Rector’s Conference at University of Primorska: Advocating for Language Autonomy in Higher Education

The third regular session of the Rector’s Conference of Slovenia was held on July 5 at the University of Primorska in Koper. This was a momentous occasion in the discussion of the higher education landscape of the nation. Under the direction of University of Primorska Rector Professor Klavdija Kutnar, the conference’s main topic of conversation was the newly proposed Higher Education Act.

Professor Rado Bohinc, the president of EMUNI University, led these discussions with unwavering support for language autonomy, Bohinc strongly opposed legislative restrictions that would limit academic flexibility and supported universities’ autonomy to choose the language of instruction in accordance with the needs of their students. Commendation for his role in advancing the EUNICoast project, which emphasizes the significance of flexible language policies in fostering academic excellence, served as a testament to his leadership in promoting these principles.

The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) had proposed strict regulations, which the conference rejected and debated the use of language in education. Rather, they backed the Higher Education Act’s fair approach, which respects the growth of Slovenian as well as the various linguistic requirements of institutions and students.

The Rector’s Conference affirmed its support for the Act, emphasizing its alignment with national and European developmental goals. They have actively engaged with state bodies, issuing a detailed letter outlining their rationale and urging reconsideration of SAZU’s objections.

This conference highlights EMUNI’s commitment to fostering a progressive higher education environment in Slovenia, ensuring that language policies support academic diversity and enhance the global competitiveness of Slovenian universities.