In Slovakia there are 38 institutions of higher education (vysoká škola). Structured into academies, colleges, military and theological schools, and private and public universities, they are in beautiful, large cities as Bratislava, Košice and Banská Bystrica or in more rustic, rural areas such as Skalika. In the academic year 2017/2018, 11,565 international students were enrolled in universities around Slovakia. Not only the number, but also the percentage share of all students increased to 5.9%, exceeding the OECD average. Currently, they make up more than 8% of all college students in the country. Remarked for its progressive and dynamic environment while maintaining the traditional flavour, Slovakia attracts students from more than 100 countries. For further information it is worth checking the Ministry of Education’s website: https://www.minedu.sk/.
Tertiary education system is structured on three levels: Bachelor’s (Bakalár, abbr. “Bc.”), Master’s (Magister, abbr. “Mgr.”) and Doctorate (Doktor, abbr. “PhD.”). Apart from the general naming of the degrees, there are several other programmes on the second stage like “inžinier” in Architecture and “doktor” in Medicine, Theology or Philosophy. The length of the courses varies in specialization, but it would normally last between 3 to 4 years to complete a Bachelor’s degree or Doctorate and 2 to 3 years for Master’s. There is also the possibility to study integrated Masters, where the first two levels of study are combined, in subjects like Medicine, Theology or Architecture. From 2002, Universities in Slovakia follow the credit system of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) where every semester has 30 credits.
Admission and finalization of the studies are regulated within each university. However, several general procedures can be identified. In order to be considered for a Bachelor’s or Integrated Master’s, one must have finished secondary school with the school-leaving exam (maturita). Every student applies during February or March at their desired university and have entrance assessments between June and September. Applications for art institutions happen earlier. Admission for Master’s and doctoral studies require completion of the first and, respectively, the second stage. International students benefit from the same process, provided their previous studies are recognized. Courses are mostly in Slovak, but introductory courses to it or in English and other languages are offered. There is also the possibility of applying electronically to every degree through https://www.portalvs.sk/, website launched in 2009 at the government’ request. The academic year starts on the 1st of September and will, usually, end in August of the next year or earlier than that.
There are no tuition fees for students who study full-time without exceeding the standard length in Slovak language. Apart from that, tuition vary from 490 € to 12,200 € per academic year. Again, that differs from university to university, therefore updated and specific information should be listed on universities’ websites. Grants and scholarships are available for both native and foreign students.
Information for International Students
Living costs are manageable, compared to other EU countries. On average, renting a 1-bedroom apartment is 365 € euros per month, while transportation and shopping are fairly cheap.