Budgets in Slovenia are adopted for two years at a time. They are drafted by the government and passed by the National Assembly. The Ministry of Finance conducts procedures and activities that ensure the implementation of adopted budgets as a whole and on the level of individual ministries and their financial plans. The ministry responsible for education participates in the drafting of the financial plan for pre-school education, basic education, upper secondary and tertiary education, and monitors its implementation. The budget documentation specifies purposes and outcomes for individual programmes and indicators that measure the performance.
The financing system for pre-school, basic, upper secondary and post-secondary education is governed centrally. The Organisation and Financing of Education Act specifies the sources of funding by purpose, duty and responsibility and lays down the terms and conditions of financing and supervision.
Funding sources include:
- public funds
- funds of the founder
- contributions of associations and chambers of commerce and industry
- direct contributions of employers for the provision of practical classes
- contributions of pupils, apprentices, upper secondary or higher vocational college students, and adults
- tuition fees in private schools
- payments by parents for preschool education services
- incomes from services and products sold, and
- donations, sponsorships and other sources.
The scope of financing is determined by using two methods:
- standardisation of activities and monitoring actual costs in kindergartens and basic schools;
- lump sum (integral) financing in upper secondary and tertiary education.
Kindergartens and basic schools are funded on the basis of their programmes and in accordance with criteria and standards issued by the Minister of Education.
Finances for upper secondary schools and higher vocational colleges are calculated on the basis of allocated funds per student, that is, on the basis of the rules on methods for funding education programmes and the criteria and standards issued by the Minister of Education. The actual scope of funding is specified in a financing agreement signed by the Ministry and the school for each budget year. This agreement determines the scope of funding on the basis of full-time enrolments and graduates.
Since 2004, a lump sum (integral) funding method has been used in higher education. In broad terms, financing is laid down by the Higher Education Act according to which funding for the first and the second cycle studies comes from the national budget as a total package for the higher education institutions and may also include partially funding for the third cycle studies. The total amount of funding is stipulated by the Higher Education Master Plan for a specified period. The Ministry allocates funds on the basis of confirmed budgets in accordance with the Regulation on public financing for higher education and other institutions and the Regulation on co-financing doctoral studies. Higher education institutions can apply for funding for their research activities in accordance with the Scientific Research and Innovation Activities Act (sl).
Salaries for staff employed in education are determined in accordance with the law regulating public servant salaries (salary system), collective agreements (amounts and benefits) and by taking account of actual employment relations regulated by school legislations (titles, positions, bonuses). The Regulation on uniform methods to calculate and pay salaries in the public sector ensures a uniform system of salaries for all public servants.
The administration in kindergartens and schools is required to pay salaries in accordance with regulations: the act regulating salaries and the relevant collective agreement. Spending of public funds in education is supervised and monitored by the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia. Earmarked spending in kindergartens, schools and colleges is monitored by school inspection.
The spectrum and proportion of public financing in education
Public expenditure (state and municipalities) for formal education totaledin 2021 amounted to EUR 2,805 million or 5.4% of GDP.
In 2021, €2,975 million was spent for educational institutions: 87,6% public expenditure, 11.4% private expenditure, and 1.3% funds from international sources.
The structure of total expenditure for educational institutions:
- 19.4% for pre-school education (1st and 2nd age periods, kindergartens)
- 43.7% for basic education
- 15.9% for upper secondary education, and
- 21.0% for tertiary education.