How is the education system organised?
The education system in Slovenia is divided into three sections: elementary, secondary and tertiary education.
- kindergartens or preschool institutions are not mandatory and are intended for children from the age of 11 months.
- elementary education is mandatory, carried out by primary schools and free for all children between the ages of 6 and 15. Education for children with disabilities is implemented by primary schools for children with special needs, primary schools with departments with special curiculum and institutions for children and youth with special needs.
- secondary education is not obligatory, it is implemented by secondary schools (gymnasiums and vocational schools) and depending on the type can last three or four years. Enrollment in secondary education depends on success in elementary school. Graduation exam called matura is a set of exams that verify and evaluate students’ knowledge, skills and abilities obtained during the elementary and secondary school education.
- tertiary education consist of higher vocational education (2-year programmes) and higher education (3 or 4 years of bachelor, 1 or 2 years of master and 3 years of doctoral programme – Phd). There are public (University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, University of Primorska) and private universities (University of Nova Gorica).
Education rights for TCNs
Child & youth
All children have the right to education. Girls and boys are together in kindergartens and schools. Children’s rights must be respected. Physical punishment and discrimination are prohibited. Kindergartens are open on business days, and some also provide services on Saturdays. Children can stay in a kindergarten for no longer than 9 hours a day. Kindergartens are payable but depending on your personal situation, a reduced payment is possible. Primary and secondary schools are free of charge, but there are some costs for meals organized by the school, school trips, materials etc. Different subsidies are available for education-related expenditure. Schools organize Slovenian course for children with insufficient knowledge of the language, as well as additional Slovene classes.
Adults who have obtained international protection have the same rights as Slovene citizens regarding education. Primary school education for adults and secondary school programmes for adults are organized by primary and secondary schools for adults, people’s universities and other educational institutions. The Employment Service of Slovenia (Zavod) enables registered unemployed persons to be included in various education and training programs.
How can I access education for myself or my children?
Persons with international protection have the same rights to education as Slovenian citizens. If you have international protection and want to start or continue schooling in Slovenia, the best way is to ask your integration counselor for help. Enrollment of pre-school children to primary schools is in February. If children come to Slovenia in autumn or winter, they can enroll to school in the current school year, if they arrive later in the spring or summer most likely they will be enrolled in the next school year. If you have successfully completed elementary schooling, you can continue your education in secondary school. The tender is published by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport on its website in January each year. When you select the school and program, you have to complete the application for enrollment and submit it in elementary school or in selected secondary school. Schools with limited enrollment select candidates on the basis of points gained by school success in 7th, 8th and 9th grade of elementary school. If you want to continue your education, you have to apply for a recognition of education at the ENIC-NARIC Center, on a special form V with all the required documentation.
Further Information and Links
Educational system in Slovenia: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpXqOJBPuT-nY6S7KpbvfWTU0iwHZzITm
Ministry of Education, Science and Sport RS: http://www.mizs.gov.si/delovna_podrocja/direktorat_za_visoko_solstvo/enicnaric_center/solski_sistem_v_rs/
National Vocational qualifications: http://www.npk.si/index.php?lang=en