STA, 18 January 2022 - The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport has introduced a separate quota for the enrolment of Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship in universities in Slovenia. The separate quota has been advocated by Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, who has welcomed the change.
The relevant rules have so far stipulated a joint quota for Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship and for foreigners from non-EU countries.
According to the proponents of the separate quota, this has often made it difficult for Slovenians from the neighbouring countries and Slovenian emigrants who fall into this category to get enrolled in Slovenian universities.
Last July, the government instructed the ministry to draft changes to the rules under which a separate enrolment quota would be introduced for Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship, on an initiative from Minister Jaklitsch.
This change and the accompanying changes to the rules were published in the Official Gazette last week.
Jaklitsch said on Tuesday that the changes would enable faculties in Slovenia to "increase the number of enrolment spots intended for our compatriots by taking into account both the actual needs and, above all, Slovenia's interests."
The Government Office for Slovenians Abroad added that some faculties had already announced that they would do so.
"We are firmly convinced that it is in the undisputed interest of Slovenia that as many Slovenians from the neighbouring countries and abroad study in Slovenia," the office said, adding that this would strengthen their Slovenian identity.
As they are also expected to improve their knowledge of the Slovenian language and culture, they become informal ambassadors as they return to their home environments, while some of them decide to permanently settle in Slovenia, it added.
The office noted that the change had also been endorsed by the chancellors of the four universities in Slovenia at a recent meeting with the ministry.