The most important tool for promoting mobility in higher education is the programme Erasmus+ (SK). Erasmus+ programme focuses on higher education, cooperation between universities and cooperation of universities with businesses. The programme is designed particularly for students and fresh graduates as well as teachers at higher education institutions.
The study or traineeship abroad can take between 2 and 12 months. PhD students can also participate in short-term mobilities of 5-30 days. The mobility participants receive a grant which covers expenses connected with the travel and the stay and, if necessary, the special needs support.
All credits obtained during the completed study during the mobility should be fully recognised and incorporated into the mobility participant’s study plan. Educational results in the European higher education area are expressed through the ECST credit system, which facilitates the planning, delivery and evaluation of study programmes and student mobility by recognising learning achievements and qualifications and periods of learning.
The main coordinator of the Erasmus+ programme at the national level is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, which is responsible for the overall implementation of the programme in compliance with the created work plan. The implementation of the Erasmus+ programme is the responsibility of higher education institutions.
National scholarship programme
The National scholarship programme is another scholarship mechanism. It is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The scholarship is designed to cover living costs during the study or research/artistic at a selected higher education institution or research workplace abroad. The programme is designed for:
- study stays of students at foreign higher education institutions in the second level of higher education for the duration of 1 term but only up to one academic year, or a research/artistic stay at a selected higher education institution or research workplace abroad which is closely related to the preparation of the student‘s diploma thesis for the duration between 3 and 6 months.
- PhD students’ study and/or a research/artistic stay at a higher education institution abroad or another research institution with a duration of 1-10 months related to their PhD study and its focus.
- support of mobilities of foreign students, PhD students, higher education teachers, researchers and artists for stays at Slovak higher education institutions and research organisations.
- travel grant related to the planned study or research stay abroad for full-time students and PhD students, higher education teachers, scientists and artists with a permanent address in the Slovak Republic.
Scholarship of the International Visegrad Fund
Regional mobility is also supported by a scholarship programme arranged by the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) in cooperation with the national ministries of education of V4 states (Czech Republic, Polish Republic, Hungarian Republic and Slovak Republic). Scholarships are designated for students of the second and third level of higher education. All students are paid a scholarship for a maximum of 2 months. The minimum length of the study or research stay is 5 months.
CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies) is another programme focusing on the support of mobility in the central European region which supports the cooperation of higher education institutions in 15 member states. In Slovakia, the programme is coordinated by the national CEEPUS office in SAIA, n.o. The programme provides scholarships for
- mobility of higher education students, PhD students and teachers,
- term stays for students and PhD students (3 to 10 months),
- short-term stays for students and PhD students connected with writing a bachelor, diploma or dissertation thesis (1 - 2 months) and
- lecture and research stays for teachers (1 month).
Action Austria - Slovakia
Action Austria – Slovakia (SK), cooperation in science and education, is a bilateral programme for the support of cooperation between Austria and Slovakia in the area of higher education, science and research. The action is financed equally by the Ministry of Education, Science, Researcher and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy of the Austrian Republic.
Support of priority areas takes place in the form of individual scholarships:
- scholarship for Master's degree students (1 - 3 months) should provide students with an opportunity to use also sources from the partner state for their diploma thesis and thus achieve higher quality of their work.
- scholarship for PhD students (3 - 6 months) should provide PhD students with an opportunity to use sources from the partner state for their dissertation thesis and thus achieve higher quality of their work.
- scholarship for postdoctoral students is designed for research placement (3 - 6 months) for highly qualified postdoctoral students.
- scholarships for summer language course are designed for students and PhD students to attend a summer language school.
The programme is administered by SAIA, n.o.
Academic mobilities is a scholarship programme based on valid bilateral agreements between the Slovak Republic and other states. The scholarships are designed for study stays of students, doctoral students and scientists. The type of scholarship depends on the agreement entered into with another state. Based on bilateral agreements and direct offers from foreign governments, SAIA organises a selection procedure for scholarships in 28 countries as well as admission of foreign grant recipients to higher education institutions.
Milan Filko scholarship
The grant programme (SK) aims to enable the state administration to find jobs for graduates of leading foreign universities in order to improve the quality of public policy creation. The eligible scholarship applicants are the Slovak citizens who are applying for a study, have been admitted to a study or are studying at selected higher education institutions abroad at the second or the third level of full-time higher education study.
In this grant programme, it is possible to obtain a scholarship to cover study costs (tuition fees, living costs, travelling costs, costs for study aid and travel insurance) for a maximum of two academic years, for which the applicants will commit themselves to work in public administration for three years. The programme is administered by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
Language course for foreigners
Institute for language and preparatory studies (SK) provides teaching of the Slovak language and profile vocational subjects to foreign students who are preparing for full-time higher education in the Slovak Republic. Every school year, there are on average 200 students from all over the world who undergo language and professional preparation of foreigners and compatriots in the Centre of Continuing Education at Comenius University. Its main activity is the ten-month language and professional preparation of foreign students for higher education.
In addition, the centre also organises short-term and long-term Slovak language courses for foreigners as well as other educational activities, for example Summer University of Slovak Language.
Recognition of education obtained at higher education institutions
The Slovak Republic is bound by European Directive No. 2005/36/EC on recognition of professional qualifications. It recognizes foreign documents according to the purpose of recognition:
- for either academic purposes (purposes of continuing further education in the SR) or
- for purposes of performing employment or professional activities that are regulated in the SR.
The National Centre for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas verifies certification of education obtained abroad for the pursuit of selected regulated professions in the SR. Its other role is recognition of completed study abroad for relevant authorities and institutions in the SR, equivalence and conversion of grades from foreign primary or secondary school to Slovak grading scale.
In the case of Slovak diplomas, the Centre provides authenticity verification of public documents issued under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science, Education and Sport of the SR by issuing Apostille/Superlegalization and it validates teaching qualification of education employees exclusively for foreign offices.
The recognition process for the purpose of further study is structured according to the achieved level of education and according to whether the Slovak Republic has a valid agreement with the state concerned. The list of countries with which an international agreement on recognition of certification of education was made:
- Czechia (SK)
- Hungary (SK)
- Germany (SK)
- Croatia (SK)
- Poland (SK)
- Romania (SK)
- Ukraine (SK)
- Russia (SK)
- China (SK)
The Slovak Republic and the Republic of Austria signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a Recommendation on the Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (SK), which, however, does not have the status of an international agreement.
Academic staff mobility
Higher Education Internationalization Strategy 2030 is the main document that defines the goals of the national policy in academic staff mobility. It aims to increase the quality of higher education through internationalisation, increase the accessibility of international mobility during higher education study, and modernise higher education in the context of internationalisation. The goal of internationalising teachers is also set out in the Recovery plan component 8: increasing performance of Slovak higher education institutions (SK).
Within the programme Erasmus+ (SK), university teachers can teach in a partner university and academic staff can participate in working visits, training seminars, and conferences provided by a hosting company or a partner higher education institution abroad. Teaching at a university abroad can last from 1 day to 6 weeks and it follows the pre-agreed teaching program. Teachers and staff of universities receive a grant for these activities.
Within the Erasmus+ programme, university teachers and academic staff can take part in:
- Teaching stays at partner schools,
The mobility of university teachers is also supported by CEEPUS programme, which is an exchange programme for universities in Central and Eastern Europe. The scholarships are funded from the sources of the hosting countries’ Ministry of Education and the European Union. In Slovakia, the programme is coordinated by the national CEEPUS office in SAIA, n.o.
The programme supports mobility in the form of a teaching stay for full-time higher education teachers. Teachers can apply for a scholarship for a stay of a minimum duration of 5 work days (up to 1 month depending on the hosting country) during which they must teach or lead at least 6 lessons a week.
The amount awarded is determined by the hosting country.
National scholarship programme
University teachers and researchers with permanent residence in the Slovak Republic can apply for a travel grant in the context of their intended study or research abroad. The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic is also designed for foreign university teachers and researchers to stay at Slovak universities and research institutions.
The mobility has the form of a research stay at a higher education institution abroad or another research institution with a duration of 3-6 months, which is related to obtaining new skills and results required for career growth. To get the scholarship it is required that the applicants return to their home institution after the stay.
The scholarships are designed to cover the living costs connected with the research stay abroad. The amount depends on the living costs in each country. In addition to the scholarship itself, it is possible to ask for a travel grant to cover the costs of transportation to and from the place of stay.
Action Austria - Slovakia
The scholarship is designed for scientific and pedagogical professionals from state, public and private higher education institutions and the Academy of Sciences. The mobility takes the form of a 3-6 month research stay for postdoctoral students or the form of a short-term stay for pedagogical and scientific professionals (including PhD students) for a maximum of 3 days.
The scholarship can be used to pay for accommodation and travel expenses. The participants are obliged to have an accident insurance and medical expenses insurance, which can be also paid for from the scholarship. Scholarship holders must permanently stay at the place of their study and perform their study and research obligations. They cannot be employed in the country of their stay while participating in the mobility.
As a part of the project, Slovak scholarship recipients are sent to study abroad based on bilateral intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in education and based on offers from foreign governments. These programmes can be found in the database of SAIA, which also administers them.
Teachers of the Slovak language and culture
Slovak language and literature lectorates constitute an important part of the promotion of Slovakia and its culture abroad. Based on bilateral agreements, lectorates are located in 13 mostly European countries.
The selection of teachers and the staffing of the lectorates is done by the Committee of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic for the selection and assessment of the Slovak language and literature teachers abroad. Teachers are sent to lectorates for at least one year, which can be extended up to four years. Their stay abroad is conditional upon the agreement of the hosting foreign university. The agreement between the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Education of the country concerned or the university in the country concerned stipulates the conditions of teachers’ secondment and the material, salary and technical conditions, and accommodation.
Scholarship for French teachers
More detailed information on the Scholarship for French teachers (SK) is to be found in chapter Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education: Teacher mobility.