The University of Ljubljana (UL) is the oldest and largest higher education and scientific research institution in Slovenia. It is the only Slovenian university ranked among the 500 best universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai Ranking).
UL comprises 23 faculties, three arts academies (UL Members) and four associate member institutions. UL thus creates competence in all main academic disciplines, including the arts. It employs more than 6,500 people: two thirds are higher education teachers, associates and researchers and one third are professional staff. Teachers and associates are, for the most part, registered as researchers at the Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency (ARIS).
Almost 40,000 students are enrolled across all three cycles in a total of 339 study programmes in 2022/23. More than half of all Slovenian students study in the bachelor, single-cycle master, master and doctoral study programmes.
UL importantly contributes to sustainable development, innovation and promotes creativity. UL is the central and largest research institution in Slovenia with 30 percent of all registered researchers (according to the data from the SICRIS database). UL fosters basic, applied and developmental research, and strives to achieve excellence and the highest quality, and to meet the highest ethical standards in all areas of the arts and sciences. In 2022 the UL had 3,383 articles published on Web of Science (WoS). It is engaged in 331 projects and 186 programmes financed by ARIS, along with 639 EU and other European programme projects.
UL’s commitment to notions of social responsibility can be seen in its cooperation with knowledge users in cultural, economic and social fields. As it is keen to maintain and strengthen this role in the future, and to maintain and increase its standing in the international arena, the UL is involved in international associations and partnerships.
UL is committed to attainment of the highest quality and well-being.
UL is organised in a decentralised way.
The bodies of the UL are the Rector, the UL Senate, the UL Governing Board and the Student Council. The Rector heads and represents the university. His advisory bodies are the College of the Rector and College of Deans. The College of the Rector consists of the Rector, the Vice Rectors, the President of the UL Governing Board, the UL Secretary General and the Rector’s assistants and advisors. The College of Deans consists of the Rector, the Vice Rectors, the Deans of the UL Members, and the President of the Student Council. The UL Senate is the university’s highest professional body. Senate members (senators) may be elected from among the teachers who are full-time employees of university members, and the students. The UL Governing Board (UO UL) primarily decides on economic matters and ensures the smooth material operation of the university. The Student Council of the University of Ljubljana (ŠS UL) is the body of university students. It consists of the president and vice-presidents of UL Members Student Councils.
The bodies of the UL Members are the Dean, the Senate, the Academic Assembly, the Governing Board and the Student Council. The Dean heads and represents the member faculty and is, at the same time, the faculty’s management authority when it operates on the market (Annex to Article 26 of the UL Statutes). UL Members have one or more vice-deans. In addition to the bodies referred to above, UL Members may create other bodies whose composition and powers are defined by the rules.
In the implementation of the National Higher Education Programme, whose funding is provided by central government, UL Members enter into legal transactions with the authorisations granted by the university’s instrument of constitution and statutes, on behalf and for the account of the university. In other cases, UL Members enter into legal transactions on their own behalf and for their own account in accordance with the university’s instrument of constitution and statutes (ZVIS, article 10).
In accordance with the law governing the operation of the university and the Decree on the transformation of the UL, UL Member may also carry out other educational, research, artistic, developmental, professional and consulting activities or other related activities, which are defined in the annex to the statute (market activity). The conditions and elements of determining the value of services and the use of funds (e.g. tuition fees, the value of consulting services) are regulated by regulations. UL Member has its own account, to which it receives funds directly (Statutes of the UL, article 26).
This distribution of power has historical roots. A faster and more integrated response to today’s challenges is hampered by considerable bureaucracy outside and within UL, and by a management system based on terms of office. This legal arrangement provides UL Members in practice with considerable autonomy in relation to the university leadership.
Students are involved in formulating and adopting strategic and operational decisions at UL. They are actively and formally involved at UL Member and UL level. They are members of senates and senate committees, members of the Governing Boards and student councils. In addition to involvement in UL bodies and their working bodies (committees), which is guaranteed by law and implementing regulations (ZVIS, UL Statutes), they also take part in other working bodies (e.g. working groups). They are invited to advisory meetings/events (meetings of vice-deans, College of the Rector, consultations, conferences, quality coordinators’ meetings, working and focus groups). Student activities therefore go beyond formal inclusion in university bodies and reflect the importance of cooperation, equality of position and respect. Student initiatives are evident from the decisions of these bodies (e.g. the initiatives for discussions between UL Members heads and teachers with poor student survey results and for better support for students’ practical training). In addition to activities in UL bodies, students are also active in the university’s key development activities. Students took part in the preparation of the UL Strategy 2022–2027 at specially planned meetings, in the preparation of the UL Strategy 2012–2020 and the preparation of the Internationalisation Strategy 2014–2017 at committee level and UL Senate level.
The UL professional services perform developmental, expert, technical and administrative tasks via the Rectorate and UL Members secretaries’ offices (UL Administration). UL Administration is headed by a UL Secretary General, while the UL Members ’ secretarial offices are headed by UL Member Secretary General. The UL Governing Board lays down rules defining the organisation of services at UL, and the structure of jobs is defined by the Rector, at the recommendation of the UL Secretary General or Dean of the UL Member.
The university, via the Rectorate, carries out common tasks for all UL Members, in particular:
- establishes and maintains a unified information system,
- establishes and maintains a career centre,
- establishes and maintains a unified library system, university archive and digital repository,
- organizes and implements joint programs of extracurricular activities at the UL,
- organizes interdisciplinary studies,
- monitors and ensures the quality of educational, scientific research and artistic work,
- coordinates and records participation in international projects in the field of educational, scientific research and artistic work,
- manages the intellectual property of the UL,
- establishes and takes care of a uniform protocol at the university,
- establishes and maintains records (personnel, financial, student and study, etc.),
- supervises business and financial flows within the university and prepares a consolidated balance sheet,
- plans and manages investments,
- establishes and maintains central records of the property of the university and its members,
- coordinates and supervises the efficient use and maintenance of premises and equipment of the university and its members.
The most important strategic objectives
The ultimate strategic objective of UL is to become ‘A recognised and established academic institution in Europe’, which includes placement among the top 400 universities in the ARWU and QS rankings, and among the top 20 universities in the QS Emerging Europe and Central Asia rankings, along with international accreditation for UL and all its member faculties.
Five specific strategic objectives are as follows:
Strategic objective 1: first-rate learning experience and high employability of graduates→
strategic activities planned: developing and updating study programmes, intensifying the internationalisation of education, developing a comprehensive lifelong learning programme, promoting teaching excellence, offering financial support for the renewal of educational activities;
Strategic objective 2: top achievements in science and the arts→
strategic activities planned: upgrading the support environment for scientific and artistic work, increasing financing for scientific and artistic endeavours, changing the way achievements in science and the arts are evaluated, enhancing internationalisation in science and the arts;
Strategic objective 3: a prestigious partner institution for the transfer of knowledge, innovations and creativity→
strategic activities planned: upgrading support processes in the shared services at the UL, proactively seeking strategic partnerships for the transfer of knowledge and the arts, communicating achievements in science and the arts to the target audiences;
Strategic objective 4: an academic institution that serves as a role model in respecting diversity→
strategic activities planned: ensuring and developing an inclusive and equal environment, providing information, awareness-raising, education and training to assert the principles of equality, systemically supporting accessibility of study to special-status individuals, ensuring ethical conduct by all;
Strategic objective 5: social effects – social prosperity and progress→
strategic activities planned: strengthening the role of expert and scientific argument in society, leading efforts for the sustainable development of society and intergenerational dialogue.
For all strategic objectives indicators were determined for controls using target values.
To achieve the vision of the UL 2027 the University of Ljubljana Strategy 2022−2027 comprises five development areas and three support areas.
The development areas of the strategy are as follows:
- develop education, integrated in the home and international environments, to promote creativity, innovation, critical thinking and social responsibility,
- promote excellence in science and the arts, integration in the international environment, an interdisciplinary approach, openness and social relevance,
- enhance support for the transfer of knowledge and the arts in all spheres of social life,
- promote an accessible, inclusive and equal academic environment, and
- strengthen the UL’s social role and position in the national and global social dialogue.
The support areas of the strategy are as follows:
- strengthen autonomy and finances,
- upgrade processes and infrastructure,
- support staff development.