Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Political and economic situation


1.Political, social and economic background and trends

1.4Political and economic situation

Last update: 5 February 2024

Political situation


The current government of the Slovak Republic was created based on elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic (NR SR), which took place on 30th September 2023. The party that received the most votes was 'SMER-SD', 22.95 % of participating voters. It entered into a coalition with the following parties: 'HLAS-SD', which came third in the elections with 14.7%, and 'SNS', which was seventh with 5.63% of votes. Robert Fico, the chairman of SMER-SD party, became the prime minister. Peter Pellegrini, the chairman of 'HLAS-SD' party, became the chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic was taken by 'HLAS-SD' party and Tomáš Drucker became the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Youth of the Slovak Republic. 

In its programme statement for the years 2023 – 2027 (Programové vyhlásenie vlády SR na roky 2023-2027), the Slovak Government set itself the objective to support the education content update and to make forms and methods of teaching at the primary, secondary and tertiary level more attractive.

Emphasis is put on the modernisation, diversification and quality of education. The government wants to ensure that more children participate in education from early childhood. It wants to improve the quality of pre-primary education through establishing quality standards and unifying educational programmes. It will promote fine-tuning the new state programme and the creation of a new state educational programme for secondary schools. The government will also support higher quality and attractivity of vocational educational programmes. The government will propose changes to the school law and draft a new act on state administration in education and school self-government, which will improve efficiency, purposefulness, and quality of education in regional education. Emphasis will be put on improving education of disadvantaged pupils and accessibility of services provided by counselling and prevention centres at all levels of schools. The focus is also on getting experts from the practice to enter education, supporting international cooperation at all levels of education and research, and a transparent, targetted, and measurable support of science and research.  

Economic situation


Investments in education and vocational training remain relatively low, despite the decreasing number of students. As a proportion of GDP, public administration expenditures on education stayed below the EU average. In addition, low teachers’ salaries make the teacher’s profession less attractive. 

Investments in educational infrastructure at all levels are supported through the mechanism for the support of recovery and resilience. As a part of the plan of recovery and resilience, Slovakia wants to increase capacities in pre-primary education aiming to implement the legal right for children aged 3 years, which is planned for 2025.  Renovation of upper secondary schools is planned in order to improve their accessibility for disabled students. Two shifts at primary schools will be abandoned and school libraries will be founded or modernised in order to provide a quality education environment to disabled students. Some university buildings will be renovated in order to improve their energy efficiency.

Slovakia intensifies the effort to digitalise education and strengthen digital skills.  Digitalisation of schools should be supported by additional budget resources from the Mechanism for the support of recovery and resilience in the amount of 229 million euros.  In addition to the investment into ICT equipment and connectivity, Slovakia will establish a network of digital methodological coordinators and create online school-leaving examination (maturita), digital learning materials, and training for teachers, as a part of its plan of recovery and resilience.  

Gross domestic product (GDP) and expenditures on education. 

2000 2005 2021
Gross domestic product (in mil. Eur) 31 661.1 50 485.7 100 255.7
Education expenditures as % of GDP (public and private sources)  4.0 4.4 4.6

Note: Data for 2021 is semidefinite 

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2022. Revised and Preliminary Annual Data of GDP at Current Prices (STATdata: Revidované a predbežné ročné údaje HDP v bežných cenách). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 22/11/2023).

OEDC, 2008. Education at a Glance 2008: OECD Indicators. Paris: OECD, 2008. ISBN 9789264046283. (last accessed 22/11/2023).

European Commission, Education and Training Monitor 2022. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union, 2022 (last accessed 22/11/2023). 


Most Slovak citizens completed the full secondary education with maturita (school leaving certificate).

However, the proportion of people with higher education is increasing and gradually approaching the EU average. Between 2010 and 2020 the proportion increased by 15 percentage points and in 2020 there were 39% of adults between 25 and 34 with higher education. This figure is only slightly under the EU average (40.5%). In 2019, the proportion of graduates with master’s degrees in Slovakia reached 84%, which is the highest in the EU.1


Population according to the highest attained education 

Highest attained education  Population according to the census as at 1.1.2021 
in persons in %
Without completed school education – persons aged 0-14  623 199 11.44
Primary education 924 608 16.97
Secondary vocational (apprentice) education (without maturita) 1 047 353 19.22
Full secondary education (with maturita) 1 343 972 24.66
Higher vocational education 267 701 4.91
Higher education 1 001 446 18.38
No school education – persons aged 15 and above  14 987 0.29
Unknown 226 004 4.15
TOTAL 5 449 270 100.00

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic , 2022. Population and Housing Census: Population by Highest Educational Attainment in the Slovak Republic as at 1.1.2021 (Sčítanie obyvateľov, domov a bytov: Štruktúra obyvateľov podľa najvyššieho dosiahnutého vzdelania v SR k 1. 1. 2021) (last accessed 14/12/2022).

Highest education attained Population according to the census 
to 26 May 2001 to 21 May 2011
persons in % persons in %
Lower secondary (ISCED 2) 1 132 995 21.06 808 490 14.98
Higher secondary - vocational, secondary and full secondary (ISCED 3) 2 615 573 48.62 2 760 011 51.14
Higher vocational (ISCED 5) 26 648 0.50 80 616 1.49
All levels of higher education (ISCED 6-8) 423 324 7.87 747 968 13.86
Without school education including children up to 16 years of age who attended primary school  1 095 382 20.36 846 321 15.68
Unidentified 85 533 1.59 153 630 2.85
TOTAL 5 279 455 100.00 5 397 036 100.00


Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky), 2012. First definitive results from the 2011 Population and Housing Census: Population by Highest Educational Attainment - Census 2011, 2001, 1991 (Prvé definitívne výsledky zo Sčítania obyvateľov, domov a bytov 2011: Obyvateľstvo podľa najvyššieho dosiahnutého vzdelania – sčítanie 2011, 2001, 1991). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.