a milestone in the EDU-LAB project which will soon be followed by another pilot activity in Bulgaria, the founding of the first professionally-oriented academy.