Consultation on the Amending Act in Higher Education Law at the University of Nova Gorica

Nov. 28, 2013

Yesterday, the debate and consultation on the amending act in Higher education law took place on the University of Nova Gorica’s premises at the Lanthieri Mansion in Vipava. The meeting was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the University of Nova Gorica.

The discussion was chaired by the current acting Director General of the Higher Education and Science Directorate, Dr. Mišela Mavrič, and the speakers included the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Dr. Jernej Pikalo, the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, State Secretary, Dr. Mirko Pečarič, and the representative of the Students’ Organization of Slovenia, Timotej Vitez.

In the beginning, Dr. Mavrič exposed the reasons for the charting of the amending act and introduced the working group that worked on the preparation of the act. The next speaker was the Minister, Dr. Jernej Pikalo, who pointed out that they wish to listen to and act upon the suggestions of the public and with the help of their ideas and proposals, improve the proposed act. He also mentioned that an amended version of the act that took into consideration all the collected information had already been presented.

Further on, the Rector, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik explained the main points of view of the University of Nova Gorica. He expressed a desire to be more autonomous, which would enable the University to be organized differently from other higher education institutions in Slovenia. At the same time, Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik expects all universities to be financed in accordance with the same procedure, as this would prevent the occurrence of differences between public study programs and those that are part of a concession plan. He furthermore exposed the issue of the habilitation process of professors and that of the accreditation procedures, and also stressed the advantage of classes being conducted in the English language. Moreover, Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik is of the opinion that we should keep our studies tuition free (level one and level two studies, i.e. bachelor’s and master’s degrees) and that we should extend the PhD study, so that it would last four years altogether.

A student of the University of Nova Gorica, Aleš Bogovič addressed the audience as well. He wanted to present to the Minister the specific problem of the entry of an accredited study program into the Register of higher education institutions and all the difficulties that are related to that and how they affect the students. The Vice-rector for Research and Arts at the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Gvido Bratina exposed the issues that relate to insufficient knowledge that the students get with the new Bologna education system.

The concluding part of the meeting involved the Minister and the State Secretary answering the questions of the students and the University of Nova Gorica faculty members. They asked all the participants to be open to new proposals and ideas. According to Minister’s words, the new act should become operative in the beginning of 2015.

Andreja Leban, Public Relations