If you are reading this article, you are probably interested in education in Slovenia, plan to enrol in a Slovenian educational institution in the future, or you are a parent of a future student. Perhaps, you have already entered one of the Slovenian universities and you can proudly call yourself a “bruc” – a first-year student.
Using the authoritative sources, we have collected the most important information about the rights and obligations of students as well as about the peculiarities of student life in Slovenia. In this article, you will receive an insight into the world of students, its laws and regulations, and issues of paramount importance.
What does student status mean?
According to the legal formulation, a student is a person who, according to the established procedure, is enrolled in a higher educational institution or an institution of vocational education for training. Thus, when an entrant is enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree study programme or a college, he/she acquires the student status.
As a documentary confirmation of this status, a student receives a student card. Before the student card is issued, it is possible to take a certificate of admission in the dean’s office, which is valid if a student has a passport.
Having obtained the student status, a student can:
- receive medical insurance (if he/she is under the age of 18 – with the participation of parents);
- officially receive a temporary job through the Student Service;
- live in a dormitory (subject to availability of places), if he/she is not officially employed and is not registered with the employment service.
The student’s status is valid from 1 October of the current academic year to 30 September of the next year and is prolonged given the successful transition to each subsequent academic year until completion of studies.
Studies and Exams
All student duties can be reduced to two key issues – students must study, using all possible means, and successfully pass the academic exams. In addition, students become the face of the university, so they must be ready to represent their university and faculty and protect their honour at conferences, competitions, and forums.
All students are required to attend lectures and seminars, pass internships, do homework and be engaged in self-education. Teachers test knowledge of students in different ways depending on a study programme – students write tests, participate in seminars, perform research tasks. However, exams and colloquiums remain the main forms of academic performance control.
A colloquium assumes that all the knowledge that students must acquire during one semester is divided into parts and checked in several stages. If a student has passed the first colloquium, then he/she is admitted to the next one, while all successfully passed colloquiums are considered as one passed exam in a certain subject.
Each exam can be taken a maximum of 6–8 times, depending on the rules of each university, with the first three attempts being free, and the rest – subject to payment. If a student repeats an academic year, he/she receives another 6–8 attempts, while after a gap year, the attempts are not renewed.
In Slovenian universities, sessions are held twice a year:
- in winter – from January to February;
- in spring and summer – from June to July.
In addition, from August to September, students have an opportunity to cancel their academic debts.
To be admitted to an examination, students must register for it through the eVŠN portal 3–8 days before the exam date. Registration means that the registered students will surely attend the exam. If the application is not cancelled 2–3 days before the exam date and the student fails to appear, the exam will be considered failed, and the student may not be allowed to the next session. Participation in colloquiums on one subject should be registered only once, and sometimes registration is not needed at all, as teachers assign colloquiums discussing the dates with students.
If a student does not agree with the result of the exam, he/she can dispute it by making an appeal. Terms and conditions of appeal differ for different universities.
All students have an opportunity to improve the exam grade. To do this, they need to fill out a special form and prepare for exam retaking during one of the following sessions. It should be clarified in advance at the Dean’s Office, which of the exam results should be taken into account – the best or the last one.
During the period when a student studies and passes exams, he/she receives grades and gains points – the so-called credits under the ECTS system. A certain number of points allows a student to be transferred to the next academic year and continue his/her studies.
University studies end with the defense of a thesis, although there are some Bachelor’s degree programmes that only provide for a final examination.
Extension of Studies
Students have the right to extend their studies for one additional year, however, a reasonable excuse is required. Educational institutions resolve this issue in different ways, but usually, the basis for extending the period of student’s studies is a disease or active participation in student activities, which has affected his/her academic performance. Besides, an additional year of studies can be taken at the University of Ljubljana if the student’s low academic performance is due to family circumstances or a difficult life situation, as well as if a student has the status of a person with special needs. The University of Maribor calls military service and education abroad among the reasons for extending the period of studies.
Female students with children can extend student status for one year for each new-born child and receive maternity allowance.
How to Change a Study Programme?
If a student, during his/her studies, has realized that the chosen programme is not quite suitable or that it is impossible to score the required number of points and pass the exams well, he/she can be transferred to another study programme, but only once during the whole period of studies.
Students can apply for a new study programme from February to March, in August or in early October on the eVŠ website. After enrolment in a new programme, it is required to be discharged from the old one, but only immediately before the start of the new academic year. Thus, students can save their status and corresponding benefits.
A student must pass all exams, which are provided by the new programme for admission to the first year of studies, even if he/she is transferred to the third year of studies. To facilitate the transition process, you should clarify, which exam results of the old study programme can be accepted by the new programme.
A gap year gives students the right to temporarily stop their studies and continue it later. You can take a gap year only once during your studies. At the same time, it will no longer be possible to take advantage of the additional year that is provided for the delivery of final exams and writing a thesis. During the gap year, students are deprived of all rights related to their student status – the rights will be resumed automatically after the renewal of studies.
If the gap year lasts over two years and the study programme has changed during this time, it is necessary to file a petition to continue studying under this study programme. If a student has academic debts, then, after the gap year is finished, he/she will pass the required exams on a paid basis.
How to Preserve the Student Status?
If a student ignores his/her student duties, violates the rules of the university, or cheats on exams, at best, he/she will receive a warning or a reprimand, and at worst, may be sent down from the university.
The student status can be lost if a student:
- stopped attending the university and does not have the required number of points to move to the next semester;
- was sent down from the university;
- failed to timely pass the exams and write a thesis during the additional year.
The 2TM team wishes all students to lose their status for one reason only – due to the successful completion of their studies. Please, contact us for all questions related to admission and studies in Slovenian educational institutions!
Adapted by Anastasia Pimenova
Sources: Data from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia; Law on Higher Education; Statute of the University of Ljubljana; Statute of the University of Maribor; Regulations for Testing and Assessing Knowledge at the University of Maribor; Regulations for Testing and Assessing Knowledge at the University of Primorska.