Rectors: We will educate and lead our students to critical and independent thinking

Czech and Slovak Rectors released a joint statement on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of a united, free Czechoslovak Republic. “We will continue to educate and lead our students to creative and critical thinking, self-confidence, national pride and civic responsibility,” declared the Rectors in the signed statement.

“Following the legacy of the first Czechoslovak Republic, we are prepared to continue to uphold democratic principles and strongly protect fundamental rights and freedoms,” declares a statement signed by Tomáš Zima, Head of the Czech Conference of Rectors and Rector of Charles University in Prague, and Marek Šmid, Head of the Slovak Conference of Rectors and Rector of the University of Trnava, on 25 October in the 14th-century Collegium Carollinum, the oldest part of Charles University.

According to the Czech and Slovak Rectors, universities will educate and lead students to creative and critical thinking, self-confidence, national pride and civic responsibility in accordance with the principles of the Magna Charta Universitatum.

“We ask the Czech and Slovak Governments to pay appropriate attention to higher education, science and research and make them priorities in their long-term view of the development of both countries,” reads the statement.

Moreover, the Rectors consider that the former united nation state for Czechs and Slovaks (it divided in two in 1993) contributed greatly to the development of higher education in both countries. “Thanks to the existence of the Czechoslovak Republic, new universities were established, the number of people with university degrees rose, and culture and art flourished,” they state. Cooperation between Czech and Slovak academics has continued since the division. “We declare that we will continue our collaboration not only at the level of particular institutions but also at the level of multilateral relations, which receive ever greater support in Europe,” the Rectors add.