From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
For a general discussion of virtual education in this country see Yugosphere
For entities in Slovenia see Category:Slovenia
Experts situated in Slovenia
Slovenia in a nutshell
Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Republika Slovenija), is a country in southern Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana.
At various points in Slovenia's history, the country has been part of many other countries and empires.
The population of Slovenia is just over 2 million (estimated 2,009,245 as of July 2007).
The capital is Ljubljana.
The Slovenian head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote every five years. The executive branch is headed by the prime minister and the council of ministers or cabinet, who are elected by the National Assembly.
The bicameral Parliament of Slovenia consists of the National Assembly (Državni zbor), and the National Council (Državni svet). The National Assembly has 90 members, 88 of which are elected by all the citizens in a system of proportional representation, while two are elected by the indigenous Hungarian and Italian minorities. Elections take place every four years. The National Assembly is the supreme representative and legislative institution, exercising legislative and electoral powers as well as control over the Executive and the Judiciary. The National Council has 40 members, appointed to represent social, economic, professional and local interest groups. Among its best-known powers is the authority of the "postponing veto" - it can demand that the Parliament re-discusses a certain piece of legislation (a mechanism similar to that in the UK).
For further details of government see the English web site at http://www.gov.si/
The traditional regions of Slovenia are based on the former four Habsburg crown lands (Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, and the Littoral) and are as follows:
Goriška and Slovenian Istria together are known as the Littoral region (Slovene: Primorska).
White Carniola (Slovene: Bela krajina), otherwise part of Lower Carniola, is considered a separate region of Slovenia, as are Zasavje and Posavje, the former being a part of Upper Carniola, Lower Carniola and Styria; and the latter part of Lower Carniola and Styria.
Confusingly, there are also statistical regions which are different. Finally, the government is preparing a plan for new administrative regions, between 12 and 14 in number.
Slovenia is divided into 210 local municipalities, eleven of which have urban status.
Slovenia is the economic front-runner of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004 and was the first new member which adopted the euro on 1 January 2007. It has a high-income developed economy which enjoys the second highest (after Cyprus) GDP per capita ($28,010 = estimate for 2008) of the new EU countries which is 93% of the EU average.
Despite economic success, Slovenia faces some challenges. Big portions of the economy remains in state hands and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia is one of the lowest in the EU per capita. Taxes are relatively high, the labour market is seen as inflexible, and industries are losing sales to China, India, and elsewhere. During the 2000s, privatizations were seen in the banking, telecommunications, and public utility sectors. Restrictions on foreign investment are being dismantled, and foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to increase.
Slovenia's main ethnic group is Slovene (83%). Nationalities from the former Yugoslavia (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Montenegrin) form 5.3%, and the Hungarian, Albanian, Roma, Italian and other minorities form 2.8% of the population. Ethnic affiliation of 8.9% was either undeclared or unknown.
The official language is Slovene, which is a member of the South Slavic language group. Hungarian and Italian enjoy the status of official languages in the ethnically mixed regions along the Hungarian and Italian borders.
By religion, Slovenes are traditionally largely Roman Catholic (57.8% according to the 2002 Census).
Education in Slovenia
Slovenia has two ministries dealing with education:
There is a rather old (1999) OECD review of education policy for Slovenia at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/60/57/2664577.pdf
The Slovenian education system consists of:
Thee are also some specific parts of the system such as adult education, music and dance education, special needs education and programmes in ethnically and linguistically mixed areas.
In numbers terms there are:
Currently there are three public universities in Slovenia:
In addition, there is the private University of Nova Gorica.
The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Slovenia's education as the 12th best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average.
(sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Slovenia)
Pre-school education, offered by pre-school institutions, is not compulsory. It includes children between the ages of 1 and 6. The curriculum is divided in two cycles (from 1 to 3 and from 3 to 6). The new curriculum promotes different types of programme such as: day, half-day and short programmes. There is also the possibility of childminders, pre-school education at home or occasional care of children in their homes.
The Curriculum for Pre-school Institutions defines six areas of activities: movement, language, art, nature, society and mathematics. The goals set in individual fields of activities provide the framework for the selection of contents and activities by teachers.
Children first enter primary schooling at about age 6 and finish at about age 14. Each group of children born in the same year forms one grade or class in primary school which takes nine years or grades. Each year is divided in three semesters and each of them is around three months long. Once or twice per term, children have holidays: Autumn, Christmas, winter and May first holidays; each holiday is approximately one week long. In summer, school ends on 24 June (except in the last ninth grade, where it ends one week earlier), followed by a holiday of more than two months. The next school year starts on 1 September.
1st Period is a beginning of schooling for every child. From first to forth grade children stay in one classroom and have one class or form teacher who teaches them all subjects except PE, music, and art. In the beginning of first year there is always one special pedagogue in classroom and he or she helps the master teacher to lead little ones in the new system. They start with reading, writing and counting. In second grade they begin to learn more and more stuffs. They have native language (Slovenian, Hungarian or Italian language), mathematics, natural and sociology science, music, physical education and art. In forth grade they begin to learn their first foreign language, which is usually English. They have only descriptive marks and the real marks come in around second grade (this is school dependent: in some places real marks come in not earlier than in fourth grade).
The 2nd Period of primary schooling starts in fifth grade when children begin switching classrooms. They still have a master teacher, which is never the same as in past four years. He or she usually teaches them one or two subjects and all others are taught by different specialized teachers. Main subjects which they need to attend are maths, native language, first foreign language, PE, music and art. Later they start physics, chemistry, geography, history, biology, technics and housekeeping. In seventh grade they must choose three new subjects from around 40 subjects which are offered (usually different foreign languages, astronomy, fine art, computer science etc.).
On the end of the third, sixth and ninth grade pupil must write special state tests in maths, native language and first foreign language (except in last year the school minister defines the last one) . Those exams are then checked and first two do not mean anything (they only measure the average or how smart children really are). But exam in ninth grade must be written at the best because they count your end points and add up them with points that you reached in the end of last year in all subjects that you attended to. That is very important for pupils because then they continue with higher school. And if they have not achieved so much points as their wanted school has define they will not be accept.
In primary school marks start with 1 (insufficient) and is the only not failure mark. The second one is 2 (sufficient), next is 3 (good), then 4 (very good) and the best is 5 (excellent). For first positive mark you need to achieve little more than 50 percent, next range is around 65 percent, then 75 and for the best mark you need to know 90 percent of everything.
The National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (Zavod Republike Slovenije za Šolstvo - ZRSŠ) is the main public organisation in Slovenia which encourages development in the field of education in Slovenia up to pre-university - covering all kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, music schools, and student boarding schools. It appears to have some similarity with Becta in the UK.
No information on the relevant Wikipedia page. The following is sourced from the Slovenian government report Education in Slovenia
Secondary education follows the compulsory general basic education. Secondary schools include vocational and technical schools preparing students predominantly for labour and general secondary schools (gimnazije) preparing students predominantly for further studies. Programmes in secondary education vary in content, duration and goals.
General secondary education
General secondary school preparing students for further studies is called gimnazija. Gimnazija programmes are divided into two groups: general and professionally oriented (technical gimnazija). It lasts four years. It ends with an external examination called the matura examination. Those gimnazija students who for various reasons do not wish to continue their education have a possibility to enter the labour market by attending a vocational course and gaining a qualification in the selected occupation.
The aim of vocational courses is to provide a bridge between general and vocational education and to make it possible for graduates from general, classical, and technical gimnazije to obtain initial vocational qualifications at the level of corresponding secondary vocational and technical schools. Educational aims are the same as for vocational and technical education. The course leads to a vocational qualification needed on the labour market or for further studies at higher vocational and professional colleges.
The planning, programming and provision of vocational education are a joint responsibility of social partners (employers and trade unions) and the state. Common aims and goals of secondary vocational and technical education were defined in a common curricular document. This document stresses attainment targets in interdisciplinary fields and interest activities.
Short-term vocational programmes should last a year and a half for students and apprentices that have completed their basic education, and two and a half years for those without completed basic education. They finish with a final examination. The certificate of the final examination enables students to enter the labour market or to enter the first year at any other (upper) secondary vocational school.
Pupils who have successfully completed elementary school can enrol in 3-year secondary vocational programmes. Vocational education programmes are offered in the dual, that is the apprenticeship, system and/or in the school-based system.
The core curriculum is common to all programmes and includes a minimal scope of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills specified by occupational standards and required for a certain vocational qualification, regardless of the type of educational provision.
Practical training in the framework of the dual system is offered by employers. Programmes also specify the part of practical training that can be provided by schools and/or inter-company centres as practical instruction.
The certificate of the final examination enables students to enter the labour market or to continue education in two-year vocational-technical programmes, leading to a qualification at the level of a secondary technical school. Vocational-technical programmes are developed as upgrade of vocational education. The aims of vocational-technical programmes are the same as those of technical education programmes and lead to educational qualifications at the level of secondary technical school, also called a technical qualification, in a specific field.
On the other hand, graduates who find a job immediately after completing a three-year vocational programme can re-enter education after at least three years of employment to obtain a qualification at the level of a secondary technical school by passing examinations. By passing an examination for master craftsman, foreman or shop manager, they demonstrate a higher level of competence in their occupation. If they additionally pass examinations in the general subjects of the poklicna matura examination, they can continue their studies in higher vocational education.
Technical education is designed primarily as preparation for vocational and professional colleges, although it also leads to jobs with a broad profile. Secondary technical programmes last four years, which end with the poklicna matura examination.
Schools in Slovenia
As of 2010/2011 there are 787 elementary schools with 159 508 pupils in Slovenia and 129 secondary schools with 82 267 students.
Further and higher education
(sourced from the Slovenian government report Education in Slovenia
Higher education includes academic university studies and professionally oriented studies.
In 2004, amendments to the Higher Education Act were adopted. The Act provides for a three-level study structure. The first level relates to the undergraduate studies and the second and third levels to postgraduate studies. The duration of study programmes is limited in years (three to four years) and credit points (180 to 240 credit points). Study programmes must be in line with the EU study programmes. The second level maintains the master's studies. It encompasses from 60 to 120 credit points and takes one or two years to complete. The third level is the doctoral studies and lasts three years. Higher education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
Universities in Slovenia
(sourced, with care and cross-checks, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_Slovenia)
The universities are as follows:
Note that none except the University of Ljubljana have satisfactory Wikipedia entries (at present).
The University of Nova Gorica is listed by Wikipedia both as a public and a private university. The dilemma appears to that it is a private but non-profit university, supported by the Edvard Rusjan Foundation.
Polytechnics in Slovenia
The wikipedia page List of universities in Slovenia gives a long list of 25 non-university but apparently post-secondary private institutions of which the last four are "approved" - but by whom is not clear.
There is an even longer list (in Slovenian) at http://www.mvzt.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/znanost_in_visoko_solstvo/visoko_solstvo/dejavnost_visokega_solstva/seznam_visokosolskih_zavodov/#c379
Colleges in Slovenia
The first vocational colleges were established in 1996/97. Programmes are markedly practice-oriented and tightly connected with the world of work. Post-secondary vocational education lasts for two years ending with a diploma examination. A post-secondary vocational diploma enables students to start work in specific occupations. Since the 1998/99 academic year, vocational college graduates have been able to enrol in the second year of professionally oriented higher education programmes if the higher education institution providing this type of study allows such arrangements.
Adult education is characterised by impressive programme diversity. Schools and higher education institutions, basically providing youth education, also offer formal education courses for adults, adapting the organisation and programmes to their needs.
Non-formal education programmes are designed for various target groups, for example, employed people seeking to improve their employment opportunities or gain promotion, individuals wishing to enhance the quality of their life, individuals pursuing a hobby, the unemployed, marginal groups, ethnic groups, and foreigners. Access to most non-formal education courses is unrestricted.
A new act introducing a certification system was passed in 2000. It enables the assessment and verification of vocation-related knowledge, skills and experience acquired out of school. It thus makes it possible for individuals to obtain a vocational qualification in ways other than through formal schooling. Candidates undergo a knowledge assessment procedure by a special commission to obtain a state-approved certificate attesting their competence in performing certain vocational tasks. Vocational qualifications obtained in this way can be used by their holders to find a job or, in further training, demonstrating that part of an education programme has already been mastered.
The Slovenian school system has seen a number of changes in recent years which are intended to ensure that as many people as possible realise their right to education, thus achieving a higher educational level. The framework has been established (9-year basic education, higher vocational education), and the basic premises are known; however, the programme of reform continues in terms of implementation at the levels of secondary and higher vocational education (the introduction of the credit system, connecting subjects, integration of theory and practice, open curriculum).
The share of financial resources for education in 1992 amounted to 4.76% of GDP, and since 1998 it has been around 6%, which is the average for the OECD countries.
According to the latest data, Slovenia meets the 2010 targets of having no more than 10% of early school leavers (5.1%), of cutting the percentage of low-achieving pupils in literacy to below 17% (16.5%), of at least 85% of young people completing upper secondary education (90.2%)
In 2004, amendments to the Higher Education Act were adopted. The Act provides for a three-level study structure.
The first level relates to the undergraduate studies and the second and third levels to postgraduate studies. The duration of study programmes is limited in years (three to four years) and credit points (180 to 240 credit points). Study programmes must be in line with the guidelines on EU study programmes.
The second level maintains the master's studies. It encompasses from 60 to 120 credit points and takes one or two years to complete.
The third level is the doctoral studies and lasts three years. Higher education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
In the first half of 2008, Slovenia took over the European Presidency for six months. A meeting of the Board of the Bologna Follow-Up Group was held in Ljubljana in January 2008, the first event in the Presidency calendar involving the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology to take place in Slovenia.
Slovenia will organised and chaired a meeting of the Bologna Follow-Up Group (13 and 14 March 2008 in Brdo), as well as two meetings of its Board (16 January in Ljubljana, 9 June in Bled). In addition, Slovenia organised, in collaboration with Bosnia-Herzegovina, a special meeting of the Follow-Up Group, in Sarejevo in June. This meeting was devoted entirely to discussions on the European higher education area after 2010.
Administration and finance
The education system in Slovenia is almost fully financed from the state budget; a small share of the finance is also contributed by local authorities. Public expenditure on education includes expenditure on basic compulsory, secondary and tertiary institutions, as well as the running costs of pre-school education, post-graduate studies and expenditures related to boarding at some secondary schools and in university students’ accommodation. Included are both state schools and accredited private schools and, to the extent determined by law, also other private schools.
The state budget provides finances for salaries of school employees, material costs and asset maintenance, buildings and equipment; advisory work, awards, competitions, students’ insurance, subsidies and similar. Finances are distributed in accordance with regulations (standards and criteria for staff, equipment and organisation) set by the Minister of Education in consultation with the relevant council of experts and trade unions.
Evaluation of the education system is regulated by school legislation, mainly by the Organisation and Financing of Education Act. By law, the development of specific areas of education is the responsibility of relevant national councils of experts: the Council of Experts for General Education, the Council of Experts for Vocational Education and the Council of Experts for Adult Education. In accordance with the school legislation, public institutions: the National Education Institute, the Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education; must provide expertise to the councils of experts. The same public institutions are also required to monitor the development of pre-tertiary education across the board.
The strategy for the development of the Information Society in Slovenia is described in the report si2010, written in 2007. Section 7.3 is on E-Education (with 7.2 on E-Content). We paraphrase it here.
Scope of activity
ICT in education initiatives
It is not expected that any are yet even in NELI status.
There is a fascinating document Development Scenarios for Slovenia to 2035 looking at "Trends and opportunities in the times of climate change" which has a cryptic reference to e-learning.
Virtual initiatives in schools
Virtual initiatives in post-secondary education
Virtual initiatives in higher education
University of Maribor - this has a Center for E-Education and Lifelong Learning.
The preparatory meeting of the International Academic Council of Center EMUNI was held in Ljubljana on March 10, 2008. Participants were the representatives of partner higher education and research institutions from Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey. Furthermore, the project is supported also by the Slovenian Government.
The participants supported the idea of establishing the Euro-Mediterranean University and emphasized that the University should perform programs that are important for Euro-Mediterranean region and should bring together the best professors, experts and students from the region. The participants agreed that such an institution can provide a significant contribution to the cooperation among higher education institutions in order to create a centre of excellence in the fields such as internal relations, environment, economy, security, humanities and culture, as well as to the achievement of mutual understanding between the countries in the Euro Mediterranean region.