Graduates from tertiary education, Slovenia, 2020
In 2020, the number of tertiary education graduates fell below 16,000
In 2020, the year in which the outbreak of the novel coronavirus significantly altered the education landscape, 15,494 students successfully completed tertiary education in Slovenia, which is 3.8% fewer than in 2019 and the lowest number in the last sixteen years.
In 2020, 15,494 graduates successfully completed tertiary education in Slovenia – 1,980 at higher vocational colleges and 13,514 at higher education institutions –, which is 3.8% fewer than in 2019 and the lowest number in the last sixteen years. In 2020, the number of tertiary education graduates decreased for the second year in a row and fell below 16,000 for the first time since 2005. Both, the number of graduates from higher vocational colleges and higher education institutions decreased, namely by 5.4% and by 3.5%, respectively. In 2020, 13,514 students graduated from higher education study programs, 8,405 from undergraduate and 5,109 from postgraduate. Among them, there were 431 new doctorate graduates, which is 9.6% fewer than in 2019.
Share of graduates under 25 years of age on the rise
The mean age of a tertiary education graduate in 2020 was 27.2 years (in 2019 27.1 years). 6,684 or 43.1% of tertiary education graduates in 2020 were less than 25 years old, which is 1.3 percentage points more than in 2019. In 2020, the share of graduates under 25 years of age increased for the fourth year in a row and after 2019 reached a new record high. When we look at the type of education, this share was the highest among higher academic education graduates – it was 78.8% and their mean age at graduation was 24.1 years. They were followed by higher professional education (48.8%) and higher vocational education (43.5%) graduates, where the share of graduates under 25 years was (due to the higher share of part-time graduates) less than 50%. Their mean age at graduation was 27.9 and 28.4 years, respectively.
As in previous generations of graduates, in 2020 most tertiary education graduates completed their study in the fields of business, administration and law (2,957 or 19.1%), and engineering, manufacturing and construction (2,720 or 17.6%). On the other hand, the fewest of them graduated in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary (353 or 2.3%), and information and communication technologies (643 or 4.1%). Compared to 2019, the number of graduates decreased in all fields of education, except in social sciences, journalism and information, where it increased by 1.6%. The decrease in the number of graduates was the largest in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary (by 30.0%), and arts and humanities (by 14.4%).
Share of foreign-born graduates on the rise
Among tertiary education graduates in 2020, there were 1,027 graduates with foreign citizenship from more than 70 different countries, which is 18.2% more than in 2019 and the most since 2016 (890). In 2020, their number exceeded 1,000 for the first time, while their share among all tertiary education graduates exceeded 6% for the first time. At 6.6%, it was 1.2 percentage points higher than in 2019. When we look at the type of education, the share of graduates with foreign nationality was, as in the previous years, the highest among doctoral graduates (16.7%; in 2019 it was 12.4%). In 2020, most tertiary education graduates with foreign nationality were master’s graduates (43.3%), full-time study graduates (67.8%), female graduates (60.0%) and completed their study in the field of business, administration and law (30.4%).
Epidemic also affected study completion
The emergency situation following the declaration of the epidemic in Slovenia in mid-March 2020 also affected the study completion timeline in 2020. Data for 2020 show that the month with the fewest graduates was March (357 or 2.3%), followed by April (462 or 3.0%) – these are also the two months with the fewest graduates in the last ten years. Compared to the same months of 2019, the number of graduates in March 2020 was 50.6% lower, and in April 2020 42.5% lower. A similar, but much less extreme, effect also occurred with the re-declaration of the epidemic in mid-October 2020. Compared to 2019, in 2020 there were 17.7% fewer graduates in October and 7.0% fewer in November.
Number of tertiary education graduates by type of education, Slovenia, 2019 and 2020
Number of tertiary education graduates by type of education and sex, Slovenia, 2020
Number of tertiary education graduates by type of education and citizenship, Slovenia, 2020