STA, 8 September 2021 - Responding to an allegation of discrimination leveraged by a youth trade union, the Faculty of Medicine in Maribor has said it did not accept any non-EU first-year candidates for the coming academic year because of a shortage of staff and space constrains.
This year the faculty, acting on the government's decision to increase enrolment posts, increased the number of posts for first-year students from Slovenia and the EU by 10 to 106, which it said is its upper limit.
While not accepting any foreigners from non-EU countries, the faculty accepted two ethnic Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship, it told the STA on Wednesday.
Under the country's higher education rules, ethnic Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship are prioritised over foreigners from non-EU countries, it explained.
The reaction comes a day after the Mladi Plus trade union accused the Maribor and Ljubljana medical faculties of "discrimination based on nationality" for turning down all non-EU citizens who wanted to get enrolled in first year.
It found it particularly problematic the candidates had received the news when it had been already too late to apply at other faculties, and cited rather vague reasons given for not even considering the candidates' applications.
The trade union said that 123 third-country candidates had been turned down, of whom 101 at the Ljubljana faculty and the rest in Maribor. Its data shows that foreign students represent almost 10% of all students studying in Slovenia, of whom more than half come from the Western Balkans.
The Maribor faculty said today that it had based its decision on a similar decision by the Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine.
In February, the government increased the number of available posts for students of medicine at both medical faculties by 50 to 271. It also increased the number of posts for ethnic Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship and for students from non-EU countries by 88 to 2,365 posts for 2021/2022.