Assessment of education at the ENIC-NARIC centre
The ENIC-NARIC centre issues an official opinion regarding specific elements of education in the assessment of the education procedure. This helps in recognizing and classification of foreign and national education certificates.
Assessment of education
The opinion, which is of an informative and advisory nature, is issued within a period of two months of receipt of a complete application. If the applicant disagrees with the opinion issued, he or she may, within fifteen days following its date of service, lodge a written objection with the ENIC-NARIC centre with an explanation and any new evidence.
Acquaintance of employers with the form of the act
The opinion does not grant any rights or obligations because the holder of education certificates has already acquired these by completing their education. It concerns the transfer of rights from one country to another.
The opinion contains the following information:
- on the education certificate,
- on the status of the education institution and education programme,
- on the education attained, the field or discipline of education, and its level in the country of origin,
- on the obtained name or title in the country of origin,
- on the rights obtained on the basis of education in the country of origin,
- on the comparability of education with the education system in Slovenia, and
- a short description of the education system in the country of origin.
An important piece of information for the comparison of foreign and Slovenian education systems is the level of foreign education in the education system in the country of origin. It is not a substantive assessment of the applicant’s education but provides information on comparability. The ENIC-NARIC centre provides it in view of the information evident from the individual's application and the ENIC-NARIC centre's information on foreign education systems in connection with the education system of Slovenia.
The final decision on employment is made by the employer, who determines the conditions for employment and considers the competences, skills and additional knowledge of the applicant in addition to their formal education. In regulated professions, the final decision is made by the national regulator determining the legal conditions required to perform such profession (line ministry/department, chamber, association). Education is proven with the original document, which is of key importance, while the opinion acts as a means of interpretation.
Foreign public documents (including diplomas and certificates) can be used in legal transactions in the Republic of Slovenia if they are duly legalised, unless such legalisation is not required by the field legislation. For more information concerning the legalisation of foreign public documents in procedures before other bodies, the body can refer to the Ministry of Justice.
Use of a foreign title
A foreign title obtained by a holder may also be used in the Republic of Slovenia in its original form in accordance with the regulations of the country that issued the education certificate (or in its transcription).
Foreign titles should not be translated into the Slovenian language and should be stated together with the indication of the country of origin that is translated into the Slovenian language.
This also applies to the use of a foreign name of vocational or professional education, a foreign designation of the level of education or education programme which is used in the country of origin in a similar manner as a foreign title or name is used in the Republic of Slovenia.
- foreign title: Diplom Ingenieur, Federal Republic of Germany,
- foreign title of vocational education: bravar, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- foreign designation of education level: Bachelor of Science, United States of America,
- foreign designation of education programme: Master of European Studies, Kingdom of Belgium.
Accreditation of an education institution and study programme
The status of an education institution and education programme is the accreditation or any other outcome of the procedure by which the country that issues an education certificate assesses the quality of an education institution and an education programme by verifying its compliance with the minimum quality standards in education in accordance with the national legislation, and recognises them as such as a part of its education system.
In the case of transnational education, it also constitutes a piece of information on the implementation of education in the country or countries in which the education is provided.
The terminology related to the status of an education institution and education programme in the international area is not uniform. A number of countries, including the Republic of Slovenia, use the term 'accreditation', while the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), for instance, does not use this term. Furthermore, the UK only carries out the 'accreditation' of education institutions ('institutional accreditation'). The UK does not carry out the procedure evaluating the quality of education programmes. The evaluation of education programmes is carried out by education institutions themselves. Germany, too, did not use the accreditation procedure in the old, pre-Bologna programmes.
Each country has a published list of accredited educational institutions or a list of institutions recognised by the competent authorities of the country of education as institutions that are part of the country's education system.
Considerations before selecting a study programme abroad
When choosing a course of study abroad, students should pay particular attention to whether it is classified as formal education, upon the completion of which the student obtains a publicly valid education. This means that the student must complete their education at an institution for which competent authorities of the country of origin guarantee that it is part of the formal education system of the country of origin. This means that the status of the selected education institution and the educational programme in the country of origin should be verified.
Regarding employment in the Republic of Slovenia, in addition to the status of the educational institution and educational programme, in terms of comparability with Slovenia's education system, it is also important to consider the level of education to which a particular education in the country of origin is classified, the manner of providing the education, and the relevant prior education. Without a comparable level of education in the Slovenian school system, a person will not be able to get a job in the Republic of Slovenia, especially in the public sector, due to the labour market system.
at certain higher education institutions in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, students are enrolled in a one-year master's programme based on work experience and other achievements in a professional field directly related to the field of the study programme without a previously completed undergraduate study programme. Although the completed master's degree programme is considered the second cycle of education in the country of origin, such education is not comparable with the Slovenian education system, since our legislation defines master's study programmes as second-cycle study programmes requiring between 60 and 120 credits (ECTS) and having a duration of between one and two years, where the total duration of programmes in the same field, including the first-cycle programme, is five years. In Slovenia, the master's study programme can be enrolled in by persons who completed a first-cycle study programme from the relevant professional fields, or a first-cycle study programme from other fields and additional requirements. The Republic of Slovenia does not make it possible to obtain the level of education according to master's study programmes in this way, which means that the above education completed abroad is not comparable with the Slovenian education system.
The ENIC-NARIC centre does not issue certificates on the conversion of grades obtained at foreign educational institutions to the Slovenian grading system, since it has no legal basis for doing so.
In the Republic of Slovenia, the grading scale in the field of higher education is not uniformly defined in the Higher Education Act, but is determined by the statutes of individual higher education institutions.
Although the ENIC-NARIC centre can obtain and provide information that falls within the scope of a foreign education system, it cannot interpret the information itself, e.g. foreign grading scales, needed for different purposes by other institutions in Slovenia.
The indicative range of grades (lowest and highest grades) can be found in the information by countries, where a country's indicative grading system is described in the framework of the country's school system.
If a person studies abroad at a higher education institution that also uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) system, it is usually possible to request that the educational institution convert the national/institutional rating scale to the ECTS Grading Table.
Criminality of forging and wrongful use of documents
In any case of doubt about the originality of the certificate on education, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is competent and obliged to check the authenticity with the issuer of the certificate or the competent authority of the country in which it was issued.
Forging of documents, as well as the mere use of such a forged document, is a criminal offence and officials are obliged to report such offences to the competent authority for criminal prosecution.
If the institution responsible for issuing a foreign document on education or a body competent for education in a given country does not confirm the authenticity of the document, the official shall be obliged to file a charge with the competent criminal authority in accordance with the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Act.
Transnational education (TNE)
Transnational education (hereinafter: TNE) means all forms and methods of education in which a state-approved study programme is carried out entirely or in part in a country other than that in which the institution responsible for the education programme is based.
There are two basic types of TNE provided by certain countries outside their territory:
- franchising, twinning contracts and joint degrees, where study programmes, parts of study programmes and/or other education services are provided and guaranteed by another partner institution in another country;
- branches, external headquarters and international institutions, where study programmes, parts of study programmes and/or other education services are provided directly by institutions in the country of origin.
The general rule is that individual countries control their own national education system. TNE is not envisaged in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Convention), an international treaty ratified by Slovenia that strictly limits the recognition of qualifications to the country of origin.
The intention to bring the TNE in line with the provisions of the Lisbon Convention and subsequently of the Assessment and Recognition of Education Act (ZVPI) was the basis for the adoption of additional Codes at the national and international levels: Revised Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education – Bucharest 2007 (Code), Revised Recommendation on Procedures and Criteria for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications – supporting document on the implementation of the Code.
The Code is an international instrument complementary to the Lisbon Convention, which provides the regulatory basis to the national bodies for the recognition of education. TNE is, namely, provided on the basis of a commercial contract and is considered a service activity.
In certain cases, the Code nevertheless allows for the recognition or evaluation of TNE by setting the conditions for them. TNE may become the subject of the Lisbon Convention and subsequently the ZVPI only if it is in accordance with the Code’s provisions. These stipulate that contracts on the provision of transnational education must comply with the national legislation regarding higher education in both receiving and sending countries. The Code also provides that academic quality and standards of transnational education programmes should be at least comparable to those of the parent awarding institution as well as to higher education standards in the receiving country. The parent institution and the institution in the host country shall be competent and fully responsible for the provision and control of quality (in Slovenia, this is the accreditation procedure). Full compliance with the requirements of the Code is a guarantee that transnationally acquired higher education qualifications are the same as those awarded by the home higher education institution at its headquarters (national territory).
The principles set out in Section II of the Code have the form of declarations with normative force.
The Republic of Slovenia is obliged to observe the Code provisions as a signatory of the Lisbon Convention. In addition, the criteria explicitly set out in the applicable provisions of Slovenia's national legislation and in the Code are in themselves enforced for the lawful implementation of any higher education programmes on the national territory of the Republic of Slovenia.