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In Slovenia, there are several types of higher education institutions, namely universities, faculties, art academies and independent higher education institutions. Today, there are four universities (University of Ljubljana,  University of Maribor, University of Primorska and University of Nova Gorica), a public independent institution of higher education (Faculty of information studies Novo mesto), one International Association of universities (EMUNI-EURO Mediterranean University) and 44 private higher education institutions in Slovenia (the data is from june 2016).   

The traditional higher education study programmes are offered by public or private universities and single higher education institutions. Higher education is governed by special regulations, taking into account the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of public higher education institutions.

Taking into account European standards and guidelines set by the Ministers responsible for Higher Education adopted in the Bergen Communique in 2005 and confirmed two years later in London in 2009, Slovenia established an independent National Agency for the Quality of Higher Education (NAKVIS), which is responsible for quality assurance in higher education, and for the development and advisory work in this field.

The performance of activities related to higher education is of special public interest; therefore they can only be carried out by those institutions that have been established in accordance with the law. The state shall ensure, via NAKVIS and the relevant authorities, that all the newly established institutions of higher education comply with statutory requirements before they commence operation, in order to provide students with high-quality and uninterrupted study.  

The ministry responsible for higher education keeps a public record of all accredited higher education institutions and existing study programmes that provide state-approved education.



Study Structure

Slovenia joined the Bologna Reform in 1999, as a result of which a three-cycle study structure was introduced in 2004. Higher education attainment and student’s performance are measured in ECTS (the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits.

From the academic year 2010/11 onwards it is possible to enroll into the renewed “Bologna” study programmes at all three levels (undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes).

  • First cycle qualification (Bachelor):
    • Bachelor programmes generally require three to four years of study.
    • The credit requirement is 180 to 240 ECTS credits.
  • Second cycle qualification (Master):
    • Master programmes generally require one to two years of study.
    • The credit requirement for Master programmes is 60 to 120 ECTS credits.
    • Unless the EU directives state otherwise, integrated Master programmes require five years of study.
    • The credit requirement for integrated Master programmes is 300 ECTS credits or 360 ECTS credits, if so required by EU directives.
  • Doctorate:
    • Additional 180 ECTS credits or 240 ECTS credits are required to receive official scientific title Doctor of Science (doktor znanosti) and require about three to four years of study.

Types of Tertiary Education Institutions


In Slovenia, the tertiary education system comprises short-cycle vocational higher education and higher education.


The short-cycle vocational higher education deliveres two-year vocational programmes by the higher vocational colleges. The practice-oriented vocational programmes provide students with competences for employment in specific professions.

The higher education is offered by the universities, composed of faculties, art academics, and higher professional colleges and by independent higher education institutions. The focus of faculties is on scientific research and educational work in science related disciplines. Faculties offer degrees in at least two cycles of qualification (the first and second, or second and third). Art academies perform artistic and educational activities in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Like faculties, art academies also offer degrees in at least two cycles. Higher professional colleges perform educational activities of one or more related or interlinked trades or occupational fields. They may also perform research or artistic activities if this is specified in its charter and meets all the requirements. Higher professional colleges offer degrees in at least the first cycle qualification. They may also offer Master study programmes if they meet the necessary requirement or can do so in cooperation with faculties or art academies.

Tuition fees

Slovenian citizens have the right to education at higher education institutions in the Republic of Slovenia under the same conditions as the nationals of other EU Member States. Full-time studies at the first and second levels of the Bologna structure are funded by the government.  Higher education institutions may charge fees for part-time studies and study programmes not funded from public sources and for supplementary study programmes.


Financial Supports for Students

Students with limited financial resources are eligible to apply for government scholarships. Employer scholarships to support the attainment of qualification for specific occupations are also available. Talented students are eligible to apply for Zois scholarships. Slovenia also provides scholarships to Slovenian national minorities in neighbouring countries and Slovenians abroad and also to citizens of countries that have signed bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreements on educational cooperation and scholarships based on reciprocity.

The government provides subsidies for accommodation to short-cycle higher education and higher education students. The grant of subsidies depends on student’s performance, economic situation, distance from home, and social and health needs. Short-cycle higher education and higher education students are, under the specified conditions, also entitled to subsidised meals, transportation subsidies and other rights and benefits in accordance with special regulations, unless they are employed or registered as job seekers.