Higher education institutions (HEIs) provide higher education within the framework of accredited study programmes in accordance with the law. The main teaching language is Slovak, however, there are programmes delivered also in foreign languages (mainly in English), mostly for international students.
The academic year begins on 1 September and ends on 31 August of the following year. It is composed of 2 semesters (winter semester lasts from September to January and summer semester lasts from February to June) or three trimesters. Organisation of the academic year is set by the statute of the faculty or statute of the HEI.
Teaching process includes lectures, seminars, exercises, laboratory work, projects, practical training, consultations, etc. For the assessment of students' achievements, the credit system following the rules of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is used; it was introduced in 2002 for all levels and forms of higher education studies. Student's standard workload is expressed by the number of credits: 60 credits per academic year and 30 credits per semester. Every HEI determines the total number of credits required for the due completion of the studies in its respective stages. Grading is based on the ECTS grading scale:
Study programmes are usually offered in one of the three levels of higher education, but a HEI may join the first two levels of higher education into a single whole.
The first level of higher education are bachelor study programmes.
Study programmes of the second level and those of the first two levels of higher education joined into a single whole are:
Study programmes of the third level of higher education are doctoral (PhD) study programmes.
All study programmes must be accredited in accordance with the law.
In accordance with the level of study, HEIs award the following academic degrees: