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Educational attainment, Slovenia, 1 January 2011 - final data

Thursday, December 29, 2011, First Release
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Every sixth resident aged 15 or more has tertiary education. The number of women with higher education is one third higher than the number of men with the same level of education.

Every sixth resident aged 15 or more has tertiary education

Data on educational attainment are, according to international recommendations, collected for persons aged 15 or more, despite the fact that in developed countries (including in Slovenia) the majority of children who fulfilled basic education requirement continue to participate in education. While at the 2002 Census (conducted for the last time as fieldwork) around 215,000 (12.9%) people had tertiary education, the number in 2011 (1 January) exceeded 307,000 (17.5%). This is the result of improving the tertiary education institutions, establishing many new forms and programs of education (e.g. e- learning) and the fact that enrolment in tertiary education increased significantly. In the academic years 2003/04–2010/11 compared to the academic years 1997/98-2002/03 the average annual number of students was around 25,000 higher. The number of people with short-term higher education is stagnating, while the number of people with higher education increased strongly by 70.5%. Graduates from 1st and 2nd Bologna cycle are still relatively rare, since they represent only 3.3% of all higher education graduates.

In that period the number of people with technical and general upper secondary education increased (by almost 85,000). Consequently, the number of people with vocational and short-term vocational upper secondary education, which was at the 2002 Census the most numerous educational group, decreased significantly (by 45,000). The reasons for the drastic reduction are: the disinterest of young generations to enter the three-year vocational upper secondary education programs and continuing education of those young people who complete a three-year education in technical upper secondary programs. Less than one sixth of upper secondary school students are included in vocational and short-term vocational upper secondary education programs.

As expected, the number of people with incomplete basic education is quickly falling (72,000), as this level of education is characteristic especially for people who are no longer in employment (61% are older than 64 years).

Women are more educated than men

In 2002 Census the number of women with higher education for the first time slightly (by about a thousand) exceeded the number of men with the same degree. In the last 9 years, this trend has only intensified. The educational structure of men and women reflects changes in enrolment in tertiary education (the number of female students enrolled in each academic year is 18,000 - or 38% - higher than the number of enrolled male students) and even more the success in their studies. In the 2002-2010 period 91,000 women graduated, or 60% more than men (57,000). Every fifth woman aged 15 or more in Slovenia has achieved tertiary education. If we consider only women aged 25-60 years (i.e. the generation who already completed the education process and are still employed), the ratio is even more than one out of four (28.3%). Higher shares of women with tertiary education than men with the same education are observed in all age groups from 21 to 59 years. The difference is the biggest (more than 20 percentage points) in the age 27-30 years. Every sixth man older than 64 years has tertiary education. These data confirm the results of the Eurostat survey that life expectancy prolongs among people with better socioeconomic status, which is conditioned also with better education.

Men still have supremacy in the population with ‘’Magisterij’’ or Doctorate of science, but only due to a significant difference in the number of men and women with this type of educational attainment in older ages. In the age group 25-41 years women with highest education are already more numerous (the exception is at the age of 32 years).

On the other hand, there are more women than men with basic education or less, especially in the higher age groups. In the past women were compared to men deprived in the enrolment to upper secondary school after finishing the elementary school. Typical male education is vocational upper secondary education; almost two out of three people with this education are men.

Only every fifth foreigner in Slovenia has at least technical or general upper secondary education

Foreigners in Slovenia are on average less educated than the citizens of Slovenia. Educational attainment of this population group is lower especially due to foreigners from the former Yugoslav republics who immigrated to Slovenia in the last decade and were therefore mostly educated outside Slovenia. Foreigners with the citizenship of one of the ex-Yugoslav republics represent 88% of all foreigners aged 15 or more. Almost half (44%) of foreigners from ex-Yugoslav republics have basic education, only 2.9% have tertiary. The most significant education for foreigners is vocational upper secondary education (37%).

In contrast, every sixth foreigner with citizenship of countries other than the former Yugoslav republics has tertiary education. These foreigners are on average more educated than the population of Slovenia. But even among these foreigners specific educational differences can be observed: citizens of Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine have similar education as foreigners from the former Yugoslav republics. Although foreigners with higher education are few, their share (excluding the foreigners from the former Yugoslav republics) greatly exceeds the share of citizens with the same educational attainment (159 per 1000 population compared to 94 per 1000 population).

Regional differences in educational attainment are large

As an indicator of good educational attainment the share of people aged 30-49 years with tertiary education is taken into account. At these ages most of the people already achieved tertiary education and the employment rate is the highest in Slovenia (on average 84%). Regional differences are extremely large, as the share of people with tertiary education in the Osrednjeslovenska region (33.4%) is almost twice the share of people with tertiary education in the Pomurska region (17.7%). In that region the difference in the share of men and women with tertiary education is the lowest (7.7 percentage points), whereas in the Goriška region (14.2 percentage points) it is the highest. In all statistical regions, the number of women aged 30-49 with tertiary education exceeds the number of men by almost 34,000 (the ratio for Slovenia is 3:2).

Every fourth resident of Slovenia in this age group has tertiary education, but only in three regions (Osrednjeslovenska, Obalno-kraška and Gorenjska) the share of population with tertiary education is above average - we can talk about the concentration of knowledge in Slovenia in these parts of the country. Compared to the 2002 Census, above average increase in the share of persons with tertiary education aged 30-49 years was recorded in Gorenjska, Notranjsko-kraška, Osrednjeslovenska and Savinjska regions and in Jugovzhodna Slovenija. The lowest increase was observed in Obalno-kraška and Pomurska regions.

In the field of education Slovenia has already partly achieved one of Europe 2020 benchmarks

In March 2010 the European Commission adopted EU’s growth strategy called Europe 2020, in which the European Council agreed on five key benchmarks, which should guide the activities of the Member States and the Commission. One of these benchmarks in education is to increase the share of population aged 30-34 years with tertiary education to at least 40%. In Slovenia this goal has already been partly achieved: 41.5% of women in this age group already have tertiary education. However, the benchmark among men with tertiary education has been achieved just close to half (22.9%). Nevertheless, Slovenia is on track to achieve this benchmark before 2020, as on 1 January 2011 the share of men and women with tertiary education was 31.7%. If we take into account only the citizens of Slovenia, the share is even higher (33.5%).

Table 1: Population aged 15 or more by educational attainment and sex, Slovenia, 2002 Census and 1 January 2011
1. 1. 20112002 Census
No education5,8322,1393,69311,3374,0927,245
Incomplete basic72,13928,10744,032104,21942,40061,819
Short-term vocational upper secondary25,24213,36111,88170,54442,54927,995
Vocational upper secondary381,595246,289135,306381,748237,824143,924
Technical, general upper secondary531,751259,711272,040447,049206,915240,134
Short-term higher (former), higher vocational84,22137,14147,08084,04436,08347,961
1st cycle of higher, professional higher (former) etc.58,23121,43836,7938,8373,4995,338
2nd cycle of higher, professional higher (former) etc.143,02961,25181,778105,79351,57154,222
"Magisterij" of science (former) etc.14,5007,3877,11311,3776,3095,068
Doctorate of science7,6884,8782,8105,0113,5351,476
Source: SORS
Table 2: Population aged 15 or more by educational attainment and sex, Slovenia, 2002 Census and 1 January 2011
1. 1. 20112002 Census
No education0.
Incomplete basic4.
Short-term vocational upper secondary1.
Vocational upper secondary21.728.515.122.929.616.7
Technical, general upper secondary30.230.030.426.925.727.9
Short-term higher (former), higher vocational4.
1st cycle of higher, professional higher (former) etc.
2nd cycle of higher, professional higher (former) etc.
"Magisterij" of science (former) etc.
Doctorate of science0.
Source: SORS
Chart 1: Population with tertiary education, aged 20 or more, by sex and age, Slovenia, 1 January 2011
Chart 1: Population with tertiary education, aged 20 or more, by sex and age,  Slovenia, 1 January 2011
Source: SORS
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