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Slovenian Education Network - 2020

In 2017, the Academic and Research Network of Slovenia ARNES, a public institute that provides network services to research, educational and cultural organizations kicked off a four-year Programme of further deployment of ICT infrastructure in schools, aka Slovenian Education Network – 2020. The aim of the programme is to co-finance the development of wireless networks, the purchase of ICT equipment, and the development of e-services and e-contents in all Slovenian educational institutions. The programme seeks to improve student competences and achievements and support teacher competence development through a regular and increased use of modern ICT solutions in the teaching and learning process. School closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the schools to make a shift to online or remote learning especially highlighted the relevance of these goals.  

Link to a video showcasing achievements and outlining future perspectives

Project strands

Development and deployment of wireless networks

    1. Up until now, a total of 738 educational institutions benefitted from getting a wireless network designed, configured and installed, of which 425 are in the cohesion region Vzhodna Slovenija and a total of 358 in the western part of the country. The number of educational institutions with a wireless network set up is about to rise to 900 by the end of the year. 
    2. The nationwide deployment of wireless network is managed centrally by ARNES. The networks are safe, providing good quality of service in as much of the area as possible with a single or multiple access points and improving access to the Internet services for the entire classrooms. Network maintenance costs are lower, and upgrades are taken care of by ARNES as well.
  1. The Eduroam (education roaming) service provides its users with a secure and simple access to the (wireless) network of their own organisation and hosting in networks of other institutions included in the Eduroam network. This way millions of users, be it students, academics or researchers, can access the protected Eduroam network in any Eduroam network at home and abroad, except on Antarctica) transparently and free of charge with the same username and password as is used to access the ‘home’ Eduroam network. The network is designed to guarantee the institution and its hosted users the maximum amount of security. Based on its policies an institution can also allow its users to access other network sources through the same system of authentication as soon as they open their laptop.
  2. Deployment of wireless network solutions in educational institutions aims to improve access of teachers and students to ICT tools and contents, and to create conditions for the participation of students/teachers in the teaching process with their own devices.


e-services and e-content

    1. Seven new e-services and 15 e-contents are being developed. The last e-service – multimedia portal with the associated e-content – is expected to be developed by the end of the year. 
    2. The activity is geared at integrating e-services in the work processes carried out in educational institutions through teaching and support. e-contents are accessible via open common platforms of the SIO portal, online classrooms or communities.

ICT equipment

Four large supplies of ICT equipment were made in four years in the scope of this strand. ERDF contributed half of the funding, while the remaining half of the cost was covered by the educational institutions’ own resources. As part of the purchase, a total of 38,623 pieces of ICT equipment were supplied which the educational institutions fully used for remote learning during the pandemic:

  • 12,395 desktops
  • 7,319 monitors
  • 8,702 laptops
  • 4,659 tablets
  • 5,549 projectors.

The goal of the activity called ICT users is to create ICT users and supply multimedia equipment (e.g. laptops, tablets, projectors, interactive devices) which will, along with wireless network, allow for the use of e-services and e-contents.

Feedback from the educational institutions

Questionnaires were sent to educational institutions in the end of 2019 asking them to assess the usefulness of/ease to use and price of the ICT equipment supplied to them. They were also asked to rate communication flows with the relevant suppliers of the ICT equipment. Over 90% of all institutions were satisfied or very satisfied with both the usefulness of/ease to use of the equipment and services and the way suppliers communicated with them. Moreover, more than 90% of the schools were satisfied or very satisfied with the implementation of the project WLAN-2020 supporting the deployment of wireless network in school settings. 

Beneficiary: Academic and Research Network of Slovenia - ARNES

Programme: Operational Programme for the Implementation of the European Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020

Fund: European Regional Development Fund

Total project funding:  EUR 40,175,415.68

EU contribution: EUR 25,029,113.34

Photo: Črt Slavec