Army denies proposal for establishing new officer school

Ljubljana – Representatives of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) has dismissed recent criticism related to a proposal to establish an officer training school, stressing that the SAF are only trying to accredit their educational programmes in line with the quality standards in the public education system.

Brigadier Peter Zakrajšek, commander of the SAF Centre of Military Schools, spoke to the press on Monday and contested the sharp criticism recently seen in the media in relation with the SAF establishing a new military academy, which he denied.

“We are only trying to accredit our educational programmes in accordance with the quality standards that apply in the public education system, especially the post-graduate forms of education and educational programmes for officers,” he stressed.

Zakrajšek added that it was important to distinguish between studies at the first Bologna level, which the SAF would start together with any faculties that decide to participate, and the establishment of a separate higher education institution for military education within the SAF.

Currently, officers in the making are trained at the SAF’s Centre of Military Schools, where students can apply after finishing at least the first Bologna cycle within the public educational system.

The new institution would be a co-provider of a joint study programme with other higher education institutions or universities that accredit and offer military education study programmes, which could reduce the average age of officers on first duty from the current 28 to 23.

Zakrajšek admitted that the establishment of a new institution for military education could be problematic, as the current law on higher education would require the establishment of an independent legal entity in this case, for which the SAF does not have the authority, nor does it have sufficient financial resources.