Higher Education in Slovenia

The higher education system in Slovenia has gone through several structural changes. New academic programs were introduced. As a result, At present, around 2,000 international students study in Slovenia.

Higher Education Institutions

There are several types of higher education institutions in Slovenia, including universities, colleges, art academies, and independent higher education institutions.

There are four universities in Slovenia, which we presented in detail in our article about the top universities in Slovenia.

Higher Education Programs

The public university and single higher education institutions offer the traditional higher education programs.

Higher education is governed by special regulations, taking into consideration the constitutionally guaranteed independence of public higher education institutions.

This is in addition to the European standards and guidelines that were set by the ministers who are responsible for the higher education and were adopted in the Bergen Communiqué in 2005. They were then confirmed in 2009.

Slovenia established an independent National Agency for the Quality of Higher Education (NAKVIS). It is responsible for the higher education quality assurance, in addition to the development and advisory work in this field.

Study Structure

Slovenia joined the Bologna reform process in 1999. As a result, a three-cycle study structure was introduced in 2004. The student’s achievement and performance levels are measured by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
As of the academic year 2010/2011, it became possible to enroll in the renewed “Bologna” study programs at all the three levels (university and postgraduate study programs).

First Cycle (Undergraduate)

The undergraduate programs usually take from three to four years of study and 180-240 credit points according to the ECTS.

Second Cycle (Master)

It requires one to two years of study and 60-120 credit points according to the ECTS.
Unless the European Union guidelines state otherwise, the integrated master programs require five years of study. The main requirements of the integrated programs are 300 or 360 credit points, according to the ECTS, as per the EU guidelines.

Third Cycle (Doctorate)

It needs from three to four years of study, in addition to 180 credit points according to ECTS to get the official title of ‘Doktor znanosti’.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

In Slovenia, the higher education system includes the higher education and vocational higher education.


The vocational higher education offers short-term vocational programs over two years by the higher vocational colleges. These programs offer their students the practical knowledge and skills in specific occupations.

Higher education is offered by the universities which are comprised of colleges, academies, higher vocational colleges, and independent higher education institutions. The colleges are focused on the scientific research and educational work in the science-related specialties.


Colleges offer degrees in at least two cycles (first and second, or second and third).

The art academies carry out artistic and educational activities in a wide range of art specialties. Similar to colleges, the art academies offer degrees in at least two cycles.

Higher Vocational Colleges

The higher vocational colleges carry out the educational activities for one or more interrelated areas or the vocational fields. They can also do researches or art activities, if stated by the law and if they fulfill all the requirements.


The higher vocational colleges award certificates in at least the first cycle. They may also offer master study programs if they were meeting the necessary requirements. This also can be done in cooperation with the colleges and art academies.

After you’ve learnt about the higher education system in Slovenia, discover its Best Universities.

About Sara

A professional Eng><Ara translator and writer.

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