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The Slovenia Higher Education System

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology is responsible for the higher education system in Slovenia. In Slovenia, higher education is imparted by the higher education institutions-public as well as private. 

The largest and the oldest university in the Republic of Slovenia is the University of Ljubljana. It is among the top 500 universities in the world and one of the top 200 among the European Universities. The higher education institutions of Slovenia and the degrees offered adhere to the Bologna process since 2009.

Higher Education Stats

  • No. of Universities in Slovenia: 5
  • No. of private higher education institutions: 42
Source: Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, June 2014

As per the Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges Secretariat data, there are about 43 higher vocational colleges running in Slovenia.

Main Laws Regulating Tertiary Education of Slovenia

Tertiary/Higher education in Slovenia is regulated by the Higher Education Act which came into effect in 1st January’ 1994 and was later on amended several times.

Law: Higher Education Act 
Year: 1993
Deals with: All levels and types of higher education

Law: Higher Education Amendment Act 
Year: 1999
Deals with: All types and levels of higher education

Law: Higher Education Amendment Act 
Year: 2001
Deals with: All levels and types of higher education

Law: Higher Education Amendment Act 
Year: 2003
Deals with: All levels and types of higher education

Law: Higher Education Amendment Act 
Year: 2004
Deals with: All types and levels of higher education

Law: Vocational Education and Training Act 
Year: 1996
Deals with: Vocational education, including post-secondary/tertiary vocational education

Law: Vocational Education and Training Amendment Act 
Year: 2000
Deals with: Vocational education

Law: Vocational Education and Training Amendment Act 
Year: 2004
Deals with: Vocational education

Higher Education Institutions: At a Glance

There are both public and private universities in Slovenia. Following are the institutions of higher learning in Slovenia:

Universities (Univerza)

In Slovenia, there are independent public and private universities that offer all three degree cycles in wide range of fields. The universities in Slovenia also conduct scientific research. 

Faculties (Faculteta)
Faculties in Slovenia focus in one or more interrelated scientific disciplines. The faculties carry out research and impart education at all degree levels. Faculties in Slovenia are either part of universities or are independent higher education institutions. 

Art Academies (Akademija)
Art academies in Slovenia provide training in one or more interrelated art domains. These institutions of higher learning must provide at least 2 cycles of degree- first and second or second and third levels. 

Higher Professional Colleges
The higher professional colleges in Slovenia provide training in trades and occupational domains. Some of the professional institutions also perform research. The research can be conducted in collaboration with universities or independently. 

Universities, art academies and faculties of Slovenia offer all kinds of academic programmes. The higher professional colleges emphasize on bachelor level degree programmes. Some of the professional colleges in cooperation with universities also offer Master’s degree programmes.

Higher Education Qualifications: Snapshot

The higher education degree structure is divided into 3 cycles: 

First Cycle: Undergraduate Studies- Bachelor’s Degree
At this degree level, academic as well as professional-oriented study courses are offered. 
  • Duration: 3-4 years
  • ECTS: 180 to 240 credits
Postgraduate Studies

Second Cycle: Master’s Degree (Magisterij)
This cycle requires students to complete and defend a thesis. 
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • ECTS: 60 to 120 credits
  • Credential awarded: Magister
Third Cycle: Doctoral Studies
This cycle requires students to hold a master’s degree in a related field. Also, requires completion of a doctoral thesis. 
  • Duration: 2-4 years
  • ECTS: 180 credits
  • Credential awarded: Doktor znanosti

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to take admission into the higher education institutions in Slovenia must hold a secondary school leaving examination certificate- “Matura”. International pupils who take up study programmes taught in Slovene must demonstrate their level of command in Slovene language. Students must submit an evidence of Slovenian language proficiency, generally to the European standard level B2. 
To know more about the admission requirements and procedure, click here.

Academic Year

In Slovenia the university academic year commences in October and ends in September of the following year. The academic year is split up into 2 terms. To know more about the university academic year, click here.

Tuition Fees

Slovene students and pupils from EU member countries are required to pay tuition fees only for part-time studies. Full-time studies are free of charge for these students.

International students from non-EU member countries are required to pay tuition fees for all types of study programmes.

Study Visa

Students from EU countries do not require a visa in order to enter Slovenia. Such students must possess a valid passport or identity card. If such students wish to stay in the Republic of Slovenia for a period of more than 3 months, then they must register their place of residence at the local administrative within 3 months of their arrival.
Students from Non-EU countries are required to get a visa in order to enter and study in Slovenia. 
To know about the study visa application procedure and documentation, read he post “Study Visa for Slovenia”.
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