Information on the Higher Education System in the Republic of Slovenia
Higher education in Slovenia is regulated by the Higher Education Act. It came into effect on 1.1.1994, and was subsequently amended many times.
Higher Education Institutions
The studies are provided by public and private universities and their members – faculties, art academies and professional colleges. Private faculties and art academies as well as public and private professional colleges may be organised also as independent higher education institutions. Universities, faculties and art academies may provide all types of study programmes, while professional colleges may provide, as a rule, the first-cycle professional study programmes, but also the second-cycle programmes when meeting certain special requirements.
Pre-reform study programmes
According to the regulation in force before the Act Amending Higher Education Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 63/04), the higher education system offered two types of undergraduate study programmes academic study programmes, of 4 to 6 years’ duration, and professional study programmes, of 3 to 4 years’ duration. The postgraduate study programmes before the reform were: specialisation study programmes, of 1 to 2’ years duration, master of science or arts study programmes, of 2 years’ duration, and doctoral study programmes. The latter last 4 years after the completed academic studies or 2 years after the completed master study programme. Credit system of studies (ECTS) has been compulsory since 2002. Studies are organised as full-time or part-time studies.
Access to academic study programmes is still open to holders of the Matura certificate, the final examination certificate, obtained prior to 1 June 1995, or the vocational Matura certificate, obtained in or after the academic year 2001/2002 plus an additional examination in one of the general Matura subjects. Access to higher professional study programmes is open to holders of the Matura certificate, the vocational Matura certificate or the final examination certificate of the four-year higher secondary or equivalent programme. Access to specialisation study programmes is open to holders of the diploma obtained in an academic or higher professional study programme. Access to masters’ study programmes is open to holders of the diploma obtained in academic study programme, exceptionally and subject to certain additional requirements also to holders of the higher professional diploma. Access to doctoral studies is open to holders of the diploma in academic study programmes or to holders of the masters’ study programme diploma.
Transfers between academic study programmes and higher professional programmes as well as between short-cycle higher education and higher professional or academic study programmes are possible when meeting the requirements prescribed by the criteria of the Council of the Republic of Slovenia for Higher Education and by individual study programmes. Transfers between the specialisation study programmes and masters’ programmes in science/arts are possible, too.
Post-reform study programmes
Act Amending the Higher Education Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. Act Amending the Higher Education Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 94/06) represent the legal framework for the introduction of the three-cycle higher education in accordance with the Bologna declaration. The first cycle study programmes are academic and professional study programmes. Their duration is determined by years (three to four years) and credit points (180 to 240 CP). 60 credit points may be obtained per study year, 1 credit point consists of 25 to 30 hours of a student’s work; there are from 1500 to 1800 hours per year in total. The second cycle study programmes are masters’ study programmes (masters’ professional degree). They consist of 60 to 120 credit points and last from one to two years. The duration of an individual masters’ study programme must be planned with regard to the duration of the first cycle study programme. The total duration in the same field of study must not exceed five years (3+2, 4+1). The second cycle study programmes include also single cycle masters’ study programmes. They are formed for studying professions regulated by the EU directives or the legislation of the Republic of Slovenia. Where not determined differently by the EU directives, these programmes are of five years’ duration and consist of 300 credit points. The third cycle is one type of a study programme: doctoral study programmes. It lasts for three years, study requirements consist of 180 credit points, two thirds of which shall be acquired by research. The degrees in all three cycles can be formed as joint degrees. Higher education institutions may organise and provide supplementary study programmes as a form of lifelong learning. Studies are organised as full-time or part-time studies.
Access requirement to academic and single cycle masters’ study programmes is the Matura examination, final examination prior to 1 June 1995, or the vocational Matura examination plus an additional examination for one general Matura subject. Access requirement to higher professional study programmes is the Matura examination, the vocational Matura examination or the final examination under the four-year secondary school or equivalent programme. The general access requirement for masters’ study programmes is a completed first cycle study programme. Specific access requirements are determined by individual study programmes. Study programmes from corresponding fields of study must be determined, while candidates who graduated from other fields of studies are required to acquire from 10 to 60 additional bridging credit points, depending on the difference between the fields of studies. The general access requirement to doctoral study programmes is a completed second cycle study programme.
Transfers between study programmes of the same cycle as well as between short-cycle higher education and first-cycle study programmes are possible when meeting certain requirements.
Study programmes adopted before the 2004 Act entered into force, are progressively reformed; the last enrolment is foreseen for the academic year 2008/09, the studies must be completed by the end of the academic year 2015/16 at the latest. Study programmes adopted after the 2004 amendments, are being introduced gradually; the process is to be completed by the academic year 2009/10.