There are three different types of institutions that deliver higher education in Slovakia, namely public, state and private institutions. All three forms provide degree level programmes although there are differences as to the extent to which they cover the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate cycles.
The Bologna Declaration underpins the structure of programmes in Slovakia with three cycles of study – Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral cycles – while studying within the state and public universities is free of charge for residents of Slovakia and of the EU.
Oversight of the sector is provided by the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo školstva SR)
Higher education institutions can be classified into a number of categories with the generic level being a Univerzity (University). Specialist institutions exist for a number of subjects such as Pedagogické Univerzity (University of Education) or Technické Univerzity (University of Technology) as well as [police and military academies. There are indeed specialist institutions for economics called Ekonomické Univerzity (University of Economics)
There are a number of routes into the first cycle of study at a university based on the type of secondary school or study programme undertaken up to the age of 18 or 19. Gymnázium provide a Secondary School Leaving Certificate (vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške) while more specialist schools offer a School Leaving Certificate Specialized Secondary in areas such as agriculture and health care but includes economics.
Alongside these school leaving certificates, many universities hold entrance examinations for entry to Bachelors degrees. In effect entry is governed at the most straightforward level by this maturita examination and clearly entry to the second cycle requires successful completion of cycle one and a Bachelors degree.
Entry to the third cycle requires successful completion of cycle two.
The principles of the Bologna Declaration help shape the provision of higher education in Slovakia in that institutions provide study programmes at three levels: