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Guidance and counselling in higher education


12.Educational support and guidance

12.6Guidance and counselling in higher education

Last update: 5 February 2024
Higher education institutions provide information and counselling services to students free of charge.

Higher education institutions must take support measures to equalise opportunities for students with special educational needs to study at a higher education institution.

A number of higher education institutions provide study, career, psychological, social and religious guidance or a combination of the above in their own counselling centres.


Academic guidance

Each higher education institution provides to their applicants, students and another persons, information and counselling services related to their study and with possibility to find employment of study programmes graduates.

There are study advisors at higher education institutions to provide counselling service for students in the process of study plans preparation.

Study advisors are appointed from higher education institutions teachers and dismissed by rector or dean, in case study advisor works at faculty.

From the point of view of orientation in higher education counselling there are educational and professional or career counselling and personal counselling.

From the point of view of form counselling at higher education institutions is provided

  • face-to-face or
  • distance (e.g. telephone counselling, internet pages services),
  • individual or
  • group form. 

From the point of view of counselling providers mostly there are three levels: 


  1. first line counsellor – each teacher,
  2. second line counsellor – specialised teachers (e.g. in our conditions tutors, coordinators and others),
  3. third line counsellor – professional specialists (eg. counselling psychologist –counsellors).


Psychological counselling  

Some higher education institutions provide psychological counselling in combination with career, study and religious counselling.

Separate psychological counselling is provided by Comenius University in Bratislava.

Psychological counselling and crisis intervention can be provided to students in higher education by specialist staff – psychologists from centres of pedagogical and psychological counselling and prevention.


Career guidance

Counselling services are provided regardless of whether students come from Slovakia or abroad or attend formal, non-formal or informal education.

Higher education institutions are legally obliged to provide study and career guidance services.

Career guidance is provided in many different ways. It is provided by a study counsellor at some higher education institutions and by separate career centres at others.

Outside the system of counselling service facilities for higher education students there also exists the Association of Information and Counselling services of young people (ZIPCeM) (SK) in the Slovak Republic, which is representative of the organisations network actively participating in the area of information-counselling services for young people, expresed by the common name Information centres for young people.

They concentrate mainly at the age group of young people till 30 years. ZIPCeM is direct provider of information-counselling services via its own innovative activities.  Their main aim is to secure free access for young people to the information and counselling from the different areas of life via easily accessible, thematically oriented information materials published by ZIPCeM.  

Services of Consultation centre, in frame of ZIPCeM are secured by professional consultant via phone or virtually across the whole Slovak territory. There is online counselling centre in frame of Consultation centres, which is aimed at the broad spectrum of young people problems and online career counselling targeted mainly at the problems with finding a good position at the labour market.


Legislative references


National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 07/01/2020).

Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic, 2006. Decree No. 102/2006 on granting social scholarship to students of higher education institutions as amended by subsequent provision (Vyhláška č. 102/2006 o priznávaní sociálneho štipendia študentom vysokých škôl v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 03/06/2019).