Slovakia, well located at the centre of continental Europe, has some 9,000 international students in its higher education sector, which consists of universities, technological universities, and institutes of art and music.
Well located at the centre of Continental Europe, Slovakia borders Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine. In the north and northeast, Slovakia is flanked by the Carpathian Mountains, and mountainous terrain accounts for over one third of the country’s territory. A relatively small country (49,036 km2 ), Slovakia has a population of 5.4 million. The official language is Slovak, and Hungarian and Czech are widely spoken. Slovakia is a member of multiple international organisations, including the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, NATO, and the OECD. In economic terms the largest proportion of GDP is produced by Services, followed by Industry. Meanwhile, the automotive sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Slovakia due to large foreign investments from car giants Volkswagen, Peugeot and Kia Motors. Other main industries include nuclear fuel, chemicals, man-made fibres, and electrical and optical apparatus. In 2007, Slovakia achieved the highest annual economic growth among the members of OECD and the EU (10.4%). The economy by reaching 4% GDP growth in 2007 kept the highest pace amongst new EU member states. In 2013 Slovakia passed “the second bottom” without going into recession, and despite the decrease in growth the dynamics of real GDP was significantly more favourable in comparison to EU 28.
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Slovakia has public, state-financed, and private higher educational institutions. In all there are 19 public institutions of higher learning, including nine traditional universities, three technological universities, three institutes of art and music one institute of economics, one university of veterinary medicine, and one agricultural university. The state-financed institutions include two military academies, one police academy, and one university of medicine. Under Slovakia’s current Higher Education Law, its institutions of higher learning offer three levels of higher education: the first level ends with the award of Bachelor’s degree (Bc.) to graduates; the second level gives a full higher education in three degrees – Master (Mgr.), Engineer (Ing.) and Doctor (MUDr., JUDr., PhDr., PaeDr., RNDr. etc); and the third level is completed with a Doctorate (PhD). Slovak higher education courses usually run from September to August. In terms of tuition fees, non-EU students usually have to pay fees of around 150,000-350,000 INR per year, although the amounts vary depending on the course and institution. According to UNESCO’s statistics, more than 9,000 internationally mobile tertiary level students attend Slovak higher education institutions each year – more than half of which come from the Czech Republic, followed by Greece, with only a small amount of students from India.
Establishment of the National Scholarship Programme for the Support of Mobility of Students, PhD Students, University Teachers and Researchers was approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic in 2005. The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The following types of scholarships are available: Scholarships for foreign university students to take part in Master’s (graduate) study over a period of one to two semesters (5 – 10 months) at Slovak universities; Scholarships for foreign PhD students to undertake a portion of their studies over a period of 1 to 12 months at Slovak universities or research institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences; Scholarships for foreign university teachers and researchers over a period of 1 to 12 months to carry out teaching or research at Slovak universities, research institutes, or nongovernmental organisations (on the basis of an invitation). For further information on opportunities for foreign students – including Indian students.