Slovenia

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by James Kay and Paul Bacsich (Sero)

Policies Survey notes:

Whilst Slovenia does not officially participate in the OER movement, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport promotes pedagogical e-content, and since 2006 e-content has been developed under a CC licence for various subjects. The Ministry has invested significant funds for this purpose.

Overview

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. 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 2,050,000 as of 2011. 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/

Further information

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).


Regions of Slovenia

The traditional regions of Slovenia are based on the former four Habsburg crown lands (Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, and the Littoral) and are as follows:

  • Upper Carniola (Gorenjska)
  • Lower Styria (Štajerska)
  • Prekmurje (Prekmurje)
  • Carinthia (Koroška)
  • Inner Carniola (Notranjska)
  • Lower Carniola (Dolenjska)
  • Goriška (Goriška)
  • Slovenian Istria (Slovenska Istra)

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.

For further general information see Wikipedia:Slovenia.


Education in Slovenia

For a general description of education in Slovenia see Education:Slovenia.


The Eurypedia overview of Slovenia summarises the situation as follows (with our emphasis):


In the Republic of Slovenia, the education system is mainly organised as a public service as part of which public and private institutions and private persons who hold a concession provide accredited programmes. It is laid down by law that public schools are secular and the school environment autonomous; political and denominational activities are forbidden in public schools. The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia (1991) stipulates freedom of choice in education, and guarantees the autonomy of higher education institutions.

Language of instruction is Slovenian; the Italian and Hungarian ethnic minorities have the right to have education in their own language. The Constitutions also protects the status and gives special rights to members of the Roma community who live in Slovenia. Children of migrants have the right to compulsory basic education under the same conditions as other citizens of the Republic of Slovenia.

Over the previous decade, the main priorities have been to improve the education levels of the population and offer all Slovenian citizens equal educational opportunities, regardless of their residence, cultural or linguistic origin, health condition, social background or gender.

Pre-school education, compulsory basic education (integrated primary and lower secondary education), basic music education, upper secondary, higher education and adult education are in the domain of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. In the management of public education institutions, the government plays several roles: it is the regulator, the founder, the main finance contributor and the supervisor.


e-learning

For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Slovenia.


Quality procedures

There have been some years of evolution of quality assurance agencies in Slovenia.

Currently, quality assurance for universities is in the hands of the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (SQAA; NAKVIS in Slovenian) - the web site in English is at http://test.nakvis.si/en-GB/Content/Details/8

As noted on that page:

SQAA provides for the development and functioning of the quality assurance system in higher education in Slovenia. It operates responsibly in terms of form and contents and counsels all stakeholders and participants in tertiary education in line with the European and global directions of development.

Its strategic objectives are:

  • development and functioning of the quality assurance system;
  • monitoring of progress and strengthening of higher education quality culture;
  • positioning and recognition of the role, significance and quality of the SQAA operation in public;
  • co-creation and development of higher education policy in the area of quality, promotion of the quality of transnational education;
  • incorporation of SQAA into international associations (ENQA and EQAR);
  • provision of high-quality consulting services by its professionally qualified staff.

There is a 2011-16 strategy document in English at http://test.nakvis.si/en-GB/Content/GetFile/236

A much more thorough description in English is on the ecapedia wiki of the European Consortium for Accreditation - http://www.ecaconsortium.net/ecapedia/SQAA

SQAA is a full member of ECA and the Central and Eastern European Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (CEENQA, http://www.ceenetwork.hu) but not of ENQA.

There are separate arrangements for so-called "Short-cycle higher vocational study programmes", somewhat similar to Foundation Degrees in the UK.

The Eurypedia entry on this topic notes:

Short-cycle higher vocational study programmes are accredited by the National Council of Experts for Vocational Education. For preparing the decisions, the Council of Experts appoints the Commission for accreditation of higher vocational study programmes, which prepares the references for the preparation of the study programmes, reviews and evaluates the new study programme proposals and recommends them for adoption to the Council of Experts. It approves the study programme evaluations according to ECTS and examines internal evaluation reports of higher vocational collages. The commission includes representatives of lecturers, the government, employers, trade unions, students and experts in the study field.

EQAVET makes the more general comment that:

Quality assurance in Slovenia is somewhat fragmented. Although amendments of the Higher Education Act in 2004 announced the introduction of a full evaluation system, covering all aspects of quality assurance, as well as the establishment of an independent national agency for quality assurance, most of this legislation was abolished with the amendments passed in the Higher Education Act in 2006. While some quality indicators were adopted in October 2007 by the National Council of Experts for Vocational and Technical Education, major differences still exist between formal education and training (which results in a national certificate or diploma), publicly accredited non-formal training courses and non-formal training without public accreditation....

Internet in Slovenia

Internet in Education

Copyright law in Slovenia

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Slovenia

In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Slovenia reported that it is active in providing government support to open access publishing and funding school portals with digital learning resources. (2)

National OER initiatives

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. Vision:

Establish an efficient and fully computerized national education system which will enable modern ways of passing on and acquiring knowledge supported by modern information & communications technology.

Strategic goals:

- provide the entire population of the Republic of Slovenia with fast, easy-to-use, friendly and user-tailored access to knowledge;
- establish a central Internet portal where content is made available to all interested participants willing to partake of e-education technology;
- establish an (organizational) education system supported by information & communications technology for all interested participants;
- adapt the regulations and perfect the initiatives for provision and use of e-education services and products between natural persons and legal entities;
- perfect the public-private partnership initiatives for R&D activities in the fields of eeducation and mutual exchange of knowledge between these entities. (1)

While OER is not directly mentioned, it might be suggested that these goals hint at OER.

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

References

1. ReVica/VISCED page for Slovenia (http://virtualcampuses.eu/index.php/Slovenia)

Reports

2. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38


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