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Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.7Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation

Last update: 20 June 2023

Bilateral agreements

Bilateral cooperation between Slovenia and other European and non-European countries is set out in bilateral agreements, programmes and protocols on cooperation in education. Bilateral agreements signed with

  • 6 EU countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, and
  • 6 third world countries: India, Israel, People's Republic of China, Mexico, Russian Federation, Turkey, and USA.

The agreement among other facilitate the exchange of university teachers, students, researchers, experts and artists. They allow for cooperation in the field of school, sports and youth, as well as learning languages of participating countries. Common and general provisions of those agreements specify various types of implementation and financing of reciprocity based exchange.

Intergovernmental bilateral agreements and protocols on cooperation in education, culture and science include real possibilities for exchange, as well as common and financial provisions that specify the implementation and funding of certain forms of reciprocity based exchange. Slovenia has signed over 20 such agreements with foreign countries. They specify the number of postgraduate scholarships, for example, exchange of individuals, participation on summer language courses, direct cooperation of school and cultural institutions, option of participating at international events, and so forth.

The Ministry responsible for education has signed direct protocols in the field of education with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia. The main purpose is to qualify the citizens of those countries for the same cost of study (no so-called scholarships for foreigners) equal to the costs for citizens of Slovenia or the EU citizens. Protocols are signed for the time until the end of the current school or academic year in which an individual country shall become full member of the European Union.

The ministry has been the administrator for the field of multilingualism, the EU principle or the social fact and essential for all individuals. The Slovenian education system has been promoting the development of multilingualism within the educational realm. In past years, there had been several projects (sl) at the national level that included both educational and public institutions and universities. Certain projects were completed, certain continue and certain started anew.

Cooperation and participation in worldwide programmes and organisations

Multilateral international cooperation is characteristic of Slovenia that joined may inter-governmental and non-governmental initiatives, twinning of cities, regional networks, and associations. The regional cooperation has been pursued, in particular, within Central-European Cooperation in Education among Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovak Republic. Slovenia is a member of the Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS) aimed at connecting and developing Middle European university realm.

In 1992, Slovenia gained membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The national committee for UNESCO is located at the Ministry responsible for education. It pursues activities at all levels of education, from preschool to adult education. Main content is:

  • safeguarding the right and access to education,
  • improving literacy,
  • inclusive education,
  • education for peace and human rights,
  • cultural and language diversity in education,
  • new information technologies,
  • education and training of education staff,
  • education for non-violence,
  • in crisis and post-crisis education,
  • education for health in schools, and AIDS.

Schools participate in the Associated School Project Network. It is a quality network, and Slovenian schools have been very active in it.

Slovenia has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1993. The work programme in undergraduate education addresses the following topics:

  • education for democratic citizenship,
  • learning and teaching of contemporary history,
  • learning and teaching languages,
  • intercultural and interregional education,
  • minorities and Roma,
  • violence at school,
  • integration of the European dimension in education,
  • development of school policies, and
  • continuous education and training of teachers.

The International organization of Francophonie associates French speaking countries and currently has 54 members, 26 observing countries (Slovenia has been the latter since 1999), and 4 associated members. The Ministry responsible for education has been promoting Francophonie learning of French in the Slovenian school and thereby actively participated in the association.

Slovenia became the member of the OECD in 2010, a year before the full member of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). It has been participating in the OECD research and projects, such as PISA, INES, TALIS.

Slovenia is compelled by international commitments and EU requirements to deliver funds for international development and humanitarian aid to developing countries and increase it gradually. In the field of education and training, the aid is delivered in the scope of the activities of European Training Foundation that is responsible for aid and cooperation of EU member states with third countries. The educational activities are focused at South-eastern Europe.