RegionCentral Europe
Population 5,450,421
Expenditure on higher education1,8 %
Unemployment6,64 %
EuroUniversities in top 1000
EuroUniversities in top 2500
EuroUniversities in top 5009
EuroUniversities in top 100018
Foreigner students4,5 %
Enrollment rate in higher education48 %

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Higher education in the Slovak Republic is provided by higher education institutions with accredited study programmes. Fulfilment of accreditation conditions is assessed by the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SK). The Agency decides on the granting (or not granting) of appropriate accreditations under the law. Higher education institutions may ask for study programme accreditation in any field of study. 

Study programmes are implemented at three levels 

  • First-level study programme – Bachelor study programme (bakalársky študijný program, Bc.),
  • Second-level study programme – Master (magisterský, Mgr.), Engineer (inžiniersky, Ing.), doctoral study programme (doktorský študijný program),
  • Third-level study programme – PhD study programme (doktorandský študijný program)

Study programmes may combine two levels of higher education into one whole. 

The study programme may consist of either one or several fields. The higher education is achieved in the respective field of study or in the combination of the fields. 

A study field is that area which is the subject of education; it is defined by its content, which is determined by the area and extent of knowledge and skills set out in the graduate profile. A study programme is a set of subjects with rules for their completion. A successful completion of the subjects will result in obtaining higher education.

The system of study fields – a list of study programmes (SK) in which higher education institutions in the Slovak Republic can provide higher education – is administered by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport in the Slovak Republic.

The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education gives its statement to all changes in the system. 

The system of study fields also includes descriptions of study fields, which specify their content as well as outcomes of education at the given level and field of study. The profile of a study programme graduate, conditions for the regular completion of the study, and organisation of the study are in the self-administration competence of the higher education institution.  Higher education institutions are, however, obliged to subordinate the study organisation to the credit system. 

The study programmes may be provided in the full-time and part-time form of study. The full-time form of study is characterised by the daily participation of students in educational activities. The part-time form is characterised mainly by individual study and consultations. 

In compliance with the Act on Higher Education, the Ministry creates, updates and publishes a Long-term plan for education, research, development, artistic, and other creative activities for higher education institutions (SK) every year. The long-term plan of the ministry is created for five to ten years.

The academic year starts on 1st September and ends on 31st August of the following calendar year in agreement with the Act on higher education. The higher education institution decides if the academic year is structured into two semesters or three trimesters.  The number of weeks of each semester/trimester and the number of weeks in which the education, examination session or holidays take place are determined by each higher education institution itself. 

Higher education in the Slovak Republic is provided by 

  • 20 public higher education institutions, 
  •   3 state higher education institutions, 
  • 12 private higher education institutions, and 
  •   5 foreign higher education institutions. 

The list of higher education institutions can be found in the chapter Institutions. 

Legislative references

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 07/01/2020).

Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2002.  Decree No. 614/2002 on credit system study as amended by subsequent provision (Vyhláška č. 614/2002 o kreditovom systéme štúdia v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 28/08/2019).


Branches of study

The first cycle study programmes – Bachelor study programmes focus on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge based on the current situation in the science or art and on the management of its use in practice or in the pursuit of further higher education study. 

Bachelor study programme graduates achieve the higher education of the first level and receive the academic degree of Bachelor (abbr. “Bc.”). 

The standard length of bachelor study programmes including the professional practice is 

  • a minimum of three and maximum of four academic years for full-time study,
  • a minimum of three and maximum of five academic years for part-time study.

Regular completion of bachelor study programmes with a standard length of study is conditional upon acquiring a minimum of 180 credits. 

Higher education institutions prepare a recommended study plan for each study programme. If studying according to the recommended study plan, students are able to complete their study programme regularly at the standard length of study.

Admission requirements

All applicants for study have the right to study at a higher education institution in the selected field of study programme provided they fulfil the basic admission requirements for study and further requirements specified by the higher education institution. 

The basic condition for the admission to Bachelor study is the completion of upper secondary education or upper secondary vocational education (the education completed by the school-leaving examination).

Higher education institutions can admit only applicants for accredited study programmes. The number of applicants to be admitted is determined by each higher education institution/faculty.

The admission examinations are organised directly by faculties, which determine the admission requirements in such a way as to admit only the candidates with necessary abilities and skills. Faculties or higher education institutions shall announce the form, content and the way of evaluation of admission examination results. In compliance with the Education Act (SK), further requirements must not exceed the knowledge content range of the complete upper secondary education.  

The admission examination is held mostly in a written form. Some schools also include oral examinations or interviews for selected programmes. Their aim is to evaluate the overall applicants’ prerequisites for the study programme chosen, language skills, etc. 

Admission procedure may entail a talent examination. The talent or practical examination is taken by applicants for the first stage of primary school (ISCED 1) teacher training programmes, or applicants for teacher training for academic subjects in combination with physical education, music education, and art education. Talent or practical examination is also taken for sports, journalism, architecture study programmes,  and all programmes of artistic orientation. 

Higher education institutions or faculties may also admit applicants based on their upper-secondary education results. 

The dean of faculty decides on applicant’s admission in case of an appeal; the rector of the higher education institution makes the final decision on the student’s admission. The result of admission examination is usually published on the day when the examination is held or the day after. Almost all faculties, however, publish the results on their websites. A written statement on admission or non-admission is delivered to students within 30 days.

The form and manner of the admission examination for disabled applicants is determined with regard to their health disability upon their request. Each higher education institution has a coordinator for work with such students.

An applicant, who successfully passes the admission exams, becomes a student of the higher education institution. The requirements for the admission of foreigners to the study at higher education institutions are the same as for the citizens of the Slovak Republic.

In the case of study programmes in healthcare, the admission to part-time forms of study is conditional upon having previous education in selected healthcare fields of study.

As regards State higher education institutions, the procedure may vary with respect to the limitations arising from their status. The Number of admissions is determined by the respective ministry in some cases, or the preference is given to applicants who are employed in the given sector.

Civilians cannot study Bachelor study programmes at military higher education institutions. 


Higher education institutions and their faculties are autonomous in the study programme creation.

Legal regulations govern some basic requirements for study programmes, such as the standard student load (60 credits per academic year), the standard period of study, or division of subjects into compulsory, optional and elective. All students of a study programme must complete all compulsory subjects, the required part of compulsory optional subjects and the remaining number of credits is earned from elective subjects. Students pursue study programmes according to the study plans that they compile themselves. 

At the same time, the regular completion of the study is conditional upon the defense of a bachelor thesis.

Teaching methods 

The content and methods of teaching within the framework of individual subjects are in full competence of universities and faculties in agreement with fundamental rights and freedoms of higher education institutions.

The choice of teaching methods in higher education institutions is determined by the type of teaching and specific requirements of each subject. Lectures, seminars, proseminars (the combined form of teaching usually comprised of lectures and seminars), exercises, courses, consultations, excursions, practice teaching, seminar papers are the main forms of teaching. In technical and science subjects also include laboratory work. The lecture part uses dialogue methods combined with computer technology and other teaching aids.

Higher education institutions are autonomous in the selection of textbooks or educational software as well as in their creation. In case that a higher education institution teacher writes a higher education institution textbook, this output is partially considered when determining subsidies for the given higher education institution. There is no special system of central level support for the development of teaching materials or higher education institution textbooks. 

Progression of students

The pace of study and order of subjects are determined by the student himself. However, the total period of study cannot be longer than by two academic years compared to the standard length of study of the given study programme.

The study order of a higher education institution and the study programme rules determine the number of credits which students must achieve to be able to progress to the next part of the study. The parts of the study are usually expressed by academic years, that means, at the beginning or at the end of the academic year it is assessed if the student fulfils the conditions for continuing the studies – to be expressed as a rule by a minimum number of the credits that should be achieved during the year.

A student may enrol in one subject at most twice during his study. In case that he fails to pass the subject for the second time, he is expelled from the study.

It is possible to transfer from one study programme to another at higher education institutions, provided conditions set out in study rules of faculties and universities are met. Students may also complete their study at a higher education institution other than that where they originally started.


Currently, no special tools are applied for placement of graduates of Bachelor study programmes at the labour market. The hitherto practice and possibilities of admission to the next level of education cause that a prevailing part of graduates of Bachelor study programmes continue in further higher education studies.

Based on the dialogue between the higher education institution and the practice (automotive industry in particular), a modification of bachelor study programmes in some fields of study occurs in relation to the practical needs and to the increase of employability of the bachelor degree graduates. A bachelor degree is sufficient for performance of certain healthcare professions and such graduates can be directly employed in practice (e.g. midwives, nurses). 

Higher education institutions provide traineeship or practice for their students in many bachelor study programmes. Teaching practice is a compulsory and integral part of study programmes for teachers; it has to be taken in contracted schools that provide pre-primary, primary and secondary education. 

Students assessment

Details on student performance evaluation over the course of students’ study are set up in study rules of higher education institutions and faculties. Procedures of evaluation of students at higher education institutions vary.

The organisation of all levels and forms of higher education study is based on the credit system. The credit system of study enables the evaluation of student’s load connected with the completion of the study programme’s units in agreement with the rules of the study programme. The standard load is expressed by the number of credits as follows: 60 for an academic year, 30 credits for a semester and 20 credits for a trimester.

The evaluation of student’s results within the framework of the subject study is carried out, in particular, by

  • continuous monitoring of study results during the teaching part of the given period of study (examination questions, written tests, tasks for individual work, papers, coursework, etc.),
  • examination for the given period of study.

The subject completion is evaluated by a mark. The mark expresses the quality of acquisition of knowledge or skills in agreement with the aim of the subject. The result of the evaluation is recorded in the study book (index).

Evaluation by a mark is carried out according to the system of grading composed of six grades:

  • A – excellent = 1
  • B – very good = 1,5
  • C – good = 2
  • D – satisfactory = 2,5
  • E – sufficient = 3
  • FX – fail = 4

Students shall obtain credits for the subject if their results were assessed by any of the classification grades from A to E. To evaluate the overall study records of a student in a defined period, the course weighted average is used. It is calculated by summing up the products of the number of credits and numerical assessment in the period assessed and then dividing the result the total number of credits registered by the student for the given period.

In the case of healthcare study programmes, students keep books of records on clinical practice for recording each action they have performed during clinical workplace practice.

Completion of studies is conditional upon passing the State examination. In addition to the defense of the final (bachelor) thesis, there are usually also other State examinations prescribed. The State examination is usually a commissional examination of student’s knowledge and comprehension of the completed subjects in context.


Graduates from Bachelor’s degree programmes are issued

1. Diplomas indicating

  • the study field and study programme, 
  • academic degree, 
  • identification of the higher education institution and faculty and the graduate (name, surname, date of birth), 

2. Certificate on the state examination and

3. Diploma Supplement. 

The Diploma Supplement contains detailed information on the completed study and the system of higher education in the SR. Higher education institutions award the academic degree of Bachelor (Bc.) to the graduates from Bachelor’s degree programmes.

In the case of academic recognition of documents on education (with the purpose of continuing the studies), the recognition of study in another higher education institution abroad falls within the competence of the higher education institution. The recognition of documents on education from abroad for professional purposes falls as a rule within the competence of the Ministry of education, science, research and sport of the SR. Documents issued in the SR, except for foreign higher education institutions, are valid in the SR without further recognition.

Legislative references

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 131/2002 o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 07/01/2020).

Second Cycle Programmes

Branches of study

The study programmes of the second cycle – Master’s (magisterské), Engineer’s (inžinierske) or Doctoral (doktorské) study programmes focus on the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge based on the present state of science or art and on the development of the ability to apply the knowledge creatively in professional life or further higher education study according to the doctoral study programme.

The organization of the study is the same as that of Bachelor study programmes.

The standard length of study is from one to three academic years, which represents 60 to 180 credits for the regular completion of the study. There is a condition that the study in the first and second cycle should take the standard five years for acquisition of higher education of the second cycle.

Graduates of master’s programmes or similar study programmes abroad can be admitted to doctoral study programmes. As a part of the doctoral study, students have to take a examina rigorosa, which also includes defense of a thesis, in the study field in which they obtained higher education or in a related study programme. 

Examina rigorosa and the defense of a thesis should prove that the candidates have deeper knowledge in a broad scope of the study field and that they are able to acquire new scientific and practical knowledge and apply it creatively in practice

The doctoral study programme is a second-level study programme.

Admission requirements

The basic condition for admission to a second level study programme the completion of a first level study programme. 

As required by law, admission to a full-time Master’s study programme in healthcare study fields is conditional upon having a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate study field. However, the reality in most study fields is that higher education institutions make the admission conditional upon having a bachelor degree in the same study field as or a study field related to the follow-up master’s study programme chosen by the applicants.  

Other admission requirements are set by each higher education institution, or faculty, individually. 

The admission procedure may also include an admission examination. The examination aims to verify applicants‘ knowledge, skills, competencies, thinking, or talent in terms of special requirements of the chosen master’s study.  

More information on the admission examination can be found in chapter Bachelor: Admission Requirements


For more information see chapter Bachelor: Curriculum.

Teaching methods 

Teaching methods are the same as in the study programme of the first level. Seminars and practical parts of teaching often use simulation methods, minimized operational facilities. Medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical fields of study include practical training in special teaching facilities – healthcare facilities. Veterinary, agricultural and forestry fields of study also include practical training in specialised teaching facilities. 

Teacher training study fields require practice teaching in primary and secondary school during the study. The length of the practice teaching is determined by the respective higher education institutions or by the accreditation requirements. 

For more information see chapter Bachelor: Teaching Methods.

Progression of students

As regards the progression of students of master study programmes, the same rules apply as in case of the Bachelor study programmes.

For more information see chapter Bachelor: Progression of Students.


Currently, there are no tools specially supported at the central level aimed at the transition of graduates from higher education institutions to the labour market. Individual higher education institutions cooperate to a degree with economic practice as indicated in case of the Bachelor study programmes. Career days are organized for graduates when the students may get familiar with the current demands of the labour market or exchange contacts with potential employers.

Students assessment

Details on the evaluation of students’ performance in the course of their study are set up in study orders  of higher education institutions and faculties. As with Bachelor’s study programs, the organization of study is based on the credit system and the assessment of the students is carried out according the qualification scale.

For more information see chapter Bachelor: Students Assessment.


The graduates of Master study programmes are issued

1. Diplomas, indicating 

  • the study fields and study programme, 
  • academic degree, 
  • identification of higher education institution and faculty and graduate (first name, surname, date of birth). 

2. Certificate on the state examination and 

3. Diploma Supplement. 

Diploma Supplement includes detailed information on the study completed and on the higher education system in the SR.

The Master’s study, Engineer’s study, and Doctoral study are completed by the state examination before an examination commission. The state examination includes the defense of a thesis. The state examination consists of 3-4 subjects. In the case students fail the state examination they have the right to re-sit. Each part of the state examination is assessed separately. The overall evaluation of study (depending on results of the overall study and results of the state examination) is evaluated in two grades “passed with honours” and ” passed”.

Higher education institutions award the following academic degrees to their graduates:

  • in Master’s study, Master (Magister) the degree (Mgr.); in  artistic study programmes, Master of arts (Magister umenia) degree  (Mgr. art.);
  • in Engineer’s study, the Engineer (Inžinier) degree (Ing.); the Engineer of Architecture (Inžinier architekt) degree (Ing. arch.) in the study programmes of architecture and urban planning;
  • in Doctoral (doktorské) study of the study programmes of humane medicine,  the Doctor of Medicine (Doktor všeobecného lekárstva) degree (MUDr.), Doctor of dental medicine (Doktor zubného lekárstva) degree (MDDr.) in the study programmes of dentistry;  and the Doctor of veterinary medicine (Doktor veterinárskej medicíny) degree (MVDr.) in the study programmes of veterinary medicine.

The graduates of Master’s study (Mgr.) who completed the examina rigorosa a part of which is the defense of a thesis, are awarded the diploma, showing the field of study completed and the academic degree:

  • in the study programmes of natural sciences – Doctor of natural sciences (Doktor prírodných vied) (RNDr.),
  • in the study programmes of pharmacy – Doctor of pharmacy (Doktor farmácie) (PharmDr.),
  • in the study programmes of the humanities and art disciplines – Doctor of philosophy (doktor filozofie) (PhDr.),
  • in the study programmes of law and security with juridical concentration – Doctor of law (doktor práv) (JUDr.),
  • in teacher training with study programmes of education and sports – Doctor of pedagogy (doktor pedagogiky) (PaedDr.),
  • in theological study programmes except for Catholic theology – Doctor of theology (doktor teológie) (ThDr.).

Legislative references

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 07/01/2020).

Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Organisation of doctoral studies

Higher education of the third cycle is achieved by completing a PhD study programme. The PhD study programme focuses on acquisition of knowledge based on the present state of scientific and artistic knowledge and, particularly, on the student’s contribution to it, which is a result of scientific research and independent creative activity in the field of science or technology or independent theoretical and creative activity in the field of art.

The division of the study fields is similar to that of the first two levels of higher education. The number of study fields of the third level is higher compared to the first and second cycle.

The standard length of full-time study is three or four academic years. The part-time study takes five academic years at most. The PhD study consists of two parts – the study and research.

Admission requirements

The admission to PhD study is conditional on successful completion of higher education of the second level.

Before the admission procedure, the higher education institution or faculty define the topics of dissertation theses to be applied for by the applicant. A supervisor is appointed for each topic. The applicant for PhD study will choose one of the announced topics. External educational institutions may publish the topics either independently or in cooperation with a higher education institution or faculty.

The admission interview is carried out in the training institute before the admission commission which is represented by members of the higher education institution and members chosen by the head of the external educational institution if it sets the topics. The members of the admission commission from the higher education institution are chosen by the dean and/or rector. The admission examination may be taken in an external education institution if the higher education institution or the faculty and the external educational institution agree so. The decision on the result of the admission procedure must be made within 30 days from the verification of fulfilling the conditions for admission to the study. The PhD study has both full-time and part-time forms of study.

Status of PhD students/candidates

The training institution provides full-time PhD students with a scholarship for the period of their study.  The claim for scholarship expires if the student has already received higher education of the third level or if the student exceeds the standard length of the study programme. The minimum length of the PhD scholarship is set by law. The scholarship is not subject to taxation.

Full-time PhD students under 30 years of age are persons insured by the State for health insurance purposes. Social insurance may be arranged on a voluntary basis. Part-time PhD students are not insured on the basis of their study and have no right to receive a scholarship.

Supervision arrangements

PhD study applicants are admitted to a  specific thesis topic and supervisor . The course of the PhD study is continuously monitored by a special commission that approves the proposal of the study part of the PhD student study submitted by the supervisor . The higher education institution creates conditions for implementation of the research part of student’s studies, either through individual research or involvement in a research team.  If an external educational institution takes part in the study, the research takes place in the institution.


In the case of PhD study programmes, there are no special tools applied for monitoring employability. The requirements within the framework of accreditation procedure are based on the same principles as those at the first and second cycle.


A credit system is applied appropriately in order to assess PhD study programmes.  The study of PhD students is a subject of annual assessment which is connected with accumulation of credits for individual activities of  PhD students. A part of the PhD study is the completion of the dissertation examination; to complete the study, defense of the dissertation thesis is required.

The annual evaluation of PhD students rests in the evaluation of the state and level of the PhD study, inspection of fulfilling the set assignments of the study and scientific parts of the PhD study. The annual evaluation of the PhD student is carried out by the supervisor in cooperation with the PhD student in a written form. He/she submits it to the head of the training. 

The dissertation examination and the defense of the dissertation thesis are a part of the State examination. The examination commission has at least 4 members. If the PhD student has applied for the dissertation topic proposed by an external educational institution, both the dissertation examination and the defense of the dissertation thesis take place before the commission in which there is a parity representation of the members of the higher education institution and the members determined by the external educational institution.


The PhD study is completed by the defense of a dissertation thesis after completing dissertation examination.

PhD study graduates are issued diplomas showing the name of the higher education institution, faculty, study field, and study programme; in case the PhD study took place in an external educational institution, also the name of the latter. 

PhD study graduates are awarded the academic degree of  “doctor of philosophy” abbreviated as PhD and the academic degree of  “doctor of arts” abbreviated as ArtD in arts  PhD study programmes.

After the initial comprehensive part of theory PhD study, the PhD graduates in the field of Catholic Theology are awarded the academic degree of “licentiate of theology” (abbr. ThLic.). The graduates of PhD study in these areas are also awarded the academic degree of “doctor of theology” (abbr. ThDr.).

Organisational variation

Non-standard forms of PhD study are not provided. In case of the part-time form of study, students usually carry out research outside the higher education institution/faculty, but the requirements for regular completion of the study are the same as in the full-time form of study.

Legislative references

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 07/01/2020).

Mobility in Higher Education

Student mobility

Erasmus +

The most important tool by its scope to promote mobility in higher education is the programme Erasmus+ (SK), which is the successor of the Lifelong Learning Programme implemented in years 2007 – 2013.

Erasmus+ programme focuses on higher education, cooperation of universities and between universities and businesses. The programme is designed particularly for students and teachers at universities. Public, state, as well as private universities can engage in Erasmus+ programme.

National scholarship programme

The National scholarship programme is another mechanism. It is financed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak  Republic. This programme is also designed for:

  • scholarships for students and PhD students at Slovak higher education institutions to cover living costs of study stays during the second level of higher education (master’s degree/PhD study), or study or research stays during PhD studies at a selected foreign higher education institution or research workplace.
  • support of mobilities of foreign students, PhD students, higher education teachers, researchers and artists for stays at Slovak higher education institutions and research organisations.
  • travel grant related to the planned study or research stay abroad for full-time students and PhD students, higher education teachers, scientists and artists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences with a permanent address in the Slovak Republic.

Scholarship of the International Visegrad Fund

Mobility within a region is also supported by a scholarship programme arranged by the  International Visegrad Fund (IVF) in cooperation with the national ministries of education of V4 states (Czech Republic, Polish Republic, Hungarian Republic and Slovak Republic). IVF  is based in Bratislava. Scholarships are designated for students and young scientists and for students, who have completed at least 4 terms at a higher education institution/university at the time of their application.


CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies) is another programme focusing on the support of mobility in the central European region which supports cooperation of higher education institution in 15 member states. The programme provides scholarships for

  • mobility of higher education students, PhD students and teachers
  • term stays for students and PhD students (3 to 10 months),
  • short-term stays for students and PhD students connected with writing a bachelor, diploma or dissertation thesis  (1 – 2 months) and
  • Lecture and research stays for teachers (1 month).

Scholarship programme EEA Slovakia – mobility project between higher education institutions

The measure Mobility projects between higher education institutions focuses on support of  international mobility of students, PhD students and academic staff  of higher education institutions with seat in Slovakia and in donor countries (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) which are holders of Erasmus charter for higher education (ECHE).

Applicants can do both or just one of the following activities:

  1. long-term mobility of higher education students and PhD students which takes from  3 to 12 months, at least 1 full term  semester/trimester.
  2. mobility of academic staff – teaching stays. This activity enables academic staff to become short-term visiting lecturers at partner higher education institutions. The mobility may take from 3 days to 6 weeks.

The maximum duration of mobility projects is 18 – 20 months.

EEA Slovakia scholarship programme is administered by  SAIA, n.o., set up by the Government office of the Slovak Republic as a national point of contact for EEA grants .  

The programme is designated for institutions, not individuals. All secondary schools and higher education institutions with seat in Slovakia can take part. The programme will enable applicants from the Slovak Republic to establish contacts with educational institutions in donor states, agree on cooperation and apply for a grant within EEA scholarship programme measures.

Action Austria – Slovakia

Action Austria – Slovakia (SK), cooperation in science and education, is a bilateral programme for  support of cooperation between Austria and Slovakia in the area of higher education,science and research.  The action is financed equally by the Ministry of Education, Science, Researcher and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy of the Austrian Republic.

Support of priority areas takes place in a form of individual scholarships:

  • scholarship for Master’s degree students (1 – 3 months) should provide students with an opportunity to use also sources from the partner state for their diploma thesis and thus achieve higher quality of their work.
  • scholarship for PhD students (3 – 6 months) should provide PhD students with an opportunity to use sources from the partner state for their dissertation thesis and thus achieve higher quality of their work.
  • scholarship for postdoctoral students is designed for research placement (3 – 6 months) for highly qualified postdoctoral students.

Scholarships for summer language course are designed for students and PhD students to attend a summer language school.

The programme is administered by SAIA, n.o.

Fulbright Program

The J. W. Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange in the Slovak Republic has been established by executive agreements between the United States and the Slovak Republic. Promotes the educational, research and cultural exchanges between the United States and the Slovak Republic through the Fulbright Program, which is mainly funded by direct contributions from the governments of the United States of America and the Slovak Republic.

Approximately 6,000-7,000 scholarships are awarded annually to US and foreign participants. They are selected on the basis of academic and professional qualities, achievements, professional potential and ability and the will to share ideas and experiences with people from different cultures. The aim of Program is to increase mutual understanding between people from the US and people from other countries. The Fulbright Program is one of the largest and most diverse exchange programs in the world and is currently conducted in 140 countries, including 50 countries where there are bilateral Fulbright commissions.

Academic mobilities

Academic mobilities is scholarship programme based on valid bilateral agreements between the Slovak Republic and other states. The scholarships are designed for study stays of students, doctoral students and scientists. The type of scholarship depends on the agreement entered into with another state. Based on bilateral agreements and direct offers from foreign governments, SAIA organises a selection procedure for scholarships in 30 countries as well as admission of foreign grant recipients to higher education institutions.

Grant programme for strengthening analytical capacities in public administration

The grant programme aims to enable the state administration (SK) to find jobs for graduates of leading foreign universities in order to improve the quality of public policies creation. 

In this grant programme, it is possible to obtain scholarship to cover study costs (tuition fees, living costs, travelling costs, costs for study aid and travel insurance) for a maximum of two academic years, for which the applicants will commit themselves to work in public administration for three years. The programme is administered by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

Language course for foreigners

Institute for language and preparatory studies (SK) provides teaching of Slovak language and a profile vocational subjects to foreign students who are preparing for full-time higher education in the Slovak Republic. Every school year, there are on average 200 students from all over the world who undergo language and professional preparation of foreigners and compatriots  in the Centre of Continuing Education at Comenius University. Its main activity is  ten-month language and professional preparation of foreign students for higher education.  

In addition, the centre also organises short-term and long-term Slovak language courses for foreigners as well as other educational activities, for example Summer university of Slovak language.

Recognition of education obtained at higher education institutions

The Slovak Republic is bound by European Directive No. 2005/36/EC on recognition of professional qualifications. It recognizes foreign documents according to purpose of recognition:

  • for either academic purposes (purposes of continuing further education in the SR) or
  • for purposes of performing employment or professional activities which are regulated in the SR.

The National Centre for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas (SK) verifies certification of education obtained abroad for pursuit of selected regulated professions in the SR. Its another role is recognition of completed study abroad for relevant authorities and institutions in the SR, equivalence and conversion of grades from foreign primary or secondary school to Slovak grading scale.

In case of Slovak diplomas, the Centre provides for authenticity verification of public documents issued under responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science, Education and Sport of the SR by issuing Apostille/Superlegalization (SK) and it validates teaching qualification of education employees exclusively for foreign offices.

The recognition process for the purpose of further study is divided according to the achieved level of education and according to whether the Slovak Republic has a valid agreement with the state concerned.

The list of countries with which an international agreement on recognition of certification of education was made:

Between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Austria is signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a Recommendation on the Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (SK), but which does not have the status of an international agreement.

Academic staff mobility


Within the programme Erasmus+ (SK), university teachers can teach in a partner university and academic staff can participate in the working visits, training seminars and conferences provided by a host company or a partner higher education institution abroad. Teaching at a university abroad can last from 1 day to 6 weeks and it follows the pre-agreed teaching program. Teachers and staff of universities receive a grant for these activities.

Within Erasmus+ programme, university teachers and academic staff can take part in:

  1. Teaching assignments a
  2. Trainings.


Mobility of university teachers is supported also by the programme CEEPUS, which is an exchange programme for universities in Central and Eastern Europe. More information in chapter Students mobility.

National scholarship programme

Another mechanism is the National Scholarship Programme for university teachers and researchers of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The administrative support of the National Scholarship Programme is provided by SAIA.

University teachers and researchers of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, residing in the Slovak Republic can apply for a travel grant in the context of their intended study or research abroad. The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic is also designed for foreign university teachers and researchers to stay at Slovak universities and research institutions.

Action Austria – Slovakia

Action Austria – Slovakia (SK), cooperation in science and education, is a bilateral programme for  support of cooperation between Austria and Slovakia in the area of higher education,science and research. More information on the programme in chapter Student mobility.

Support of mobilities takes place in a form of individual scholarships designated for short-term stays. Teaching staff and scientist from state and public higher education institutions as well as the academy of sciences can apply for this scholarship, which can be used for a short study trip or a short contact meeting with colleagues from the parter state (max. 3 days).

Academic mobilities

As a part of the project, Slovak scholarship recipients are send to study abroad based on bilateral intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in education and based on offers from foreign governments. More information in chapter Students mobility.

EEA Slovakia scholarship programme  –  Mobility projects between higher educational institutions

Information on the scholarship programme to be found in chapter Students mobility.

Teachers of the Slovak language and culture

Work of lecturers abroad can last at most 4 years. Based on bilateral agreements, lectorates are located in 15 countries of the world.

Scholarship for French teachers

More detailed information on the Scholarship for French teachers (SK) is to be found in chapter Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education: Teacher mobility.

Legislative references

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 10/01/2020).

European Parliament and Council of the European Union, 2005. Directive No. 2005/36/EC of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (last accessed 10/01/2020).