Comenius University produces high-quality research both in the natural and social sciences

Bratislava, 3 February 2023: An independent assessment of scientific output quality confirms the leading position of Comenius University Bratislava in Slovak science. Comenius University researchers generated up to one quarter of all world-class research in Slovakia. A regular evaluation of research, development, artistic and other creative activities (VER - Verification of Excellence in Research) was launched by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The results of this assessment may have an impact on the financing of public universities from 2024.

06. 02. 2023 11.37 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

 The disciplines of science and the arts were divided into seven groups and 28 areas. The evaluated research was ranked as: world-class, important international, international, national and unclassified.

Comenius University submitted a total of 39 applications to assess its labs in 21 areas. The university's departments received the highest rating in eight areas - environmental and ecological sciences, physical sciences, clinical medical sciences, mathematical sciences, political sciences, sociology and social anthropology, Earth sciences and basic medical sciences.

It is difficult to compare across different disciplines because each discipline is evaluated according to different criteria. A comparison, however, is possible among Slovak labs within one field of science.

Panels consisting primarily of foreign experts evaluated 308 applications. Of them, 253 were from universities and 55 were from the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Together, they assessed 10,036 researchers who were employed at the evaluated institution at least half of the time in the period of 2014 to 2019.

Comenius University research accounted for nearly one quarter (24.3 %) of all world-class research output of Slovak scientists. Comenius University took a share of 17.5 % in important international output and 17 % in international output. „Our university has achieved world-class results under conditions which are anything but,“ Comenius University Rector Marek Števček says of the results.

Many disciplines achieved good results despite insufficient funding of science and weak support by the state. The assessment also revealed a lagging trend in pedagogical sciences, which has several underlying reasons.

The results showed that Comenius University compares well with international research institutions in several areas. They also broke the myth that high-quality research our university is mainly done in the natural sciences. On the contrary, social sciences also scored very well,“ says CU rector Marek Števček.

This is the first evaluation of scientific output of this kind. Despite certain reservations regarding the bias of the evaluation, it is one of the most unbiased assessments ever conducted in Slovakia.