Basic Information about Slovakia
The Slovak Republic (Slovakia) was 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.
The Higher Education System
Based on founding and funding there are 3 types of Higher education institutions (HEI):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Bachelor’s study programme takes three years at least and four years at most (architecture, fine art and design).
- 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).
- Phd. study programme takes in full-time form three years at least and four years at most, in part-time five years.
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 human medicine
- “doktor zubného lekárstva” (abbr. “MDDr.”) dentist human medicine
- “doktor veterinárneho lekárstva” (abbr. “MVDr.”) in the field of veterinary medicine.
- “philosophiae doctor” (abbr. “PhD.”)
- “artis doctor“ (abbr. “ArtD.”) in the field of art.
- Scholarships of the Government of the Slovak Republic Awarded for the Entire Master or Doctoral Study within Official Development Assistance
The Slovak Republic Government annually awards scholarships for master and doctoral study to students from the countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).
- The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students, University Teachers and Researchers
Establishment of the National Scholarship Programme for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students, University Teachers and Researchers was approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic in 2005. The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic is intended to support mobility of foreign students, PhD students, university teachers and researchers to stay at Slovak universities and research institutions.
- Scholarships of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic offers scholarships for study stay within accredited study/doctoral programmes or academic stay at public universities or institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences for:
- foreign university students for 5 month stays
(age between 18—26 years);
- foreign PhD students for 5 month stays
(age between 23—35 years);
- foreign academics for 3 month stays
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