Two PhD degrees at the same time

University of Antwerp

We have established collaboration in science and research with the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Students who participate in the Double Degree Program receive their degrees from two universities at the same time and after a significantly shorter time than if they studied the two programs separately. In the Double Degree Program they receive a degree from their home university and a degree from the partner university abroad.

FIT’s long-term aim is to focus on science and research and share knowledge and experience with leading universities around the world. Years of intense cooperation between the management of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp (FAE UA), and FIT CTU were finally formalized by an agreement. Consequently, discussions on the establishment of a PhD Double Degree Program began in 2018.

“The collaboration between the two faculties reached its peak on 6 June 2019, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. Since then, FIT CTU has been able to offer their students interested in software engineering the possibility to get a prestigious double PhD degree,” says doc. Ing. Robert Pergl, Ph.D, founder and head of the Centre for Conceptual Modelling and Implementation (CCMi) at the Department of Software Engineering.

Under the program, partner universities recognize selected courses of the other university in the study program, and the study plan is devised so that it corresponds to the requirements for the award of a diploma at both universities. Completing the prestigious program means that students have two diplomas from two countries, which gives them an indisputable advantage on the labour market.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding

The first application to the double degree program was submitted by Ing. Marek Suchánek, a PhD student who has just defended the PhD minimum at FIT CTU on the topic of Normalized Systems Gateway Ontology for Conceptual Models. Doc. Pergl adds:

“At this moment we are working on practical and procedural aspects to make sure it all works smoothly. Ing. Suchánek is a fearless pioneer and will be very probably appointed coordinator of the double degree program by the dean so that he can help other students interested in the program.”

The collaboration between FIT CTU and FAE UA was formalized thanks to doc. RNDr. Ing. Marcel Jiřina, Ph.D, FIT’s Dean. The credit for the implementation of the whole idea goes to doc. Ing. Štěpán Starosta, Ph.D., Vice-Dean for Science and Research, who prepared the Memorandum of Understanding with our Belgian partners.

Since 2015, FIT CTU has offered a branch-compulsory course called Normalized Software Systems, which is taught by teachers from FAE UA. The course is getting more and more popular among students.

“In order to meet the students’ demand for technical details and practice going beyond the scope of the course, we have also been offering the NS Summer School since 2018, which is an opportunity for students to go to the University of Antwerp,” says Ing. Michal Valenta, Ph.D., head of the Department of Software Engineering. “We believe that the collaboration with the University of Antwerp will now be even more attractive for students and we are looking forward to all of them,” Valenta concludes.

At the University of Antwerp, researchers are working on the biggest breakthrough in software engineering in decades: the application of the theory of normalized systems on sustainability of the development of large information systems. Although sustainable development is a classical topic, the way it is approached at UA is exceptional in its preciseness, provability and significant applications in practice.