četrtek, september 02, 2004

Drago Jančar in Eurozine

The latest issue of the netmagazine Eurozine includes musings on the idea of “Central Europe” by Drago Jančar. The essay, entitled “Central Europe: Utopia or Reality?”, was first published in the British literary journal Orient Express, which devoted its entire 5 (2004) issue to contemporary writing from Slovenia. That issue included prose and poetry by many Slovene literary luminaries, including Tomaž Šalamun, Brane Možetič, Aleš Debeljak and of course Jančar. Orient Express is not available on the internet, but the table of contents can be found here.

The Slovenia Times: Cinema Special

The latest, September, issue of The Slovenia Times includes an extensive feature on cinema. The first article is a brief overview of cinema culture in Slovenia [ST / 09.04 / The Birth of Cinema], followed by an overview of Slovene filmmaking [ST / 09.04 / Timeless Features] and finally a rambling article about Slovene connections to international cinema (like TAM trucks in Schindler’s List or Elan skis in Superman…and in Bavarian pornos) [ST / 09.04 / A country that supplies bad guys].

More on Slovene film can be found at

And don’t forget: the next
Festival of Slovene Film will be held at Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana from 6 to 10 November (see: SB / 21.08.04 / Festival of Slovene Film coming in November to LJ).

Want to study in Slovenia but you don't speak Slovene? The Slovenia Times can help

The new September issue of The Slovenia Times includes an article on options for non-Slovene students who want to study in Slovenia. Several interesting programs are profiled.

For EU citizens, one budget option is to study on one of the EU sponsored education programs, such as Erasmus or Socrates. Regardless of whether students come on an EU program or on their own, the University of Ljubljana does not have many options for non-Slovene language instruction. Most times, foreign students are only given English-language “private consultations” only once or twice per month, while the actual courses themselves are taught in Slovene only. Not only do students not get the full benefit of the class, but they are unable to fully interact with their Slovene peers.

However, English-language options do exist. The
GEA College in Piran is starting up an International Bachelor Study of Entrepreneurship program, which will be composed of classes taught exclusively in English. The program will begin in the 2004/05 academic year. The full program takes three years plus one more semester to complete a bachelor’s thesis, and results in a Bachelor degree in Economics recognized throughout Europe. Tuition fees amount to € 4500 per annum. GEA College also offers a Master in Tourism and Hospitality Management course with lectures in English.

Another option is
IEDC – Bled School of Management, which offers a wide array of academic programs for non-Slovene speakers. According to The Slovenia Times, the International Executive MBA program is among the most popular. The program can be completed in one, two or three years, depending on the time the student has available. Tuition for the one-year program amounts to € 23,000, with the two- and three- year programs both costing € 26,500.

English Language Studies in Slovenia: A Decent Proposal in the Slovenia Times.

ponedeljek, avgust 30, 2004

Survey finds more than half of Slovenes aged 25-35 live with parents

Results of a survey released by the Student Organization of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) show that 57 percent of Slovenes aged 25 to 35 live with their parents because they do not have enough of their own resources to buy or rent their own apartment.

Young families try not to have their first child until they have a stable income and housing, which has contributed to the drop in the national birth rate, according to the survey results. At least 45 percent of respondents said that their housing situation was a factor in when or whether they would have their first child.

Around 90 percent of respondents say that the government has not done enough to ensure there is enough housing available for young people and young families. Among the biggest complaints is that there are too many restrictions which limit the availability of credit and social or nonprofit housing to young people (only seven percent of applications were approved in 2001). Even when young people can manage to get credit, interest rates are prohibitively high.

ŠOU ordered the survey to draw policymakers’ attention to the problems of current housing situation among young Slovenes. The survey results are to be disseminated among all political parties, and ŠOU will organize a round table next month where experts will discus the survey and share their opinions.

For its part, ŠOU founded a free housing service in May called
m2 to help students find high quality and inexpensive housing in Ljubljana. The service not only identifies available housing but also assists foreign students and advises in rent agreement negotiations once young people have identified appropriate housing. So far, about 200 students have used the service.

CATI research center executed the telephone survey for ŠOU in August 2004, and had 302 respondents between the ages of 25 and 35. More on the study can be found at the SOU website [STA / 30.08.04 / Večina mladih med 25. in 35. letom v Sloveniji živi pri starših].

Krka wins vs. Merck

The Supreme Court of Slovenia has ruled in favor of Slovene pharmaceutical company Krka in its dispute with US competitor Merck & Co., Inc. The US company wanted USD 100 million in damages from Krka for what it considered to be violations of intellectual property rights. The suit was filed in 1994, and hit the Supreme Court in November 2002. The case centered on the patent on the blood pressure drug Enapril. Krka markets its generic version of the drug as Enap.

Earlier this year, Merck withdrew a similar patent infringement suit against Krka which focused on the cholesterol drug Lovastatin. That case was first filed in 1996, and Merck was seeking USD 34 million in damages [SBW / 30.08.04 /
Merck Patent Lawsuit Against Krka Ends, SB / 27.08.04 / US Ambassador interviewed in Večer].