On Tuesday, April 22, 2008 the Academic Senate of the Silesian University in Opava decided unanimously to appropriate four study programmes of the existing Faculty of Philosophy and Science for the establishment of a new part of the Silesian University, the Faculty of Public Policies. The new faculty began operation on October 1, 2008.
Since the beginning of the academic year 2016/2017, the students, teachers and administrative staff use the newly renovated seat building at 14 Bezruč Square, Opava. The original neo-baroque palace of the provincial finance directorate from the early 20th century now houses modern teaching facilities which provide all the necessary comfort for teaching and scientific research.
The historic building of the former provincial finance directorate was during renovation supplemented by an extension where the University Library of Silesian University in Opava is now located.
The Faculty focuses primarily on providing professional degree programs whose graduates are well prepared for future job performance thanks to high proportion of practical training. Graduates find employment in the public service sector from nursing over pedagogical specialization and social work to the public administration sphere, exhibiting extremely high levels of employment.
Scientific and educational activities provided by the Faculty of three departments (Institute of Nursing, Institute of Pedagogical and Psychological Sciences and the Institute of Public Administration and Regional Policy). Performing research activities as a priority, three faculty research centres (Research Centre for Social Inclusion, Research Centre for Cultural and Modern History and the Centre for Empirical Research) maintain a significant share in the instruction of students.
On average, more than a thousand students study at the faculty of whom primarily students of Master’s and doctoral programs regularly engage in creative activities and implementation of their own research work. The study is governed by a credit system based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which allows candidates to complete part of their studies at partner universities abroad (e.g. in Germany, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and the Slovak Republic).
Students are supported through merit, accommodation and other types of scholarships. The best students interested in scientific research can raise funds to finance their participation in the projects of student grant competition and they can also succeed in the competition for the best final thesis.
Faculty of Public Policies enables its researchers and other professionals to publish the results of scientific work primarily by means of three journals. From 2013, the Faculty publishes the peer-reviewed scientific journal Central European Papers, filed since 2015 in the prestigious European database ERIH PLUS in the fields of political science and history. Similarly, a journal called Social Pathology and Prevention which reflects a multidisciplinary view of the area of risky behaviour and its prevention is published in English since 2015. The newest professional journal under the auspice of the Institute of Nursing is Nursing Perspectives (Ošetřovatelské perspektivy). The results of students' professional and scientific activities, including parts of their theses can be published by students in peer-reviewed on-line student journal entitled The Dark-Blue World (Tmavomodrý Svět).
In the future, the faculty is prepared to focus primarily on the instruction of students mainly in areas of so-called helping professions (nursing, social pathology and prevention, social welfare, special education, education of the elderly, etc.) and on education usable in a wide range of sectors of public administration and regional policy.
As a research activity priority, the Faculty focuses on areas related directly to student instruction. Besides paramedical disciplines and pedagogical-psychological issues on the field of social pathology and prevention and education of the elderly, research focuses on current issues in the area adjacent to public governance, such as working with ethnic and national minorities, migration and social integration of difficultly adaptable populations, the record-keeping and compensation of victims of persecution by the totalitarian regime in our country and in the former Soviet Union, churches and denominations and the development of their role in the society, etc.
Faculty of Public Policies with its educational focus and research profiles gradually became an essential part of the Silesian University in Opava, helping to create a positive image of the university in the public and contributing significantly to the education of vocational professionals whose representation in the labour market is dramatically scarce and who are essentially irreplaceable.