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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

Last update: 27 November 2023

After compulsory nine-year basic education, students continue to upper secondary education

It normally welcomes generations of students of 15 years of age. Its main objectives are:

  • give all citizens the opportunity to acquire general education and first qualification
  • develop the highest level of creativity rate possible
  • acquire the highest level of education rate possible, and
  • empower to participate in the European integration processes, as well.

Upper secondary education is divided into:

  • general education: different types of gimnazije (upper secondary general education schools) and matura (final examination) course designed to prepare students for studies at universities, and
  • vocational and technical education: students acquire qualification for entering labour market; furthermore, technical education and training gives access to tertiary education. 

Upper secondary schools can be specialised only in one type of education (for example, general education) or offer a variety of programmes.

Schools may be single organisations or school centres with several units because of their offer of programmes and size. 

The system of upper secondary education is centralized. The decisions about the establishment and funding of schools, the adoption and the allocation of the education programmes are taken at the national level. However, schools and teachers are, subject to the relevant rules, autonomous in defining learning content, choosing teaching methods, recruiting and regulating employment relationships, as well as enrolling new students. 

Law on upper secondary education:

  • Organisation and Financing of Education Act (en) specifies the requirements for pursuit of educational activity, as well the method of management and funding.
  • Gimnazije Act (sl) governs the education in general and technical gimnazije; general matura (final examination) certificate provides route to education at universities.
  • Vocational Education Act (sl) governs short and upper secondary vocational education, upper secondary technical education, and continuous education and training.
  • Apprenticeship Act (sl) governs the apprenticeship as a special form of education and training in upper secondary vocational and technical education, and continuous vocational and technical education, in which no less than 50 percent of studies involves practical training with the employer.
  • Matura Act (en) governs the completion of upper secondary general and technical education; it specifies content of general and vocational matura, the composition and powers of the matura bodies, as well as the procedure and method of taking matura examination.
  • Placement of Children with Special Needs Act (sl) governs the placement of children and youth with special educational needs in the educational process, as well as specifies the methods and forms of educational provision;
  • Act on Special Rights of Italian and Hungarian National Communities’ Members in Education (sl) governs the regulates the exercise of the special rights of autochthonous Italian and Hungarian national communities;
  • School Meals Act (sl) governs the organization and subsidisation of a school meals.