Our new study on university counselling was published in March.
“College Counseling in the Czech Republic. Between Strategy and Reality” is the title of the study, which was produced in collaboration between the Centre for Higher Education Studies and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The study aims to offer a more comprehensive view of the current state of university counselling in the Czech Republic.
The organisation of two international workshops on counselling in 2020 and 2021 proved to be crucial for the development of the study. In addition to foreign guests, members of the Association of Higher Education Counsellors (AVŠP) took part in them. Their opinions on the current state and challenges of higher education counselling in the Czech Republic helped to grasp the topic and compare it with the presented foreign practice. From there it was only a step to formulating the main thesis of the whole study, that counselling at higher education institutions is an important factor in the process of quality assurance and increasing the efficiency of tertiary education. Individual institutions should therefore pay particular attention to the area of counselling. This is also related to their ability to meet their educational objectives, where they cannot do without a clear concept for the development and funding of counselling centres.
Recently, the study was officially presented at a workshop attended by numerous representatives of the counselling community. In response to the presentation of the study, there were demands for better legislative anchoring of counselling, which is still rather vague. The counselling community would also like to see a clearer definition of its funding – e.g. the inclusion of funding for counselling in the contribution of higher education institutions. Another issue is also the setting up of counselling for academic staff – in particular the payment of counselling by the institution, which often requires it from the counselling centre without significantly reflecting this activity in their funding. An important challenge for the future will also be the increasing professionalization of counselling centres and the setting of a professional competence framework for counsellors. The first steps in this direction will undoubtedly be taken by the currently approved CRP-project of a consortium of 19 higher education institutions, which focuses on the long-term development of counselling activities. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this activity does not fall by the wayside and is instead the proverbial first swallow that frames the increased interest in the field of counselling on the part of Higher education institutions schools and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The full text of the study in electronic form can be found here.
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