The conditions of equal access to education are ensured by NEWTON University on several levels, in relation to:
- students in general
- students on combined forms of study
- students with disabilities
- socially disadvantaged students
- students with other special educational needs
- gifted students
In general, equal access to education is ensured through the admissions procedure, which is designed primarily to assess the student’s interest in studying the chosen study programme and their motivation for university studies. Joining a study programme is, of course, also conditional on meeting the conditions according to the wording of the Higher Education Act and knowledge of the Czech language as the language in which the study programme is accredited (or, alternatively, the Slovak language). Full gender equality is ensured within the study programme.
Equal access to higher education is also guaranteed to students on the combined form of study, who, despite the reduced time allocation for direct teaching, have access to unlimited communication with the teachers of individual subjects via the IS NU information system, as well as other communication platforms.
Students on the combined form of study have access to lectures and seminars intended for the full-time study programme only by prior agreement with the lecturer. The reason for this is to ensure that there is sufficient classroom capacity so that all students on the full-time study programme are able to attend.
Students on the combined form of study are guaranteed not only direct teaching, but also the opportunity to meet with their teachers during weekend training sessions on pre-planned dates to discuss and verify the results of their self-study. These students may use study supports as well as other materials and aids to support the successful completion of the individual specified study obligations.
The need to ensure conditions for equal access to higher education is also guaranteed for disabled students; currently there is one particularly severely medically disabled student and several other students with mild disabilities.
The teaching spaces in Prague and Brno are completely barrier-free, and individual classrooms are also arranged in a barrier-free manner. The teaching spaces in Bratislava are also wheelchair accessible, with partial assistance from a third person.
The needs of disabled students are continuously monitored in cooperation with the Student Council of the College, regularly verified and, where additional needs are identified, these are fulfilled by designated support staff from the Study Department, in the form of personal assistance.
Although NEWTON University is a private university where studying is conditional on the payment of tuition fees, it also takes into account the need to ensure equal access to higher education for socially disadvantaged applicants and students.
NEWTON University, (then as NEWTON College), established a non-profit organisation, the Erudikon Foundation, the aim of which is to help talented young people whose economic or social circumstances make it difficult or even impossible for them to access higher education.
The Erudikon Foundation’s endowment fund supports students who are academically qualified, motivated to study at university and work on their personal development, and who meet the criteria of social need — these students do not necessarily have to be applicants or students of NEWTON University. These applicants/students are identified in cooperation with interest groups, foundations, children’s homes and other institutions.
An individual programme is prepared for each student to respond to their needs. The support project is created by the student in cooperation with a sponsor representing the Erudikon Foundation. The programmes are managed, regularly monitored and evaluated. The Fund’s support includes personal support (from a patron as well as the Fund’s community), material and financial support (payment of tuition fees or provision of a support grant to cover the costs of studies, housing, etc.).
An important feature of the Foundation’s work is the role of the patron, who enters into an individual relationship with the student, supports the creation of the student’s goals, accompanies the student throughout their participation in the support programme and monitors the student’s personal development. The NEWTON University management team and academic staff, among others, are involved in the bodies of the Erudikon Endowment Fund and in the role of patrons.
Another way in which NEWTON University ensures equal access to higher education for socially disadvantaged students is through extraordinary scholarships intended to cover tuition fees, in full or in part, due to a sudden particularly difficult event or set of circumstances occurring in the life of a Newton University student (e.g. the serious illness or death of a person who contributed to the financing of the their studies).
The need to ensure conditions for equal access to higher education is also taken into account in relation to other groups of students with special educational needs, typically by allowing them the flexibility to study on an individual study plan if required due to pregnancy, to accommodate parental leave, for serious health reasons, or to accommodate participation in cultural or sporting events, etc.
The conditions of equal access to higher education are also taken into account by NEWTON University in relation to particularly gifted students, especially through the system of merit and exceptional scholarships, as well as through individual support for these students in their professional study practice, including facilitating international study stays and internships, and providing individual guidance for the preparation of seminar works and theses.