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Higher education


7.Higher education

Last update: 21 December 2022
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Higher education in the Slovak Republic is provided by higher education institutions with accredited study programmes. Fulfilment of accreditation conditions is assessed by the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SK). The Agency decides on the granting (or not granting) of appropriate accreditations under the law. Higher education institutions may ask for study programme accreditation in any field of study. 

Study programmes are implemented at three levels 

  • First-level study programme – Bachelor study programme (bakalársky študijný program, Bc.),
  • Second-level study programme – Master (magisterský, Mgr.), Engineer (inžiniersky, Ing.), doctoral study programme (doktorský študijný program),
  • Third-level study programme – PhD study programme (doktorandský študijný program)

Study programmes may combine two levels of higher education into one whole. 

The study programme may consist of either one or several fields. The higher education is achieved in the respective field of study or in the combination of the fields. 

A study field is that area which is the subject of education; it is defined by its content, which is determined by the area and extent of knowledge and skills set out in the graduate profile. A study programme is a set of subjects with rules for their completion. A successful completion of the subjects will result in obtaining higher education.

The system of study fields - a list of study programmes (SK) in which higher education institutions in the Slovak Republic can provide higher education - is administered by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport in the Slovak Republic.

The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education gives its statement to all changes in the system. 

The system of study fields also includes descriptions of study fields, which specify their content as well as outcomes of education at the given level and field of study. The profile of a study programme graduate, conditions for the regular completion of the study, and organisation of the study are in the self-administration competence of the higher education institution.  Higher education institutions are, however, obliged to subordinate the study organisation to the credit system. 

The study programmes may be provided in the full-time and part-time form of study. The full-time form of study is characterised by the daily participation of students in educational activities. The part-time form is characterised mainly by individual study and consultations. 

In compliance with the Act on Higher Education, the Ministry creates, updates and publishes a Long-term plan for education, research, development, artistic, and other creative activities for higher education institutions (SK) every year. The long-term plan of the ministry is created for five to ten years.

The academic year starts on 1st September and ends on 31st August of the following calendar year in agreement with the Act on higher education. The higher education institution decides if the academic year is structured into two semesters or three trimesters.  The number of weeks of each semester/trimester and the number of weeks in which the education, examination session or holidays take place are determined by each higher education institution itself. 

Higher education in the Slovak Republic is provided by 

  • 20 public higher education institutions, 
  •   3 state higher education institutions, 
  • 12 private higher education institutions, and 
  •   5 foreign higher education institutions. 

The list of higher education institutions can be found in the chapter Institutions. 


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 as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2002.  Decree No. 614/2002 on credit system study as amended by subsequent provision (Vyhláška č. 614/2002 o kreditovom systéme štúdia v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).