American Slovenian Education Foundation
ASEF is The American Slovenian Education Foundation that supports a broadly diverse community of highly talented, prospective students to build a community of educators and leaders of excellence, character and service.
The Foundation aims at enhancing American and Slovenian education activities and uniting Slovenian scholars and educators across the globe. The Foundation offers a variety of high-impact grants and endowment programs, teaching and learning materials, as well as foreign exchange of students and faculty.
Our goal is to provide American businesses opportunities to invest and expand their presence in Slovenia and other Central and Eastern European countries.
Vision, Mission, and Values
VISION: The American Slovenian Education Foundation will expand, globalize and personalize education in Slovenia and in the Americas in order to help shape citizens, educators and leaders of excellence, character and service.
MISSION: The American Slovenian Education Foundation enhances American and Slovenian education activities, uniting Slovenian scholars and educators globally. The Foundation offers high-impact grant and endowment programs, teaching and learning materials, as well as foreign exchange of students and faculty.
VALUES: Academic Excellence, Character Formation, and Dedicated Service. The three core values are permeated by a special care for Slovenian heritage. The Foundation promotes, together with its partner institutions, Slovenian language and culture in the Americas and beyond.
Introduction to Slovenia
Slovenia is a small country of two million people that gained independence in 1991. As a country Slovenia places, a high premium on education. Many prominent people have come from Slovenia. The list includes Zvonko Fazarinc and France Rode (inventors of HP calculator), Tom Harkin, Amy Klobuchar and George Voinovich (U.S. Senators), Sara Isaković (Olympian Medalist), Željko Ivanek (Emmy Award-winning actor), Anže Kopitar (Stanley Cup Winner), Anton Mavretič (Voyager 1 and 2 Projects), as well as Sunita Williams and Ronald Šega (Astronauts) ‒ many of whom will be present at our gala. Slovenians are known as excellent engineers, talented artists, innovative thinkers, hard workers, smart entrepreneurs and enthusiastic learners.
We want to broaden the horizons for highly talented students by ensuring access to quality education, helping them learn how to be successful on a larger scale and building a community of educators and leaders of excellence, character and service.
The Foundation will also ensure continued exchange between the U.S. and Slovenia to enable research and innovation in both countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great honour and pride that I welcome your initiative to integrate the potential of young Slovenian academics working in the United States, mainly because I sincerely believe that the knowledge society is the only society of the future, and that our existence and development depend on the foundations that we build for such a society. I have repeatedly stressed that young people should seek knowledge abroad if they wish to do so, while the state must create the conditions for them to be able to, and wish to, return when they wish. I am convinced that the intellectual potential of Slovenian youth, enriched with experience obtained abroad, may give Slovenia the impetus to rank among the most developed European countries. Therefore, I believe that the establishment of the Foundation is a small but resolute step in this direction, and that Slovenia will benefit greatly from intercontinental integration in scientific and educational fields. The relatively confined Slovenian education system offers a great challenge for future organisation of this field, while the strengthened partnership at this level will be an excellent stepping stone for students and researchers in Slovenia in their personal as well as institutional development and better integration. In the future society, i.e. the knowledge society, not only will the integration of young people be welcome, but necessary. Therefore, I see the establishment of the American-Slovenian Education Foundation primarily as great support for young scientists in maintaining contact with their homeland, and at the same time as contributing significantly to the integration of Slovenian scientists in the USA and vice versa. Further to that, it should be noted that, not only is the Foundation a valuable acquisition in the scientific and educational field, but also a platform for strengthening economic cooperation through the exchange of students and professors and the integration of potential investors. I hope that this type of cooperation in particular will become a key element in closer political relations between the USA and Slovenia. As President of the Republic, I support initiatives that facilitate and enable young people to enter a world of new and better opportunities. Therefore, I extend my sincere thanks to those who will support the activities of the Foundation and thus contribute to making the future society a society of knowledge rather than the society of a lost generation.
The Foundation strives to strengthen the link between Slovenia and the U.S. by advancing programs for students and educators that will encourage growth, exchange of ideas, character formation, and community building. ASEF links promising students in Slovenia with university and industry mentors in America and does the same for American students in Slovenia; it sponsors individuals educated in the U.S. to give back by participating in the academic and professional spheres in Slovenia; and it fosters shorter cultural exchange programs for students.