About Slovakia

Slovakia is located in the heart of Central Eastern Europe with its capital of Bratislava. The country has rich European history, traditions, beautiful scenery, high-quality culture, and wonderful inhabitants. Slovakia is a market-driven economy and its development is among the most successful of all Central European nations. Slovakia is also a fully integrated European country – member of the EU and NATO, member of Euro Zone - and its stable economy attracts many foreign investors. The country is also a member of Schengen zone which has multiple accessibility and travel perks - foreigner can enter not only through Bratislava or Kosice airport but also fly into Vienna, major international airport just a 50-minutes’ drive from Bratislava.

Why to come to Slovakia

Statistics & figures (2021)

Average monthly salary of € 1,227
Average labor cost of € 1,702
Unemployment rate of 7.9%
Population of 5.4 mil.
GDP of 91.6 bil.
Literacy is 99%
Life expectancy is 80ys for females and 72ys for males

Stable Position

Slovakia is a member of many important international organizations such as the EU, NATO, UN, OECD, OSCE, WHO, Council of Europe, International Monetary fund and others.

Convenient Location

Slovakia is located within Central Eastern Europe, and shares borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. International Vienna airport distance from Bratislava (the Capital) is only 60 km (37 miles). In addition, the Danube River connects Slovakia with Vienna and Budapest.

Natural Beauty

In Slovakia’s area of 49,035 km² (18,928 square miles), mountains, lowlands, valleys, lakes, cave formations, forests, meadows, and hot springs can be found. Central and northern Slovakia are mountainous regions covered by the Carpathian Mountains. Southern and eastern Slovakia are lowland regions, and important agricultural areas of the country.

Stable Economy

Slovakia is a member of Eurozone; therefore, its currency is euro (€) and has stable financial and economic environment. Slovakia is an attractive foreign investment destination.

Culture and History

Being located in center of Europe, Slovakia’s history, culture and architecture had been influenced by various cultural influences, history, and religion – from early Roman empire expansion, Slavs establishment, Hungarian Kingdom ruling, Habsburg monarchy’s multinationalism, early Czechoslovak republic, communism, rapid and sometimes chaotic post-soviet development and finally, creation of independent parliamentary democracy, the Slovak Republic has witnessed it all.

Attractive for Tourists

Slovakia has a rich history, unique traditions, vibrant cities, historic architecture, and a wealth of opportunities for outdoor adventures, many magical castles, mountain peaks soaring over 2,000 meters (>6,500 ft.), and many tasty food and wine tours.

Recent Development

Slovakia has gone through interesting political development in last 30 years (the country itself was founded in 1993 by the division of former Czechoslovakia) and therefore offers wide possibilities for research in social, political and economic sciences.

The Slovak Educational System

Education in Slovakia is compulsory from ages 6 to 16 and is fully funded by the state at all levels. The Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport maintains the conditions for the development of institutions of education, and it is responsible for actual changes and legislation related to education. There are three types of school from the point of view of founder on primary and secondary level – state, private, and church. Church and private schools also receive subsidies from the state.

Elementary Schools

Elementary schools provide general, ethical, esthetic, polytechnic, health, and environmental education and physical training. They also provide religious education. Primary schools comprise 9 grades.

Secondary Education

Secondary education is comprised of three types of secondary schools: gymnasium, secondary specialized school, and secondary vocational school. The study generally lasts 4 or 5 years, depending on the type of school.

Secondary Grammar Schools ‘Gymnasiums’ provide general secondary education and prepare students particularly for further study at higher education institutions. Students finish their studies by passing a final examination called "Maturita." Students must pass this exam successfully if they plan to apply for study at university.

Secondary Specialized Schools prepare students mainly for occupations in technical and economic sectors, pre-school education, medical nursery care, and fine arts and design. Students at these schools must pass the Maturita exam in both general and specialized subjects. They are then prepared for work in the field of study, or they may continue to institutions of higher education.

Secondary Vocational Schools prepare students for various occupations and working activities, which may or may not require training and the “Maturita Exam.” Education and training comprise general and vocational part. Education at secondary vocational schools is provided for those not qualified to attend a secondary school and vocational schooling ends by receiving a certificate in their respective occupation. Students however may decide to study further for “Maturita exam” – if passed, they will then be able to register for higher institutions.

Post-Secondary Education

Many secondary vocational schools offer the possibility for graduates to continue with the education for 2 or 3 years of study. This education is leading to upgrading the already gained qualification, obtaining of additional and new scientific and practical knowledge in the respective field of study or training and education in a different field of study. After finishing the study, the graduates obtain a certificate which entitles them to become a certified specialist in the respective field.

Higher Educational System in Slovakia

Slovak Law defines the institutions of higher education as legal entities, providing education and research in the Slovak Republic. According the character and amount of activities they can be divided into university type institutions- providing education up to the PhD. study, and non-university type institutions- providing education up to the Bachelor level.

The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education acts as the advisory body of the Slovak Government and observes and evaluates the education and scientific or artistic activities of Slovak universities or faculties concerning degrees, levels of study, establishment of a public institution of higher education, its faculties, the approval for establishing a private institution of higher education, on changes in study disciplines and fields of study at these institutions, etc.

The higher education and research systems are integrated into the European Education and Research Area. The academic year starts September 1st and runs through end of August, divided into two semesters (summer and winter). Winter courses run from mid-September/ end September through Christmas break with exam period in January – mid/February. Summer courses start in mid/February through May with exam period in June. During the semester, students attend various educational modules such as lectures, seminars, laboratory work, projects, practical training, or consultations. After passing all requirements (such as essays, credit tests, or even attendance ratio), credits are awarded to students in line with European Credit and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Types of HEIs

There are the three types of institutions of higher education in the Slovak Republic:

Public Institutions

Public Institutions of Higher Education was established according the Act on Higher Education. The bodies of the academic autonomy of the institutions are the Academic Senate, the Rector, The Scientific Council, and the Disciplinary Commission. They decide on the organization, activities, and administration of the institution.

State Institutions

State Institutions of Higher Education was established through the Ministries of the Slovak government. The respective Ministry sets the rules for the types of study, administering the financial means, regulating the number of students, the employees etc. supervised by respective Ministry such as: Police institution (established and supervised by the Ministry of Interior), Military institution (established and supervised by the Ministry of Defense) and Health care institution (established and supervised by the Ministry of Health).

Private Institutions

Private Institutions of Higher Education, established by non-governmental institutions or founders, but the providing of education and research must be approved by the Ministry of Education. The approval is based on the approval of the Accreditation Commission or the administration and operation of the institution would harm the laws or regulations of the country.

There are 20 public, 3 state and 11 private universities and colleges. The list of websites of all universities can be found on Portal of universities website.

Slovak Academy of Sciences

Besides these aforementioned universities, there is Slovak Academy of Sciences, the main scientific and research institution in the Slovak Republic fostering basic and applied research. “The first mission of SAS is to carry out top-level basic research at the frontiers of knowledge that leads to new discoveries and concepts. The second mission of SAS is to make the scientific infrastructure for technically demanding research available to all interested parties, be it universities or other organizations of research and development. The third mission is long-term strategic and applied research and development, whereby SAS intensively and effectively co-operates with the business sector, the public sector, and civil society to transfer knowledge into practice.” It is comprised of 45 institutes divided into 3 sections: 1. Physical, Space, Earth and Engineering Sciences, 2. Life, Chemical, Medical and Environmental Sciences, 3. Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts and Culture.

Levels and Degrees of Higher Education

There are three levels of higher education that offer study in diverse programs – Bachelors, Masters and PhD. However, in some fields, the two levels (BA and MA) may be joint and cannot be studied on one level only (such as with medicine).

Bachelor’s Degree

First level of the university studies - Senior students of secondary schools apply for, pass entrance exam, and start study in one chosen field. Study programs are already specialized and therefore not so flexible to change the field of study on second level – Master’s. Bachelor’s level usually takes 3 (in some disciplines 4) years to complete full-time and four or five years part-time.

Master’s Degree

Second level of the university studies - Graduate students at the BA level usually continue studying within their respective Bachelors level field. They can study at Magisters, Engineers and Doctors study programs. The duration of study is generally 2 (in specific fields 3) years full-time and 3 or 4 years in part-time.

Examina rigorosa: The holders of the academic degree of magister may take examina rigorosa, which includes the defense of a rigorosa thesis. After its successful completion, higher education institutions award the following academic degrees: doktor prírodných vied (RNDr.) doktor farmácie (PharmDr.), doktor filozofie (PhDr.), doktor práv (JUDr.), doktor pedagogiky (PaedDr.), doktor teológie (ThDr.)

Ph.D. Degree

Third level of the university studies - Graduate students at MA level can apply for further specialized study programs at PhD. level. The standard duration is 3 or 4 years in full-time mode and 4 or 5 years in part-time mode.