P5. National Examinations Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia

National Examinations Centre (NEC) is a central institution for external assessment of pupils, apprentices, students and adults in Slovenia. Our main tasks are linked to the technical preparation and implementation of the Matura at the end of Upper Secondary Education (USE) and National Assessment (NA) in Primary Education, but we are also engaged as an expert organization in Slovenia for the research and development of assessments in general.

The Centre is divided into individual departments and units all involved in the administration of exams: Examination Unit, Publishing Department, Logistics Unit, IT Department, National Vocational Qualifications Unit, General Affairs and Financial Unit and Research and Development Unit. We have more than 60 employees and the annual budget of over 5 mil €.

Matura in Slovenia at the end of USE is a typical Curriculum Based External Examinations System – CBEES (Bishop, 1998). Since 1995 data on Matura results has been gathered in NEC for the purpose of certificates at the end of USE as well as for selection procedures for enrolment in tertiary education. To utilize the data even further, NEC with the support of the Slovene Ministry of Education and Sport and the European Social Fund developed the Assessment of/for Learning Analytic Tool – ALAT. The ALA Tool presents a kind of School Performance Feedback System (SPFS) or Educational longitudinal information system (OECD) in USS in Slovenia. The ALAT was prepared for analyses of assessment results and the efficiency of teaching and learning. For the last two years we can connect the candidates‘ Matura data with their achievements in NA at the and of primary education –  in entering in USE programs – 4 years before. This has lead to the upgrade of ALAT with functionality on providing progress measures for specific students and Value Added measures for the schools. Disadvantage of the ALAT currently is the lack of socio-economic, cultural and social factors and other background explanatory variables in the system.

NEC was a partner in an international research project: „Establishing a knowledge base for quality in education: Testing a dynamic theory for education“ (European Science Foundation) for designing evidence-based strategies and actions to promote quality in education.

NEC is also involved in establishing external examinations in other south and east European countries in the region.

We’re actively involved in IPA(Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) project in Serbia: Support for QUALITY ASSURANCE within the national primary and secondary education examination system.

We are also participating in an IPA – Twinning project in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Strengthening Institutional Capacity of the Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education.

NEC has experience in connecting our databases with results from international student assessments (PISA, TIMSS…) for Slovenian data. We routinely cooperate with Educational Research Institute (ERI) in Slovenia and national project managers in Slovenia for PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS, TALIS and ESLC.