Czech reforms back on cards

November 2, 2006

Local and Senate elections in the Czech Republic last weekend may end a political stalemate that has stalled anticipated university reforms.

A general election last summer led to a hung Parliament, putting policymaking on hold, but the recent polls have prompted negotiations between the parties.

The Government led by Mirek Topolanek of the minority Civic Democrats pledged to return to the university reform agenda with priority given to science and research. That Government, however, fell after losing a vote of confidence.

Miroslava Kopicova, Mr Topolanek's Education Minister and former head of the country's National Education Fund, said: "My priority will undoubtedly be support for universities, science and research. I would also like to pay special attention to the technical intelligentsia."

Her comments were seen to be calculated to win widespread public support at a time when figures suggest the country is lagging behind others in Europe in graduate output.

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