Educational System of Slovenia

There are three levels of education in Slovenia: primary, secondary and higher education. Applicants have a large set of options. They can decide, at which stage to complete their education and how to continue it depending on career plans or circumstances. The educational system in Slovenia is designed to produce students with a decent knowledge base, at whatever level they decide to complete their studies.

school

Primary School

university

Secondary Education

university2

Higher Education

Primary School

Duration of Training
years

9 years

Final Assessment
check

National Knowledge Assessment Test

Next Stage of Education
education

Secondary Education

According to the legislation of the Republic of Slovenia, all children must necessarily receive basic general education that is to finish primary school (in Slovene: osnovna šola). Training is free for both Slovenian citizens and foreign children. Studying at a primary school lasts 9 years at the age of 6 to 15 years. At the end of the 6th and 9th grades, schoolchildren have to pass the National Knowledge Assessment Test (in Slovene: Nacionalno preverjanje znanja). Based on the received assessment result and combined with the overall performance, a 9th-grade pupil is given permission to continue his/her education.

Lower Vocational Education

Duration of Training
years

2 years

Final Assessment
check

Secondary-School-Leaving Certificate, Final Examination

Next Stage of Education
education

Lower Vocational School

If a pupil has only 7 years of primary school, he/she can receive lower vocational education, which is aimed at preparing children for the mastery of the future profession. Training on such a programme lasts 2 years and ends with a final examination, according to which children can continue studying at a vocational school.

Secondary Education

After graduating from a primary school, schoolchildren can choose what type of secondary education they want to receive depending on their primary school academic performance, career aspirations and plans. In Slovenia, there are 3 types of secondary education:

Secondary Vocational Education

Duration of Training
years

3 years

Final Assessment
check

Final Examination

Next Stage of Education
education

Higher Education

Secondary vocational education (in Slovene: Srednje poklicno izobraževanje, SPI) is available for students who have finished a primary school or received lower vocational education. In secondary vocational educational institutions, students study for three years and master an applied profession such as carpenter, mechanic, glazier, hairdresser, baker, etc.

Vocational schools offer programmes that are supported in Slovenia at the national level. If the country experiences a lack of qualified personnel in a certain field of expertise, then students of corresponding study programmes can be trained in practice by a real employer. This facilitates the search for a job and helps students better solidify theoretical knowledge and soon feel engaged in the working process and the team. At the end of the studies, students must pass a final examination.

If a student has a desire to continue his/her education at a university or a vocational college, he/she must pass the general final examination (in Slovene: matura), which includes Slovenian Language, Mathematics and a Foreign Language. There are also paid preparatory courses (in Slovene: Maturitetni tečaj), during which students are trained to pass the exams.

Secondary Technical and Vocational Education

Duration of Training
years

4 years

Final Assessment
check

General Final Examination

Next Stage of Education
education

Higher Education

Students can receive secondary technical and vocational education after completing studies at a primary school. The training lasts 4 years and is aimed at obtaining in-depth knowledge within a specific technical or economic profession.

At the end of studies, a professional final examination (in Slovene: Poklicna matura) should be passed. The result of this exam involves enrolling in a vocational college or university for a professional Bachelor's degree programme.

General Secondary Education

Duration of Training
years

4 years

Final Assessment
check

General Final Examination

Next Stage of Education
education

Higher Education

Children can also receive general secondary education in grammar schools (gymnasiums). There are schoolchildren who want to continue their studies and receive higher education. That is why grammar schools are so popular among applicants. These are usually the schoolchildren who passed successfully the National Knowledge Assessment Test at a primary school and were successful in all disciplines.

At the General Final Examination (Matura), students take tests in the Slovenian Language and World Literature, Mathematics, English and two optional subjects. After graduating from a grammar school, students can enter a university.

Grammar schools:

  • In a general grammar school, students study general subjects, such as Slovenian Language, World Literature, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, History, Biology, etc.
  • In a classical grammar school, students, besides basic subjects, also study Latin and have more lectures on History and Philosophy.
  • Grammar schools with in-depth study of foreign languages or natural sciences.
  • Sport gymnasiums that are usually chosen by young professional athletes.

Higher Education

Slovenian education is recognized at the international level. Training is conducted according to the Bologna system. A growing number of universities are introducing study programmes in English into the academic process. Higher education in Slovenia for foreigners is provided on a paid basis, although the tuition fee is relatively low. Slovenian education is recognized throughout the EU, so graduates of Slovenian educational institutions can continue their studies in other EU countries. If desired, they can enter a Master's degree programme in any other country of the European Union and participate in student exchange programmes.

Vocational College

Duration of Training
years

2 years

Final Assessment
check

Thesis Defence

Training in vocational colleges (in Slovene: Višje strokovno izobraževanje) is available to graduates of grammar schools and secondary vocational schools, who have already worked for three years and passed exams in Slovenian Language, Mathematics and Foreign Language (in Slovene: Poklicna matura). Vocational colleges offer more study programmes than universities do. These programmes are focused on developing practical skills in such areas as Tourism, Wellness, Economics, Logistics, Security, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science. Two-year studies end with the diploma defence.

University or Institute

In Slovenia, there are:

  1. — State universities (University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, University of Primorska, University in Nova Gorica);
  2. — Private universities (New University, University in Novo Mesto);
  3. — International universities (Alma Mater Europaea, EMUNI);
  4. — Private institutes.

Bachelor's Degree

Duration of Training
years

2 years

Final Assessment
check

Thesis Defence

Next Stage of Education
education

Master's Degree

Students who have completed secondary education and successfully passed the General Final Examination can enter a university and receive a Bachelor's degree in Management, Marketing, Business, Construction and other majors. There are university and vocational Bachelor's degree programmes. The difference between them is that vocational programmes involve more practical disciplines. Bachelor's degree programmes in Slovenia usually last 3 years and end with the thesis defence. After graduation from a Bachelor's degree programme, students can continue their studies and receive a Master's degree.

Master's Degree

Duration of Training
years

3 years

Final Assessment
check

Thesis Defence

Next Stage of Education
education

PhD Degree

Studying under a Master's degree programme (in Slovene: Podiplomski študij) lasts 2 years and ends with the Master's thesis defence. Some programmes (for example, International Relations, Law) offer the "4 + 1" system, which is 4 years of Bachelor's degree and 1 year of Master's degree studies.

PhD Degree

Duration of Training
years

2–4 years

Final Assessment
check

PhD Thesis Defence

Students can receive PhD degree in Slovenian universities during 2–4 years. Studying under a PhD degree programme ends with the defence of a PhD thesis.

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