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Higher Education

Several forms of higher education exist in Slovenia with the number of choices increased by the education reforms made in the late 1990s. In 1996-1997 postsecondary vocational colleges (višje strokovne šole) were added, linking education and work experiences more closely with much of the training provided by private companies. Training in these colleges lasts for two years and ends with a diploma examination and the title of the vocational area in which the student is qualified, enabling the graduate to begin work in a specific occupation. Starting with the 1998-1999 academic year, graduates of this form of training were also allowed to enter certain professionally oriented programs in higher education schools, depending on the decision of the latter institutions. In 1999-2000 Slovenia had 9 postsecondary vocational colleges—7 public and 2 private—serving a total of 2,447 students, of whom 1,189 were youth and 1,258 were adults.

Additional forms of higher education in Slovenia are provided through faculties and art academies belonging to universities, stand-alone faculties established as private institutions offering both professional and more academic study programs, and professional colleges offering only professional training. Slovenia had two public universities at the turn of the millennium, the University of Ljubljana and the University of Maribor, which together encompassed a broad range of faculties, academies, and colleges. The private colleges included schools for undergraduate and post-graduate study in such areas as environmental sciences, the humanities, business, and the arts, among others. A dual system was developed in the late 1990s whereby certain higher education programs trained students for specific professions and other programs give students more general preparation for further professional studies or for advanced academic studies and research. Higher education is divided into undergraduate studies, whose graduates receive a diploma and the first degree title, and post-graduate studies, leading to a second degree title, the title of specialist, the academic title of magister znanosti or magister umetnosti (equivalent to a Master's degree), or doctor znanosti (equivalent to a Ph.D. degree).

In the 1999-2000 academic year, 46 higher education institutions (39 public and 7 private) provided the above types of professional and academic training to a full range of tertiary students: 77,609 undergraduates (54,605 full-time and 23,004 part-time); 478 students in short, first degree university programs (169 full-time and 309 part-time); 35,145 students in professional programs (18,320 full-time and 16,825 part-time); and 41,986 students in academic programs (36,116 full-time and 5,870 part-time). At the post-graduate level, 3,006 students were studying in programs leading either to the magisterij degree or to the specializacija degree. (Figures were unavailable for students enrolled in doctoral-level programs.) Academic staff and support staff in higher education institutions in the 1999-2000 academic year, counted as full time equivalents (FTEs), numbered 3,682: 1,849 teachers, 1,818 assistants, and 15 researchers. The student to teacher ratio for higher education at the end of the 1990s was 15.8:1, which is slightly higher than the figure of 13.7:1 at the start of the decade, due to increasing numbers of students at the tertiary level without an equivalent rise in the number of teaching staff. However, the graduation rate of students entering tertiary studies has improved, since a greater proportion of students entering higher education programs actually graduate than was true in the past. Foreign students are welcome to study in Slovenia but must be competent in the Slovene language. A year-long preparatory program in Slovene is thus provided for international students intending to study in Slovenia who lack the necessary language skills upon arrival. Of the number of seats allocated for public higher education in Slovenia each year, an additional 5 percent are allocated for foreign students, which is generally sufficient to accommodate the number of non-Slovene students interested in pursuing tertiary education in Slovenia. A variety of educational exchange programs operate between Slovenia and the European Union member states and other countries, based on a number of agreements made between Slovenia and other states from the 1970s on. Substantial information is provided via Slovenian websites on the Internet to educate international students about educational opportunities and exchanges with Slovenian institutions of higher education.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceSlovenia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary, Secondary Education