The University of Ljubljana has set itself seven strategic objectives by which it desires to contribute towards higher quality, cohesion and a reduction in the time between creating, obtaining, transferring and applying knowledge. These objectives are:







1.1.University of Ljubljana Mission


The University of Ljubljana implements and promotes basic, applied and developmental research and is pursuing excellence and the highest quality as well as the highest ethical criteria in all scientific fields and art. In these areas of national identity the University of Ljubljana specifically develops and promotes Slovenian scientific and professional terminology.

Based on its own, Slovenian, and foreign research, the University of Ljubljana (UL) educates critical thinking top scientists, artists and professionals qualified for leading sustainable development, taking into account the tradition of the European Enlightenment and Humanism and with regard to human rights. Special attention is dedicated to developing talents.


The UL encourages interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary study, exchanges results of achievements in science and art with other universities and scientific research institutions, thus contributing to the Slovenian and world knowledge treasury as well contributing to the transfer of these achievements among the students and other users.


The UL cooperates with organizations from economy and service in public and private sector, with state organizations, local communities, and civil society. With this cooperation accelerates the use of own research and educational achievements and contributes to the social development. With active

responses to events in the environment represents the critical conscience of the society.


       1.2 University of Ljubljana Values


The University of Ljubljana builds and strengthens the academic union of professors, researchers, students and other associates and aims at the university enforcement at home and in the world. The research, education, professional and public activities, as well as the relations between the community members are based on the:

-          academic excellence and the highest possible quality,

-          academic freedom of the academic and other staff and students, especially the freedom of creativity,

-          autonomy in relation to the state, political parties, corporations and religious communities,

-          humanism and human rights including equal possibilities and solidarity,

-          ethical and responsible attitude towards the world.




1.3  University of Ljubljana Vision


By 2020, the University of Ljubljana will be recognized as an internationally open and excellent research university, creatively contributing to the quality of life.





2.1. Achievement of the University of Ljubljana Strategy 2006-2009 goals


In the University of Ljubljana Strategy 2006-2009, the following goals were set:

-          increase the volume and quality of research and development,

-          implement study programmes in line with the Bologna process,

-          strengthen and deepen the international cooperation,

-          implement a comprehensive system of quality assurance,

-          develop extracurricular activities,

-          strengthen the cooperation between the UL Members.

After six years of following these goals, the UL was changing accordingly. Some goals were achieved, others not yet fully.

The University of Ljubljana increased the volume of research. The UL researchers are included in the 157 national research programmes, 230 basic and 126 applied projects and in 120 targeted research programmes. The project provides a platform for training of 36 post-doctoral researchers registered by the Slovenian Research Agency, 620 young researchers, and 138 young researchers from economy. The UL participates in 818 research programmes of the total value of 25 million EUR outside the national programme and not financed by the EU. The UL conducts around 400 research and development projects financed by the EU – in 2006, there were 234. The total value for the project financing from the 7th Framework programme has increased from 2009 until 2001 - from a little less than 12 million to more than 17.5 million EUR.

The number of scientific publications has risen from 2006 – from 1188 to 1876. The number of citations increased for 14.1%. This shows the growth of quality in research. Nevertheless, the University of Ljubljana lags behind the number of the publications by comparable universities, such as the University of Wien, for more than half.


The University of Ljubljana has reformed the study programmes following the goals and principles of the Bologna process - 157 accredited first cycle, 182 second cycle, and 21 doctoral study programmes. The new generations are enrolled in the reformed programmes, while the pre-reform studies are gradually being omitted. The implementation of the new programmes is still in progress; the ones reformed in 2004 are already being evaluated and re-accredited. The new structure of study enables more, though still insufficient, selection of study contents by the students themselves. A special achievement is the establishment of the Doctoral school, introducing high quality standards and interdisciplinarity. Three doctoral study programmes are being coordinated by the University Rectorate, others by the UL Members. The student numbers of student exchange between the UL Members is gradually increasing. Interdisciplinary study programmes are being accredited.


The number of students, enrolled at the University of Ljubljana is decreasing – from 63.000, the highest number in history, to the present 52.000 with a larger decrease in part-time study.  The overall decrease is the result of the unfavourable demographic trends, yet the interest to study at the University of Ljubljana still remains high compared to the other higher education institutions in Slovenia. Smaller numbers of students can also be attributed to better progression rates that are shortening the study time. The improvement is still needed in organization of practical training, learning bases and the mentors of practical training should be better trained. The UL is still not systematically monitoring the employability of the graduates.


The University of Ljubljana international cooperation is strengthening. The volume of international research and its financial value increased and the numbers of international publications and citations are rising. The UL records positive trends in incoming students mobility (more than 1800) and enrolment of foreign students (more than 1500). The UL employs 68 foreign citizens; altogether more than 430 foreign staff are included in research and education. The number of subjects, offered in foreign languages increases and amount to 459 now (more than 5%). The summer schools (31) and international conferences (40) are very well visited. The number of outgoing students in international exchange is significantly lower than incoming (less than 1000). The UL also lags behind in using other, more sophisticated forms of internationalization and offering programmes abroad. There are still possibilities to be explored and exploited in this area.   


The knowledge transfer runs through the projects of the University of Ljubljana, conducted together with the users and for the market. There are about 700 projects in the total value of more than 10 million EUR; and does not drop despite the crisis. The new form of cooperation with the economy are publicly funded Competence Centres; the University of Ljubljana participates in all seven. Three UL Members experimentally established institutions for more efficient knowledge transfer to practice and for more encouraging conditions for cooperation at all levels. Their contribution remains to be evaluated. The knowledge transfer office is trying to foster patents, which are still modestly represented. There are more than 630 professionals from practice and 450 researchers included in the implementation of the programmes. The life-long learning programmes attract over 4000 participants, the possibilities of additional qualifications development and offer is underexploited.


The University of Ljubljana established a comprehensive quality assurance system, defined its elements, and formed a set of indicators in yearly planning and reporting. The habilitation system is being improved. The tutoring was developed. Students surveys are being used in order to give feedback to the teachers. The Career centre was formed and is performing activities at all the UL Members. The UL Members are involved in self-evaluation reporting. Individual UL Members have acquired international accreditations of study programmes. Quality assurance committees are active both at the university and at the UL Members. The development of the quality assurance system is geared primarily towards defining some additional elements (monitoring the employability of graduates, employees' satisfaction, development of study programmes' quality assessment) and establishment of the link between the instruments with the decision-making and improvement processes.


Among the extracurricular activities, the central position belongs to sport which in addition to other possibilities offers also developed ECTS credited programmes. Unfortunately, the student's regular sports activity is seen to have been decreasing over the last few years. The UL is also supporting competitive sport, which is included in the activities of the students organizations and Student Councils' activities. Another form of extracurricular activity is caring for students with special needs – there are 289 at the UL.


As shown by the overview of individual university’s activities, the UL has achieved a more comprehensive provision of study programmes. The links are provided through common services such as library system, information system, public procurement, and similar systems. There are still other possibilities.


2.2       Strengths and weaknesses

The University of Ljubljana can build its development on some comparative advantages.

Clearly, the main advantage of the University of Ljubljana is the fact that it is a comprehensive university encompassing all the scientific and artistic areas. The UL Members possess superb expertise in various fields. This is a prerequisite for the combination of the know-how critical mass and for providing a wide range of educational, research, developmental, counselling and other services, adapted to the needs of students and the contractors in research and other projects. Suitable forms of programme organization should be formed and linked to enlarge the synergetic effects of cooperation between study and research progammes.


Despite the size and the complexity, the University of Ljubljana found a form of integrated and decentralised management. On the one hand, the values, goals, and the rules of operation are strengthened and on the other hand, the UL Members have a high level of independence and self-management. The power and success of the UL can be strengthened by more coordinated activities.


The strengths of the UL are also its tradition and name with an international reputation. So every larger and externally effective re-organization could affect the valuable capital of this »brand«. The integrity and the name of the University of Ljubljana should be protected. The substantial advantage lies also in the already built infrastructure, such as the rich and extensive library system.


The University of Ljubljana with 3500 well qualified higher education teachers and researchers represents the largest concentration of knowledge in Slovenia. Most of the academically educated inhabitants of Slovenia were educated at the UL, including individuals on the most responsible posts in science, culture, economy and politics. The UL graduates bear the key role in the cultural, economic and social development of Slovenia, including historical shifts. Many graduates are recognized worldwide. The UL students are well accepted by foreign higher education institutions. The UL scientific and professional production represents almost half of the Slovenian production, its contribution in culture and humanism is exceptional. These are the foundations for achieving superior results in mutual cooperation of the UL Members and the international partners.


The University of Ljubljana is located in the capital city of Slovenia, infrastructurally equipped for institutional cooperation with the Slovenian and foreign institutions. The city has always been attracting domestic and foreign students and will remain so with intensifying existing links between the UL and the capital city.

As well as proud of its strengths, the university must be attentive of its weaknesses that represent a risk for its development.

The efficiency of study, measured through the progression rate and the study duration, is improving in the reformed study programmes. More will have to be invested in quality of study in terms of stimulating study conditions and atmosphere, training of teachers, modernisation of teaching and learning methods, equipment, teacher/student ratio, research and development, practical training. The university must increase the employability of graduates and pay attention to the structure of enrolled students in individual programmes as well as to their career counselling.

Fragmentation of study programmes has been little reduced with the reform - it even increased in some cases. There are examples of programme or subject duplication, competition and exclusion, instead of searching synergies in common programmes, open curriculum and inner university student and staff mobility. The possibilities of cooperation are even less exploited in research and management. The UL has to create and use more inner collaboration platforms, based on development initiatives of the UL Members in all areas, including interdisciplinary research groups and common functions, such as human resource, library and information systems, publishing, management of premises etc.

One of the main weaknesses of the Unviersity of Ljubljana is international cooperation, despite some positive shifts, there are not enough foreign researchers and teachers included, the exchange of students could be better and there are other, still unexploited and more sofisticated forms of international cooperation, such as joint study and research programmes. The UL will have to open its habilitation and employment procedures and enlarge the scope of subjects offered in foreign language, as well as take care of the Slovenian scientific and professional terminology.

Despite gradual improvement of spatial conditions and equipment, some are inappropriate for teaching, learning, and research. Improvement of the working conditions is a permanent task of the university, to also improve its developmental potentials.


2.3. Opportunities and challenges

The University of Ljubljana operates in a rapidly changing domestic and international environment. The UL has a limited impact on this phenomenon and a mostly adaptive role. These are challenges representing opportunities as well as challenges.

Relativelly permanent challenges for the University of Ljubljana are the demographic trends. The smaller numbers of students have already affected the UL. Considering the rising number of the Slovenian higher education institutions and higher numbers of offered enrolment places, the competition for students gets harder. The University of Ljubljana is determined to keep the comprehensive offer of study programmes, improve quality of education and study conditions in order to retain the position of the best and the most attractive higher education institution in Slovenia.

In the coming years, the UL expects to struggle with the consequences of the financial, economic, and social crisis, from which the developed world is expected to recover slowly. The crisis leads to lower financial possibilities, lower economic capacities to finance development and education, as well as less financial possibilities of individuals and families. It is a challenge for the UL to make better use of its resources, reduce duplication of activities, and flexively respond by closing programmes with low level of contribution to the national identity on the one hand and by opening new research, development and education programmes on the other. The university's research and education capacities should be oriented towards wider European space in order to obtain more European research funds, more foreign students, and to offer the university activities, such as education and research, abroad.

Successful exit from the current crisis is dependent on inclusion of new technologies in the Slovenian economy, on use of new knowledge in the production processes. Individuals can prosper in such environment only with permanent improvement of their competences. The University of Ljubljana is challenged by the crisis to transfer the varied and rich basic knowledge to practice in forms of development projects with and for economic organizations and public sector, in forms of counselling and lifelong learning projects. The University of Ljubljana must intensify the development of such programmes and adapt the modes of provision to adult population. The UL must open to the environment more and strengthen the links with the graduates and the research results users. Obstacles for employment of external experts must be removed; staff mobility in international environment and practice must be improved.

The institutional environment in which the University of Ljubljana operates will remain unpredictable. The University of Ljubljana must play an active role as the most important knowledge centre of Slovenia and help shaping the national education and research policy as well as the relevant legislation. The University of Ljubljana has a unique position in Slovenia, considering its contribution to the national, state, and economic development, which gives her the legitimate right to protect its name and autonomy, and to not allow any externally imposed divisions of its integrity. The UL considers the principles of free market inappropriate for management of a university in an environment where a concentration of quality knowledge is hard to achieve and where small numbers of students are enrolled in individual programmes. Such principles can possibly be observed with certain limitations only in a wider European space, whereas the key elements of higher education management are: quality of human resource management, research and development achievements, education open to all, responsiveness to the needs of economy and the public sector.

Even more, the University of Ljubljana believes that Slovenia should follow the model of the numerous European countries and create the Slovenian higher education area so that the limited financial and human resources are best exploited. The area would include higher educational and research organizations and development centres from economy. The area would be managed in the manner of the university autonomy by the cooperating public and research institutions.

The University of Ljubljana considers the Slovenian environment central, yet insufficient for the development of its knowledge potentials. The UL will have to open to the environment with greater self-confidence. It has to become an important and recognized regional player. To this effect, internationalization of recruitment and exchange of staff, students and researchers, plays a crucial role, as well as pursuit of European and other research funds, formation of joint research groups and study programmes, offer of education, development, counselling and other services outside Slovenia, etc. The most prospective destinations are considered to be the South-East Europe and the Mediterranean. The University of Ljubljana is well capable of playing the coordinating role between this region, the South-West and the Central Europe, with which it is being traditionally engaged in fruitful cooperation.







3.1. Creating knowledge and art for sustainable social and individual development

Creation of knowledge is understood as scientific research and artistic activity of researchers, teachers and students, leading to new findings, solutions and creations. The University of Ljubljana increases the scope and quality of research, it has a primary role of the largest research organization and of the centre for development of artistic activities in the state and intends to remain so in the future. There are, however, substantial differences in the performance of research by the individual UL Members and there is a problem of fragmented research facilities. By 2020, the University of Ljubljana will increase the number and value of the international and domestic projects as well as the number of publications and citations. To this end, the UL will:

3.1.1. Encourage formation of large interdisciplinary research groups with a sufficient concentration of human resources, competences, equipment and funds for obtaining large international projects; equal participation should lead to superior results. The University of Ljubljana will work closer to the research institutes and development centres.

3.1.2. Strengthen the Doctoral school as an international platform for creation of new knowledge, and projects, and research groups in cooperation between mentors and doctoral students. The achievements of doctoral study will be upgraded by the new doctors of science in post-doctoral projects.

3.1.3. Form an active research policy as a systematic planning and providing of post-doctoral projects; defining criteria for recognition of promising, above average and superior research results of research groups to foster their activities and promote their results.

3.1.4. Form internal financial mechanisms, incentives of research, and create measures for encouraging and rewarding interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration among the UL Members.


3.2. Education (knowledge transfer) of socially responsible graduates

Education or transfer of knowledge is one of the fundamental functions of every university, producing also new individual and group knowledge. The University of Ljubljana is the largest national higher education institutions in terms of staff and students numbers; it hosts more than half of all the Slovenian students. The UL offer of study programmes is the most varied and comprehensive. The focus are the academic study programmes, though there are also numerous professional study programmes and the difference between them rather indistinctive. In the past years the Bologna reformed study was implemented with generally good results, some corrections and improvements already detected. The UL wishes to stay open for a wider circle of students and at the same time rapidly raise the quality of education and give possibility superior achievements to the most able.

By 2020, the University of Ljubljana will slightly reduce the number of students, increase the number of graduates by a third, and reduce the fragmentation of study programmes. The measures and actions for improvement of education:

3.2.1. Separation of organization and implementation of professional from academic study programmes at  self-standing UL Members with the intention to enable professional study programmes more practically oriented study approach and with possibilities of using common facilities, equipment, and human resources with the other UL Members. This issue will be taskled together with the UL Members as well as the question of the academic degree structure.

3.2.2. Increasing efficiency of education by improving the progression rate, reducing drop-out, shortening study duration and improving employability of graduates by career counselling, tutoring, teacher training for better use of contemporary student-centred teaching and learning methods, cooperation of the UL Members in staff and student mobility, inclusion of students in research and by improving equipment and study conditions.

3.2.3. Setting up tools for improving study programmes, increasing their relevance and reducing their fragmentation: regulation of enrolment, modernization and connecting the study programmes, implementation of new programmes, abolition of programmes for which there is no interest or have little value for national identity.


3.3. Use of knowledge - third dimension of the university

The University of Ljubljana exercises social responsibility by transferring the created knowledge into practice. This is achieved by the developmental, research, and professional activities, by employment of graduates in other organizations, by encouraging entrepreneurship, by counselling services and by including professional experts in educational activities, by lifelong learning programmes. The organizational forms of this transfer are centres of excellence, centres of competence, research and development projects for companies and other organizations, career centre, Ljubljana University Incubator, Innovation and Research Institute IRI and the college/board of directors from the economy.

This is the so-called third dimension of a university, which will be strengthened by the University of Ljubljana; the number and the value of the projects for economy, the public sector will be increased by a third in the 2020, and the number of participants in the lifelong programmes will be doubled. The measures are:

3.3.1. Formation of strategic and development partnerships, common development groups, implementation of development projects with economic organizations and the public sector.

3.3.2. Strengthening the office for technology transfer; formation promoting role of knowledge managers in transfer of basic knowledge for practical use as well as transfer of developmental challenges from the production environment into the research and development groups.

3.3.3. Offering lifelong learning programmes for further education and obtaining additional qualifications.

3.3.4. Strengthening activities of career centre for student guidance, career counselling, employment of graduates, cooperation with employers, organization of alumni clubs, and monitoring the employability of graduates as well as their success at work.

3.3.5. Better connection and cooperation of career centre, Ljubljana University Incubator, IRI and offices for transfer of knowledge with the emphasis on creating new companies and firms, new workplaces and employment possibilities.


3.4. Creative environment for work and study

The UL can succeed in its mission only if it employs highly motivate and enthusiastic, loyal teachers, researchers, professionals and students. The study and work conditions must be therefore stimulating and of high quality. The University of Ljubljana is dedicated to keep on giving special attention to the university sport, libraries, and their services, to cultural activities such as the Academic Choir Tone Tomšič and UPOL, to awards and decorations for the achievements of the students and the staff, to cooperation with the student organizations etc.

In the future, the inclusion of students will be encouraged by the following measures:

3.4.1. Forming a special programme for the development of the university loyalty culture and for encouraging creativity and commitment to work and study that will include the university symbols, codes of conduct, common professional and social events, awards, prizes etc.

3.4.2. Forming a university scholarship fund for the purpose of encouraging the most talented students for excellent achievements.

3.4.3. Establishing a university library that will include all independent libraries into an integrated, registered and separately funded library system. The role of the system will be collecting, editing and presenting to the public publications and other forms of information on the achievement of the UL and the UL Members.

3.4.4. Establishing a centre for extracurricular activities to provide for sport, cultural, artistic, social and voluntary activities, for non-formal learning of the staff and students. These activities will be thus meaningfully connected to the educational and other programmes of the UL and the environment.



3.5. Internationalization for international transfer of knowledge and recognition

The University of Ljubljana is internationally recognized in individual areas of its activities. The scope of inclusion in the international research projects is increased, as is the financial value of the obtained funds. Still low is the teachers, researchers and students mobility as well as student/foreign staff ratio. The number of joint study programmes and provision of programmes abroad is low. By 2020, the University of Ljubljana will increase the number of outgoing students by one third, the number of incoming students, foreign teachers, and researchers by one fourth. More attention will be dedicated to information and preparation on the mobility possibilities for students. The measures to increase the international recognition of the University of Ljubljana:

3.5.1. Increase offer of the degree study programmes in foreign languages, especially on the second and the third cycle, summer schools; at the same time taking due consideration in developing the Slovenian scientific terminology.

3.5.2. Increase provision of own study programmes abroad, especially in the Western Balkans, the South-East Europe and the Mediterranean.

3.5.3. Increase mobility, staff and students exchange, and increase the number of foreign teachers and researchers.

3.5.4. Give priority to research integrated into international research networks.

3.5.5. Establish a university publishing house for dissemination of superior scientific achievements at home and abroad.


3.6. Quality for excellence in all activity areas

The University of Ljubljana is the best higher education institution in the country and the only one ranked among the 500 best world's universities (the ARWU ranking). Its ambition is to be ranked among the 250 best universities in the world on various rankings. This will be achieved by rise in quality of research and education, by better knowledge transfer, by creating stimulating work and study environment, and especially with more internationalization. The measures for better quality:

3.6.1. Strengthening the comprehensive system of quality assurance, including the common quality indicators of the university activity areas, permanent assessment of quality and improvement measures implementations. The existing instruments must be linked, such as habilitation criteria, students surveys and assessment of common services; new instruments must be elaborated, such as monitoring the employability of graduates. The quality assurance must be directly linked to the planning as well as to internal and external evaluations.

3.6.2. Encouragement of international quality evaluations, programme, and institutional accreditations in the relevant areas.

3.6.3. Strengthening of the university analysis and development office for establishing evidence based university development and quality.







4.1.Spatial university development

The University of Ljubljana spatial development was quite unplanned. The facilities are scattered, which characterizes the whole city with a youthful character of a university city. The UL Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport is located in Portorož, some units of other UL Members are in other parts of Slovenia. This has a negative impact on integration of faculties and programmes and the expected synergies from diversity and concentration of students and staff. In the future, the university spatial development must be planned. The measures for more structured university spatial development:

4.1.1. Better management of existing spatial capacities, based on ICT system at the university level for better use of available facilities.

4.1.2. Completing construction of the new UL FKKT and the UL FRI buildings on Brdo.

4.1.3. Organization of facilities for the UL Faculty of Arts in the present and the neighbouring buildings.

4.1.4. Building new premises for the art academies behind the Roška cesta.

4.1.5. Building new sport facilities with the intention of constructing a university sport park Kodeljevo in cooperation with the city of Ljubljana.

4.1.6. Providing premises for visiting teachers, researchers, and additional study facilities for students.

3.1.7. Reconstructing the existing university buildings for the purpose of better energy efficiency.

4.1.8. Designing plans for spatial development for the needs of other UL Members and regular solving of most acute problems.


4.2. University human resource development

The University of Ljubljana is characterized by high level of self-reproduction of staff (inbreeding), which means that most of the research and teaching staff started and completed the study at the UL and has modest teaching and research experience from other environments. New staff are recruited mostly through inbreeding, rather than by open calls and references. The share of foreign teaching and research staff is low and so is also the rotation of staff between the university and practice. The system of habilitation works relatively well, but does not provide the pyramidal structure of titles. The UL will form a more pro-active human resources management policy, including the following elements:

4.2.1. Conditioning longer forms of employment of teaching and research staff on a one-year education, training, or work at a foreign higher education or research institution or in practice.

4.2.2. Consistent publishment of open calls for employment of teachers and researchers with the criteria based on scientific, professional and pedagogical references. This will also be included in the habilitation criteria and procedures.

4.2.3. Improve the structure of staff with active and professional staffing thus increasing the number of foreign teachers and researchers.

4.2.4. Provide conditions for the staff to improve and gain experience in foreign scientific and higher educational institutions and in practice through sabbatical year and other organizational measures. Enable safer career paths for successful young staff.

4.2.5. Provide conditions for fulfilment of work obligations with flexible combinations of educational, research and development activities and their organization.


4.3. University ICT support

The UL Members have various ICT support solutions. This is not true only in cases of  their specific needs, where this situation might be expected, but also for the areas where the solutions could be similar or the same; such as student offices, libraries, bookkeeping and similar. This causes higher business costs at the UL as well as at the level of the UL Members and has a negative impact on cooperation and transparency, therefore the UL intends to gradualy unify the ICT systems.

The UL will improve the ICT support in study processes by open access to computers and other IT equipment for students and by better inclusion of the ICT in teaching and learning.

The UL will transparently share information on its activities with partners and other public (exp.: publishing information on quality, study, students' satisfaction, students' workload, etc.). An important mission of the UL ICT system is increasing the visibility and reputation of the University of Ljubljana at home and internationally.



Individual action plans for the period of two years and based on this strategy will be prepared by the University Rectorate and the UL Members, reflecting their needs and possibilities. They will be coordinated at the university level. The realization of the plans will be a matter of reports and a foundation for the planning in the next period. The action plan is the basis for distribution of development funds.

The action plan includes:

-          specific and measurable goals,

-          detailed measures for achievement of the set goals,

-          indicators,

-          division of responsibilities between bodies and individuals,

-          neccessary sources for realization of the action plan: facilities and equipment, human resources, students, organization in terms of responsible bodies, offices, services and rules, financial sources.