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Education System of Slovakia

The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of Slovakia manages and administers the education sector. The Ministry is responsible for primary, secondary and tertiary education in Slovakia.

Education Profile of Slovakia

Education in Slovakia is split up into four levels:
  • Pre-school: Comprises of Kindergarten and nursery schools.
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education: Comprises of grammar, specialized and vocational secondary schools, and Conservatories.
  • Higher education

Compulsory Education

Education in the Slovak Republic is free and compulsory for 10 years. Compulsory education is for children aged 6 to 16.

Pre-school Education

Education in the Slovak Republic starts with pre-schools. Children at the age of 3 to 6 may attend kindergarten/nursery schools in Slovakia. This educational level is optional and develops basic communication skills, interests and thinking ability.

Primary Education

Primary education in Slovakia is compulsory and lasts for 9 years. This educational level is divided into 2 stages:
  • Stage 1: This stage is for children aged 6 to 10 and covers grade 1 to 5
  • Stage 2: This stage is for children aged 10 to 15 and covers grade 5 to 9
Upon successful completion of primary education, students can go for secondary education. 

Secondary Education

Secondary education is not compulsory and lasts for 4 years. Students aged 16 to 19 may attend secondary education schools. Students must have completed primary education in order to be eligible for secondary education in Slovakia. 
In Slovakia, there are mainly four types of secondary schools:

Grammar school or high School (Gymnazium):  The duration of this school education is 4to 8 years. The grammar schools provide general secondary education and prepares student for higher education.

Specialized secondary school:  The specialized secondary schools provide specialized education and the duration of this school is 4 to5 years.

Conservatories: Conservatories in Slovakia provide education in Music, dancing, arts, dinging etc. Studies at conservatories last for 4 to 5 years

Vocational school: This school provides practical skills and knowledge and focuses on teaching for a particular profession. The studies at vocational schools last for 2 to 4 years.

Apprenticeship centres: These centres provide skills and training in a particular trade or occupation.

At the end of secondary education, students are required to sit for a school-leaving examination-Maturita

Secondary Vocational Education

Vocational education in Slovakia lasts for 2 to 4 years, depending upon the field of study. In Slovakia, there are 2 kinds of vocational schools:
  • Secondary vocational schools: These schools focus on general education and vocational training.
  • Secondary specialised schools: These schools provide specialized education, and emphasize on a particular vocational profession. 

Children with Special Needs

Education is provided to children with special needs in Slovakia. Special needs education is provided from at all school educational levels: pre-school, primary and secondary education level, or mainstream schools. 

Higher Education

Higher education in Slovakia is imparted by the public, private and state universities and colleges.

Higher Education Institutions

In Slovakia, there are public, private and state higher education institutions
  • Public higher education institution: These are set by law and financed by government.
  • State higher education institutions: These are medical, police and military institutions.  These types of higher education institutions are set up by the government and financed by the government.
  • Private higher education institutions: These institutions are set and financed by non-government organizations. These institutions are approved by the Ministry of Education.  
  • International/foreign higher education institutions

Higher Education Qualifications

The higher education degree structure in Slovakia is as follows:
  • First level-Bachelor’s degree: The duration of this degree is 3 to 4 years
  • Second level-Master’s degree: The master’s degree lasts for 1 to 2 year
  • First+second level: The master’s degree in arts, engineering, science or medical lasts for 4 to 6 years.
  • Third level-Doctoral degree: The duration of doctoral studies in Slovakia is 3-4 years. 

To know in detail about the Slovakia Education System, read the post “Snapshot of Slovakia Education”.

Admission Requirements

Basic admission requirement: Students must have passed maturita exam or hold a school leaving certificate or its equivalent in order to gain admittance into the university level studies. 

Admission procedure: Students must apply directly to the institution of their choice. To get detailed information on the admission requirements and procedure, click here.

International Students

Language requirements: International students must demonstrate their Slovak language knowledge. They must submit a Slovak language proficiency certificate. This certificate is needed if the course is in Slovak language.

Also, students must provide evidence of their English level proficiency. TOEFL/IELTS scores are accepted. This language certificate is required if the course is in English. 

Entry regulations: International students must possess a valid passport and a study visa in order to enter and study in Slovakia.

Recognition of studies & qualifications: 
Students who have completed their degree/diploma abroad, and wish to further studies in Slovakia must have their previous studies and qualifications recognised. 

Studies undertaken in home country: The Accreditation Commission of the Ministry of Education of Slovakia is the advisory body of the Government of the Slovak Republic. The commission gives advice on matters related to higher education institutions in Slovakia and faculties. It is the recommendation of the commission on the basis of which the higher education institutions conduct exams, or organize habilitation. 

Studies undertaken in foreign countries: The recognition of foreign certificates and diplomas is done by the following bodies:  Institute of Information and Prognoses of Education, Slovak ENIC, Centre for Equivalence of Diplomas, and NARIC.

Scholarships

In Slovakia, the Slovak government offers scholarships to pupils from developing countries who wish to go for higher education at any degree level in Slovakia.  The scholarships are open to pupils from countries within Eastern Europe, Asia and Middle East. 

Grading System

A 5-point grading scale is used. 
Highest on grading scale is 1 and Grade A is assigned.
Lowest on grading scale is 5 and Grade FX is assigned.

Student Life

Health provisions: International students are given health insurance

Studying and living expenses: The cost of study and living in Slovakia is lower than in western European countries. Living expenses vary depending upon the lifestyle, location, and daily necessities. The tuition fee in Slovakia is set by the higher education institutions individually. Generally, if the course is in Slovak language, no tuition fee is charge. But courses in foreign language do charge tuition fee. Students can expect to pay from 700€ to 10,000€ per academic year for full-time course in foreign language.
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