Academic staff in higher education are persons with academic ranks and associates who are directly involved in study programmes implementation at institutions.
There are no special programmes for initial education of academic staff, since enrolment in studies is done on a competitive basis for all study programmes and candidates. Also, the curriculum of study programmes is uniform and during the studies there are no special requirements for studying subjects relevant for the pedagogical work of candidates who wish to have academic career in higher education.
A person may start their teaching career as a teaching associate after completing a bachelor or a specialist study programme with the average grade not lower than B (8.50) and enrolling in master studies. The teaching associate is involved in carrying out exercises (in the laboratory, on the field and other forms of work with students aimed at helping them master the teaching materials through the exercises) from the relevant subject, group of subjects or areas. A person may also be appointed to rank of associate and start teaching after enrolling in doctoral studies, as well as after their completion.
In accordance with the Law on Higher Education, formal education for the appointment into academic ranks is obtained by completing doctoral studies, i.e. defending doctoral dissertation in all fields of science. Exceptionally, in case of academic ranks for artistic and related subjects (at faculties and academies for fine arts, applied, music, drama and architecture), it can be done by completed higher education and recognized works of art.
Conditions for appointment to academic ranks
Academic ranks include the following:
- full professor,
- associate professor,
- assistant professor,
- college professor,
- college lecturer.
Appointment to academic ranks is done by university Senate based on a public call, for a period of five years, except in case of full professors who are appointed for an indefinite time period.
A person may be appointed to academic ranks for scientific fields if they have the title of Doctor of Science and proven pedagogical skills, whereas for professional and artistic fields they are required to have higher education, recognised artistic work and proven pedagogical skills. In all cases, the results on the basis of which the appointment is done must be internationally comparable.
The conditions and criteria for appointment to ranks are prescribed by the Council for Higher Education.
When assessing creativity as a criterion for appointment or re-appointment to the rank, the candidate’s scientific, research, artistic and professional activity are taken into account, and the procedure and criteria are defined for evaluating the results of the candidates who applied to the call.
A person may be appointed to the rank of assistant professor if they have:
- the ability to methodically set and elaborate scientific, artistic or professional problems;
- an adequate bibliography in the relevant field;
- publicly presented works in the form recognised by national and international professional public, and for areas for which international presentation of works is not possible, works that are of importance for national or state identity and culture can be considered;
- positively assessed inaugural lecture.
A person may be appointed to the rank of associate professor if they have:
- the ability to interpret and disseminate scientific or artistic knowledge in their field and create original works;
- an adequate bibliography in the relevant field, which includes at least two independent and integral (author) scientific or artistic works;
- publicly presented works in the form recognized in the domestic and international professional public as significant for the affirmation of the profession or, as equivalent, works of relevance to national or state identity and culture;
- proven successful pedagogical or research work with students;
- successful pedagogical activity for the previous appointment period.
A person may be appointed to the rank of full professor if they:
- achieve exceptional results in the field of science or art;
- have publicly presented works abroad, which are considered significant scientific or artistic achievements in the relevant area, or, as an equivalent, works of relevance to national or national identity and culture can be considered;
- have the ability to methodically set and elaborate the most complex scientific, artistic or professional problems;
- have the ability to organize and manage research or artistic teams or groups;
- contribute to the development and improvement of infrastructure in the area of its work;
- have an adequate bibliography for the relevant area which includes autonomous author's works, or works in which the lead author is;
- have complete and original scientific (monograph, book, textbook), or artistic works significant on the international and national level;
- have proven successful pedagogical or research work with students;
- have successful pedagogical activity for the previous election period.
A person may be appointed to the rank of college lecturer if they gained prominence in their profession, or field for which they are being considered.
A person may be appointed to the rank of college professor if they have:
- professional papers proving to be well-established in the field for which they are being considered;
- adequate bibliography which includes papers and achievements recognized by the profession as an adequate manner of presentation from the field for which they are being considered, and
- a positive assessment of their pedagogical work in the previous appointment period.
In the assessment of pedagogical skills the following shall be considered as the appointment criteria:
- scope and content of knowledge of the field in which the candidate performs their pedagogical work;
- competence to carry out modern organization of educational activities and the efficiency in delivering lectures, exercises, seminars, consultations and exams;
- achieved international and national rating in the field of science/art and profession;
- establishment and development of laboratories;
- involvement in editing scientific and professional periodicals and conference proceedings;
- involvement and efficiency in teaching, i.e. working with students;
- mentoring in postgraduate and doctoral education and in preparation of graduate, specialist, master and doctoral papers;
- care for the development of young teaching staff; overall relation toward co-workers; encouraging younger co-workers and introducing them to scientific and artistic work and publishing the proceedings of that work;
- students’ views about pedagogical work conducted by the candidate;
- professional, pedagogical and methodical value of scientific papers, textbooks and handbooks.
For the first appointment to the relevant academic rank, the candidate presents the proof of active knowledge of at least one world language.
Appointment to the higher rank is made after the expiry of the selection period for the lower rank.
Academic staff working as associates participating in the implementation of teaching is a teaching associate.
In the implementation of teaching, academic staff is also assisted by professional staff:
- senior lecturer,
- senior professional associate,
- professional associate.
The selection of associates is carried out by the faculty council, based on a public call, which determines the period for which the associate is chosen and the field of engagement.
Professional staff can participate in the implementation of practical classes with students, according to the decision of the council of the organizational unit, with the mentorship of the subject teacher.
The selection of professional staff is based on a public call.
A person with a university degree may be elected as professional staff if they meet the special conditions prescribed by the act on the internal organization and systematization of universities for the organizational unit at which the selection is made.