Overview: Slovakia Education System

The Ministry of Education of Slovakia manages and administers the education system, from pre-school to tertiary education. Education in Slovakia is mandatory for children aged 6 to 15 and is financed by the state at all educational levels. In Slovakia, there are public, private and state educational institutions. 

Snapshot of Slovakia Education

Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Slovakia is imparted by nursery schools and kindergartens. Children aged 3 to 6 attend pre-school education. This educational level is optional and prepares children for primary education.At this level, children learn to sing, draw, know about environment and nature, and also basic math-numbers, and English. 
Nursery schools are for children up to 3 years old, while kindergarten is for children aged 3-6.

Primary/Basic Education

Primary education in Slovakia is mandatory to attend and lasts for 9 years. This educational level is for children aged 6 to 15, and is split up into two levels:
  • Level 1 covers grades 1 to 4
  • Level 2 covers grades 5 to 9
The primary/basic schools provide general, health, moral, environmental, polytechnic, artistic, physical and religious education. Upon successful completion of primary education, students can go for secondary education. 

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Slovakia is optional and for students aged 15 to 19. This educational level comprises of different types of secondary schools:

Grammar schools: Also called as Gymnasium. These schools provide general education and prepare pupils for higher education. The duration of studies at general schools is 4 years, and at the end of studies students must sit for a “Maturita” examination. Students who pass the examination are eligible to apply for higher education institutions in Slovakia.

Secondary specialized schools: These schools prepare pupils for a particular profession mainly in economic and technical sectors, fine arts and design, nursery care, or education. Also, they train specialist for following sectors: agriculture, construction, financial sector, transportation, services, state administration, food industry, culture and economics. At the end of these schools, students are required to pass “Maturita” exam in general as well as specialized subjects. This school prepares pupils for higher education. 

Conservatories: The studies at conservatories last for 4 years, and they focus on providing studies in the fields of dramatic arts, dance, music and singing.

Secondary vocational schools: The studies at vocational schools last for 2 to 4 years, depending on the area of study. These schools prepare pupils for various work and vocation. 

Apprentice training centres: These centres prepare school-leavers for professional work. 

Tertiary Education

The Act on Higher Education defines the higher education institutions as legal institutions that provide education and research. As per the act, there are university and non-university type higher education institutions.

In Slovakia, there are four types of higher education institutions- public, private, state and international. These institutions differ in founding and funding. 
  • Public institutions are set up as per the higher education act and funded by state
  • Private institutions are founded and funded by non-government organizations or institutions.
  • State institutions are founded and funded by the Ministries of Government of Slovakia. These comprises of military, health and police institutions.
Levels and degrees of tertiary education: Following are the degree levels-
  • First level comprises of bachelor’ degree programmes which last for 3 years, and for programmes in fine arts, design and architecture, it last for 4 years.
  • Second level comprises of master’s and engineer’s studies that lasts for 5 years; for teacher training and dramatic art studies, it lasts for 2 years; and for medicine, veterinary medicine, fine arts and design, and architecture it lasts for 3 years.
  • Third level comprises of doctorate/PhD studies which lasts for 3 to 4 years, and concludes with a dissertation exam, including defence of the thesis. 
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