Education as a refugee or an asylum seeker

The school system in Slovenia consists of primary, secondary, tertiary and adult education. Primary education is provided by public and private kindergartens, basic schools, basic schools with an adapted education program, music schools and educational institutions for children with special educational needs.

Pre-school education is aimed at children aged eleven months to six years or until children start compulsory primary education. Pre-school education is not compulsory.

Primary and lower secondary education is organized in a single-structure nine-year basic school attended by students aged 6 to 15 years. It is provided by public and private schools, as well as educational institutions for SEN children, and adult education organizations.

As specified by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, basic school education is compulsory and state-funded. Local communities set up basic schools. A widely branched out public network of basic schools gives all residents of Slovenia access to education. The list of basic schools with addresses and contacts is available on the following website Evidenca zavodov in programov ( (Slovenian language).

Primary schools in Slovenia are obliged to organize additional Slovene classes and learning assistance for refugee children, who cannot speak Slovenian. For asylum seekers, there are regular courses of Slovenian language available in the asylum centre. As a beneficiary of international protection, you are entitled to a free Slovenian language course of 300 hours, which can be extended for further 100 hours.

After nine years of compulsory basic education (theoretically at the age of 15) pupils may continue to two- to five-year non-compulsory upper secondary education, that includes general education programs implemented by gymnasiums, which is a four-year program ending with the general matura examination. Secondary education also encompasses 2-years, 3-years or 4-years vocational and technical education that can end with the vocational matura examination. Pupils select their secondary school from the annual call for enrolment in secondary schools issued in January. Pupils can visit information days, where they can get information about individual programs. By a given deadline (March or April), the application has to be submitted to the selected secondary school. If there are more applications than vacancies, a school may impose restrictions. More information about the enrolment is available on the Government website eUprava – Vpis v srednjo šolo ( (Slovenian language). The list of secondary schools with addresses and contacts is available on the following website Evidenca zavodov in programov ( (Slovenian language).

The tertiary education in Slovenia consists of short-cycle higher vocational education and higher education. Higher education is organized in three study cycles. The first-cycle features professional and academic undergraduate study programs; the second-cycle features postgraduate master’s study programs (master’s or integrated master’s), and the third-cycle postgraduate doctoral study programs. Study programs are carried out as full-time or part-time studies. Tertiary education study programs take 2 to 6 years. All relevant information about the study in Slovenia can be found on the following website Study in Slovenia -Study in Slovenia (English language).

If you are an asylum seeker, you have the right to go to school at all levels (from primary to tertiary level).

Costs related to the recognition and evaluation of education attained abroad is covered by the UOIM only for persons granted international protection, but not for asylum seekers. You can find more information on the government website (Slovenian and English language).

After the recognition as a refugee, you are entitled to the rights regarding access to education, as well state scholarships and accommodation in student dormitories under the same conditions as Slovenian nationals.

You can apply for a state scholarship at your local Center for Social Work, where you will be given information about the basic requirements and conditions to access scholarship. There are 16 regional Centers for Social Work. You can find the addresses and contacts of the centers on the following website Centri za socialno delo Slovenije ( (Slovenian language). You can visit your local Centre for Social Work each Monday from 8.00 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 15.00, each Wednesday from  8.00 to 12.00 or from 13.00 to 17.00 or on Fridays from 8.00 to 12.00.

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