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Study in Slovakia

Slovakia provides for ten years of mandatory education. Students enter primary education in their 6th year, second primary education will take them from 10-15 years of age and “high” schools are for those 16 and older until they reach university age. Most Universities in Slovakia are government owned and operated although since 1990 there are more private and religious options. These “Private Spice” forms of higher education remain rare in the country. These are privately financed schools of higher education that are privately operated but approved by the Ministry of Education. Studying in Slovakia offers cultural opportunities that may not be seen in other countries. Still emerging after decades of communist rule, higher education in Slovakia is a study in a society, economics, and an educational system that continues to emerge. Stage 1 “Bachelor” Programmes last 3 to 4 years. A Stage 2 “Masters” programme will last an additional 1 to 3 years. Doctorland programmes can take an additional 3 to 4 years. Slovakia provides for higher education for its students at no charge. Costs for higher education in Slovakia for foreign students can range from 2,000 to 8,000 USD per school year. This is for tuition only. Living expenses would be on top of the estimate. If students apply at a school of higher education, and there happen to be more applicants than speaces available at that particular school, students will need to take and pass, an entrance examination. These examinations can take very different forms at each particular school, depending on the demand for entrance. The level of education in Slovakia is considered quite high when compared to other countries in the world. Many materials however, are a bit outdated and there is not the free independent thinking that is seen on other university campuses across the globe. Because it is still emerging as an economic power, Slovakia offers opportunities not available elsewhere. It is a forward thinking, progressive country that has a very bright future. Students will have to keep in mind that health insurance is mandatory in Slovakia. If you are interested in furthering your education in a country that has emerged from under communist rule and is growing as a democratic republic, you should consider your options in Slovakia.

The Slovak Republic (Slovakia) has been established on 1 January 1993 as one of the successors to the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. It is a parliamentary democracy, and its Constitution guarantees equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, race, color, language, faith, religion, political affiliation or conviction, national or social origin, nationality or ethnic origin, property, birth or any other status.

The Slovak Republic is situated in Central Europe, sharing borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Mountains, lowlands, valleys, lakes, cave formations, forests and meadows provide many examples of Slovakia’s year-round natural beauty. The Carpathian Arc, a range of mountains stretching across the north, takes up almost a half of the country. The south and east of the country lie in the lowlands, an important agricultural area in Slovakia.

Official name: Slovak Republic
Area: 49,035 km² Population: 5.4 million
Capital: Bratislava (431,061 inhabitants) 
Official language: Slovak
Currency: euro (since 1 January 2009)
Membership in international organizations: EU (2004), NATO (2004), UN, OECD, OSCE, WHO, INTERPOL etc.

Based on founding and funding there are 3 types of Higher education institutions (HEI):

  1. Public Higher Education Institutions
    Public institutions of higher education are established by law. They are financed mostly by the government. They are statutory and self-governing institutions. At present, there are 20 public institutions of higher education, comprising 9 more or less traditional universities, 5 universities of technology, 3 higher education institutions of art and music, 1 university of economics, 1 university of veterinary medicine and 1 agricultural university.

  2. State Higher Education Institutions 
    State institutions of higher education (3 HEIs) are military, police and medical schools. They are established by law and governed by state through the corresponding ministries of the government. The state HEIs are fully financed from the state budget.

  3. Private Higher Education Institutions
    Private institutions of higher education (10 HEIs) need to have the state approval issued by the Government of the Slovak Republic. They are established and financed by non governmental institutions or founders. Most of the private higher education institutions provide education on bachelor level only, specialised in the fields of economics, business, management, public administration, law, international relations, regional development, medical and social work.

Higher education institutions provide the study programmes at three levels:

  1. Bachelor’s study programme takes three years at least and four years at most (architecture, fine art and design).
  2. Magister study programme takes one year at least and four years at most so the standard length of study according to the Bachelor study programme and the continuing programme of the second level in the same or relative field of study represents five years at least in total. It may be also carried out as a continuous study connecting the first and second level of higher education (in this case the standard length of study is four years at least and six years at most).
  3. Phd. study programme takes in full-time form three years at least and four years at most, in part-time five years.

Academic Year
Academic year starts on 1 September of the current year and ends on 31 August of the following year. It is composed of 2 semesters (winter semester lasts from September to January and summer semester lasts from February to June). The organisation of academic year is set by the statute of the faculty or statute of the higher education institution.

Teaching Process and ECTS 
The teaching process includes various forms of instruction such as lectures, seminars, exercises, laboratory work, projects, practical training, consultations, etc. The credit system following the rules of the European Credit and Accumulation Transfer System (ECTS) was introduced in 2002 for all levels and forms of higher education study. The student‘s standard load is expressed by the number of credits: 60 credits per academic year, 30 credits per semester and 20 credits for trimester. The institution of higher education determines the total number of credits required for the due completion of the study in its respective stages.

Higher education institutions award following academic degrees:
1st level (comprising app. 180 credits)

  • “bakalár“ (abbr. “Bc.”).

2nd level (comprising app. 120 credits)

  • “magister” (abbr. “Mgr.”)
  • “magister umenia” (abbr. “Mgr. art.”) in the field of art
  • “inžinier” (abbr. “Ing.”) in technical, agricultural and economic fields of Engineer’s programmes
  • “inžinier architekt” (abbr. “Ing. arch.”) in the field of architecture and town-planning
  • “doktor všeobecného lekárstva” (abbr. “MUDr.”) in the field of general humane medicine
  • “doktor zubného lekárstva” (abbr. “MDDr.”) dentist humane medicine
  • “doktor veterinárneho lekárstva” (abbr. “MVDr.”) in the field of veterinary medicine.

3rd level

  • “philosophiae doctor” (abbr. “PhD.”)
  • “artis doctor“ (abbr. “ArtD.”) in the field of art.

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