THE NUMBER of university and college students in Slovakia is declining. At the beginning of the 2011/2012 academic year, a total of 212,030 students attended universities in Slovakia, which is 5,009 fewer compared with the previous year, the annual report about the state of higher education in Slovakia for 2011, produced by the Education Ministry, reads.
The 172,993 students who attended public universities numbered 6,665 fewer when compared with the previous year. The number of students enrolled at public universities has been decreasing since 2007, while the number of students in private schools continues to increase.
Currently 39,037 students, 18.6 percent of all university students, attend private universities, which is an annual increase of 1,656. The authors of the report point out that while the number of students on free programmes is declining, private universities, at which students must pay tuition fees, are reporting growth in student enrolment.
“The drop in students is caused by several factors, of which demographics probably play the biggest role,” writes the report.
It further points out that even though the number of students is decreasing, new faculties are being launched and that their prospects are, in this context, debatable.
The number of part-time university students has shrunk the most. Their number has decreased from 33.5 percent to 32.3 percent over the past year.
Last year only 67,255 students enrolled at universities and colleges, the lowest number since 2004.
“Compared with the previous year this is a drop by almost 6,000 students,” reads the report.
Over half of students (58.6 percent) study humanities, and this proportion is even higher at private universities, at 83 percent.
In 2011, students could choose from 20 public, three state and 12 private universities and colleges. Four foreign schools based in the Czech Republic were also approved to provide higher education in Slovakia, but only two of them actually did.