Three types of institutions of higher education can be found in the Slovak Republic.
These are established by law and the majority of institutions in Slovakia are of this type. The composition of their inner management circles, comprise the Academic Senate, the Rector, the Scientific Council and the Disciplinary Commission. They are responsible for making decisions pertinent to the institution’s activities and progress. All public institutions are financially supported by the government and in some cases, by businesses enterprises.
These institutions are created by the Slovak government ministries. Respective ministries introduce rules as to the types of study programmes, financial support, number of students, number of employees and so forth and generally oversees the development and progress of the institution. Three types of institutions are included under this academic portfolio, namely the Police institutions of higher education, the Military institutions for higher education and the Health care institution of higher education They too receive government financial assistance and possibly from businesses.
These institutions are established by organizations or founders of non-government origins and are given a certain degree of independence. Although they can offer study and research programmes, the Ministry of Education must approve them. The ministry does this on the advice and approval of the Accreditation Commission. Without the endorsement of the ministry, the institution involved will not be able to offer programmes.
Except for the private institutions which offers courses only up to the Bachelor’s degree level, the public and state institutions offer three main types of degrees.
University level first stage: After three or four years study, students gain a Bachelor’s or Bakalár degree in the Arts and Sciences except for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Law. The degree shows overall command of both theory and practice in the science and art programmes. Students have mastered their area of profession and can either enter employment or continue to the higher echelons of the academic ladder. Certificates and the degree of Bakalár are awarded after completion.
University level second stage: This second level stage of study results in the attainment of a Master’s or Magister degree in Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Natural Science, Pharmacy, Theology, Law and Art over 5 years. The Magister and Magister umenia is awarded to artists and the degree Inžinier is awarded to graduates in the technical fields of Chemistry, Engineering and Veterinary Science after 5 or five and a half years. The six year long course in medicine wins the degrees of Doktor všeobecného lekárstva or Doktor zubného lekárstva.
University level third stage: This stage requires students to study for 3 years full time or 5 years on a part time basis. To earn this coveted award, graduate students must successfully defend their thesis and are then offered their degrees in their fields of endeavor which again are given different local names for the chosen discipline. At the end, a Doctorate or Doktorandské štúdium degree is awarded.