The Slovenia Times

Ministry presents changes to higher education act


The ministry will be accepting remarks until 21 March.

The changes come a month after a rally of students and professors for the democratisation of higher education.

The motion is a result of work by a group comprised of representatives of the Chancellors' Conference, trade unions, employers and students, Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič said.

While the changes addresses only the most acute problems of higher education, a comprehensive overhaul of the higher education legislation is planned, according to the minister. A blueprint of that motion is to be ready by the end of the year, Makovec Brenčič said in an on-line chat yesterday.

The chancellor of the University of Ljubljana, the trade union of the higher education and the main student organisation support the changes but warn the motion is too vague in some places.

Chancellor Ivan Svetlik labelled the changes as a positive step but said he had expected more. He welcomed the provisions regarding the financing and those concerning the system of granting of accreditations by the National Agency for the Quality of Higher Education (NAKVIS).

The changes envisage a shift from accreditation of programmes to the accreditation of institutions and cut the duration of accreditations from seven to five years.

The provision on the financing of higher education implement a 2011 Constitutional Court decision.

The president of the Higher Education Trade Union (VSS), Marko Marinčič said the proposal was vague on the budget for higher education setting it at 1% of GDP but allowing further adjustments. Currently the share is at 0.62% of GDP.

The Student Organisation (ŠOS) proposes that institutes where illegal operations are detected be punished with a suspension of development funds for a four-year period.

They are also sceptical of the proposed changes to the system of accreditations, saying that NAKVIS would no longer re-evaluate institutions' programmes but only check the institutions as a whole.

The proposed changes also expand the possibilities of courses in languages other than Slovenian and allow foreigners to study Slovenian. They also give voting rights for election of chancellors and deans to the non-academic staff.


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