Tertiary education (terciarno izobraževanje) in Slovenia is comprised into short-cycle higher vocational education (višje strokovno izobraževanje) and higher education (visokošolsko izobraževanje) which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. After finishing vocational education, students may or may not follow their studies into higher education, aspect that makes the two subsystems connected. There are 4 major universities and 50 smaller independent educational institutions. Although it is a relatively small country, Slovenia attracts about 3,000 foreign studies every year. In 2017, 4% of the 24-65 years old people held a doctoral degree or equivalent, the highest percentage amongst OECD countries. Also, the employment rate is at 89% for those who have finished tertiary education, which places Slovenia in top six OECD countries. For further information, the Ministry of Education’s website is available at https://www.gov.si/en/state-authorities/ministries/ministry-of-education-science-and-sport/.
All faculties and universities provide studies at all three cycles: Bachelor’s (dodiplomski), Master’s (magistrski), Doctorate (doktorski). They follow the European grading system where every programme is measured in credits: one semester represents 30 credits. Degrees in Medicine, Architecture or Theology will usually follow the structure of an Integrated Master’s, lasting for 5 to 6 years. Though, usually, undergraduate and doctoral studies last between 3 to 4 years and completing a Master’s will take up 2 to 3 years. Short-cycle higher vocational courses last for 2 years and graduates are qualified for employment after finishing their studies in various subjects. Such degrees are offered in Art, Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences, Engineering or Agriculture. The academic year will usually begin in October and end in September, the next year; is divided into two semesters.
In order to apply at an undergraduate level, you should be able to prove that you have finished secondary school and possess a school-leaving certificate signed by countries that agreed to the Lisbon Convention. For the other two cycles, you must have completed and obtain a Bachelor’s degree, if you wish to pursue a Master, and a Master’s degree, if you wish to pursue a PhD. Proof of language abilities in Slovene or English will also be required and introductory classes might be compulsory for international students. There are no entrance exams, except for courses in Arts that require proof of artistic capabilities, and the deadline for submission of applications is in February-March, before the academic year starts. The same process and timetable is available for international students. Even though, courses will be mostly offered in Slovene, other languages are available as well like English, French or German.
Full-time students from EU countries in the first two cycles are exempted from tuition fees. Apart from that, numbers vary from university to university and course to course. For this reason, the values range from 1,500 € to 10,000 € per annum.
Information for International Students
For an international student, living in Slovenia will sound convenient. If you opt for shared accommodation prices will go up as high as 170 € per month in the city centre of Ljubljana, the capital. Other types of accommodation are not much more expensive than this. Also, prices for transportation, shopping, food or social activities are lower than the European average. Moreover, scholarships for both tuition fees and living costs are available not only for native students, but foreign (from specific countries) as well. Ideal student life is characterised by fulfilling courses, substantial job prospects, fantastic nightlife and affordable living for which Slovenia ticks all the boxes. International students benefit from all those just as much. Unknown to the majority, this small country is home to perfect opportunities for students.