Status of the institution
Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis– Postgraduate School of Humanities, Ljubljana, was founded in accordance with the Higher Education Act: decision of the establishment was appointed at the 17th meeting, on 24th November 1995, on the basis of Article 49 of this law, by the Council for Higher Education of the Republic of Slovenia. The faculty was established as an autonomous higher education institution, registered in the record of higher education institutions of the Ministry of Education and Sport; the decision was issued under no. 601-736/95.
The idea and organisational preparations are earlier than these dates, as the intellectual centre, which, in the middle of the turbulent eighties, succeeded with the book collection project Studio humanitatis (which later became a publisher), considered an amendment and possibilities of supplementing research and education in humanities in the Slovenian area. Thus, Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis – ISH, then still called the European Centre for Humanities, was founded on 17th March 1992, on the basis of article 2 of Institutions Act, with the founder being ISH Ltd., a company, which was then the only form of legislation of the institution. On 3rd June 1992, the institution with the same name was entered in the register (no. 3268/92) and before the start of the academic year 1992/1993 published the first brochure, in which it announced its own courses, but has not been able to verify them.
The first years of transition took some of the initial romance away from the entrepreneurship and new legislation for corporations approved a higher amount of initial capital and more serious conditions for their operation. On 15th March 1994, the first founder members decided to leave the company and transferred its founding rights and obligations to a partner Neda Pagon that accepted and fulfilled them, so that the acts of ISH Ltd. were consistent with the relevant laws and the ISH – the European Centre for Humanistic Studies, was able to continue its initial work. Under the above mentioned name, two more brochures of curricula were published (for academic years 1993/1994 and 1994/1995). On 18th January 1995, an annex to the establishment of the ISH acknowledged the change of name and address: ISH, Institutum studiorum humanitatis, Institute of Humanities, Beethovnova 2, Ljubljana. On the basis of the higher Education Act (UL RS 67/93, consent of the Council of Higher Education, dated to 1st March 1996, decision of the founder dated 6th May 1997 and the Act of Establishing dated to 6th May 1996, the ISH was entered in the register on 27th January 1997, as the Independent Institution of Higher Education ISH, Institutum studiorum humanitatis – Faculty of Postgraduate Human Science Studies, Ljubljana. The founder, name and legal status has since been the same, what was changed was only the address of the institution.
The Council for Higher Education of the Republic of Slovenia, in accordance with Article 32 of the Law on Higher Education Graduate School of Humanities, has released a consensus for the implementation of the following graduate study programmes leading to a master’s degree: anthropology of everyday life, anthropology, ancient worlds, gender anthropology, social anthropology, historical anthropology, linguistics of speech, and theory of social communication. A resolution was also made that higher education institutions, offering programmes, leading to master’s degree, can also implement programmes leading to a doctorate in these disciplines.
The listed study programmes are publicly recognised, while the faculty, however, on the basis of Article 6 of the Law on Higher Education, has the right to award degrees and professional or academic titles in accordance with a special law. (the official interpretation of the Ministry of Education and Sport).
The ISH is the first and, so far, the only independent higher education institution in Slovenia – and probably in all transition countries – with the level of university studies in the field of humanities and social sciences, which has achieved national recognition in its academic value and the right to grant publicly valid documents for MA and doctoral studies, for courses, verified by the Council for Higher Education of the Republic of Slovenia, according to the procedure prescribed by the Law on Higher Education.
After a few failed attempts to set up, as a part of existing Slovenian universities, an autonomous research and education unit in the field of social anthropology, historical anthropology, science of discourse and epistemology, which would allow fast and rational deployment of knowledge and research methods that did not exist or were underdeveloped but used in scientific environment and therefore urgently needed, a group of university teachers and researchers of the University of Ljubljana and other scientific institutions decided to begin work, which would change this state as soon as possible. They founded an independent institution, dedicated to developing, underdeveloped or absent disciplines and scientific fields.
The first act was creation and implementation of database of fundamental scientific literature in the field of humanities and social sciences, which should be offered to Slovenian intellectual audience, especially students. This is a collection Studia Humanitatis, in which, from 1986 onwards, 150 translated works, several reprints, and another 20 titles in other collections were published. The collection, which was originally a public invitation to all Slovenian publishers, was being published as a part of ŠKUC for a long time, due to poor response of other publishers, later became a part of an institutional framework of ISH, and, in 1997, reorganised into an independent publishing house with similar, but slightly more comprehensive programme.
The second act was the creation of a research institute in 1991, firstly named the European Centre for Humanities and later ISH, the Institutum studirum humanitatis – Faculty of Postgraduate Studies in Humanities, Ljubljana.
Founding and development of the Faculty
The reasons that led to establishing of ISH, also define its purpose and goals, and define strategy; in more than 16 years since ISH was founded, they unfortunately did not change significantly, and certainly not in the direction that would made this institution depended or establish an appropriate compensation.
With the name change and an increased number of research projects, awarded at tenders for a national research programme, a basis for a new Postgraduate School of Humanities and, to a lesser extent, Social Sciences was created. Proper beginning of education at the ISH was in 1993, when the institute conducted postgraduate studies for the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana.
In 1994, the Scientific Council of the Institute decided to submit a proposal for the establishment of Postgraduate school at the Council for Higher Education of the Republic of Slovenia. The proposal was drawn up at the end of the same year and in 1995 the Council for Higher Education approved the establishment of the Faculty of Postgraduate School of Humanities, Ljubljana. In the following year, the Council for Higher Education verified the first three courses.
In the next three years, ISH implement its recognised programmes and three programs for the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, while planning a change in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts to a cooperation on the basis of credit system, particularly as the Council Higher Education verified two additional study programmes in 1998.
The ISH has also sought to maintain and increase the volume of research work, in order to enable students to participate in the projects. It also strove to establish an international network, both, at the personal level of cooperation as well as at the level of inter-institutional relations. Since 1995 a formalised collaboration with the Centre Louis Gernet pri École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and since 1996 with the Centre de Recherches Historiques from the same instutition. We signed a general convention on cooperation between the ISH and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Agreements on cooperation are signed with a number of other important institutions in European countries, the US and elsewhere, while we organise joint projects for the development of new graduate programmes and basis for exchanged of professors and students with others as well. Guest lecturers come from many more universities and postgraduate institutions as they will ever be linked to an inter-institutional network.
The ISH was founded with the aim to complement the existing opportunities for postgraduate education at quality-comparable standards and equivalent programmes in Slovenian and wider academic area and not in order to compete with them. Complementarity will remain our main goal. Rapid development of the ISH means a change in operation frameworks and requires an adjustment of organisational structures of all institutions. Bases for reorganisation will be credit system and its associated lateral transition of study programmes for students. Introduction of three courses brings the mentioned transition as early as this year.
AMEU-ECM took over the founding obligations of AMEU-ISH.
- to enable postgraduate studies of disciplines and fields that are not available at other Slovenian higher education institutions;
- to create a range of study programmes for students from area, wider than Slovenia, especially for students from Central and Eastern Europe, while also promoting and supporting the study of students from other countries;
- to create opportunities for Slovenian university lecturers and researchers for research in the areas that are only scarsely represented in Slovenian scientific environment, but are interesting and appropriate to their scientific development and development issues in their research areas;
- to establish close cooperation and ties with institutions of higher education, working on the same and related scientific fields, as developed by the ISH.
This inter-institutional network is primarily aimed to complement the knowledge that would be otherwise unattainable to students, and thus the mobility of lecturers and students. One of the aims of the network is also cooperation on the research level.