The higher education in Slovakia also known as vysoká škola is provided by institutions, which are mentioned and governed by the Act No 131/2002 of the Law Code. According to the act, higher education in Slovakia is divided into three phases:
• Bachelor’s study programs
• Master’s, Engineering and Medical degree study programs
• PhD study programs
Education in state-owned and public universities is free of cost. In cases where there is extended duration of study, a fee may be charged. Private universities in Slovakia charge a fee from students. According to the Act on Schools of Higher Education 2002, universities are of two types:
University-type schools of higher education:
These institutions offer study programs for all the three stages of higher education. Only institutes that provide masters and doctorate programs in a considerable proportion are allowed to use the term “university” in their name.
Non-university-type schools of higher education:
They are professional schools, which provide higher education. They predominantly provide only the bachelor’s programs.
Bachelor study programs or graduate studies
The bachelor’s study program in Slovakia is aimed at obtaining theoretical and practical knowledge. Bachelor’s courses typically span three to four year courses. To enroll into a graduate study program, students need to possess certificate awarded to them on passing the upper secondary examination (vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške
). This is the minimum entrance requirement for higher education. There are other criteria as well, but those depend on the educational institution in question. Admission tests are also held, and they are mostly written, although some institutions also conduct oral exams and interviews.
Master’s study programs
A master’s or magister's program in Slovakia spans at least one year and can stretch up to three years. Studies in the medical field (doctor or veterinary field) last up to six years. The enrollment criteria for the students who pass the graduate program to the master’s program in Slovakia vary. The admission of students is stipulated by study rules of the specific institution university or college. It is usually the dean of the institution, who has the final say for a student’s admission. Admission mostly depends on the grades obtained by the applicant in state examinations, which are conducted at the end of the bachelor’s study program; it may also depend on the performance in the entrance exam administered by the institute. A diploma and the title of inžinier
, magister or doktor
are awarded to students, who successfully complete their university courses (two-three years after the bakalár
or five to six years through a separate course).
PhD study programs
The students, who have received a master’s degree in Slovakia, can move on to the PhD study program upon meeting some other admission requirements. In the full-time form, the PhD study program takes three to four years; if done in the part-time form it takes five years. Scholarships maybe provided to students of PhD study in full-time form of study. The scholarships are regulated by Amendment to Act No. 363/2007 of the Law Code. The dissertation themes are defined by the institution before the admission procedure starts and a supervisor is appointed. The applicant is supposed to choose one of the themes.