The medium-term concept for the higher education internationalisation development as an effective tool to increase the quality of education and research at higher education institutions in Slovakia is provided in the Higher Education Internationalization Strategy 2030. The strategy focuses on increasing the accessibility of international mobility during higher education study and the modernisation of higher education in the context of internationalisation. It aims to improve the ranking of Slovak higher education and research institutions to attract talent and ensure the circulation of brains between Slovakia and foreign countries.
In its programme statement for 2023-2024 (programové vyhlásenie na roky 2023-2024 ), the Government of the Slovak Republic committed itself to approving measures to increase the number of teachers, researchers, and students from abroad particularly at the second and third levels of higher education. The measures will include supporting cooperation, collaborative projects, and joint study programmes with quality foreign higher education institutions and simplifying the recognition of certificates of qualification and education.
Life-long learning and mobility accessible to everyone is also one of the strategic goals set out by the National Programme of the Development of Education and Training (Národný program rozvoja výchovy a vzdelávania). Its partial goals in this area also include active promotion of higher education study possibilities in Slovakia, supporting the existing international mobility scholarship programmes, and supporting higher education institutions’ networking.
The body responsible for global citizenship education, as a part of the national Agenda 2030 programme, is the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic.
The implementation of the European and international dimension of education is one of the goals set out in the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for youth for the years 2021 – 2028 (Stratégia Slovenskej republiky pre mládež na roky 2021 – 2028). Among other things, it emphasises increasing young people’s participation in volunteer work at home and abroad.
Internationalisation is also dealt with in the Strategy of Human Resources in Education, Training and Sport (Stratégia ľudských zdrojov v sektore vzdelávanie, výchova a šport do roku 2030), which mentions measures such as increasing the number of students of teacher study programmes who will take part in mobility during their study and attracting foreign workers and Slovak nationals working abroad.
The most important tools supporting mobility in education in the Slovak Republic currently are:
- Erasmus+ programme (Program Erasmus+), which provides opportunities for the mobility of students, youth, teachers, and workers with youth, and for partnerships between universities, secondary schools, businesses, and non-profit organisations,
- National scholarship programme designed for bachelor, masters, and PhD students at higher education institutions and funded by the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic,
- Scholarships based on bilateral agreements between the Slovak Republic and other countries. The scholarships are designated for study stays for students, PhD students, and scientists. The type of scholarship depends on the specific agreement with each country. Based on bilateral agreements and direct offers from foreign governments, the agency organises a selection procedure for scholarships in 50 countries as well as the admission of scholarship recipients to Slovak higher education institutions.
- Scholarships awarded by the Government of the Slovak Republic, which are a long-term part of Slovak development aid. The Government of the Slovak Republic also provides scholarships to Slovaks living abroad.
- Visegrad Fund Scholarships (international), which among other things promote regional partnerships between educational and research organisations, which contribute to cooperation in the V4 region. Academic mobility scholarships are designed for bachelor, masters and PhD students of all study fields.
- Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS), which is funded by the Slovak Republic’s and the European Union‘s (Recovery Plan) budget, promotes the mobility of students, pedagogical and research workers in higher education in 15 countries of the central and south-eastern Europe.
A schedule of scholarship places for developing countries is approved every year by the Department of Development and Humanitarian Aid at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in compliance with territorial and sectoral focus as well as with OECD conditions.
Administration of mobilities and counselling is provided by Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA)., a non-governmental non-profit organisation. The organisation provides services focused on supporting internationalisation of education and science-research activities and on enhancing civil society in Slovakia.
SAIA database offers the applicants a possibility to search for information on scholarships and grants for stays abroad, refers them to the scholarship and grant providers, and enables them to directly apply for scholarships or grants administered by SAIA.