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Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, discusses the networking of youth for the future of Slovenia with the founders of the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF)

Bled, 1. 9. 2014 | press release

Today, at the 9th Bled Strategic Forum, Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic, welcomed Jure Leskovec, Mark Vlasic and Peter Rožič, founders and members of the board of directors of the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF). The President is also a distinguished sponsor of the foundation.

Jure Leskovec thanked the President for his distinguished sponsorship and pointed out that his support also inspired Slovenian students in the USA to join the Foundation. In his opinion, such networking is an excellent springboard for both individual and institutional development as well as more successful networking.

The speakers talked about the school system, which in other countries is based on independent project work and practical work. Universities are doing well to help students become independent, thoughtful and innovative people and encourage them in striving to reach their true potential. Through the networking between American and Slovenian universities, Slovenian students will be able to get to know this kind of work, which will also help Slovenian faculties, programmes and students become more open. "This is the purpose of the Foundation, which offered three research scholarships this year. Our goal is to also offer reintegration scholarships in the future, so that Slovenians could return home after studying abroad," said Leskovec. He added that through diverse activities they encourage brain circulation, as they notice that the Slovenian state puts aside a lot of money for studies abroad, but that young people then have a hard time returning to Slovenia.

Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic, with the founders of the American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF)
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor expressed his belief that the Foundation would not only facilitate closer cooperation between young intellectuals and Slovenian scientists abroad, but also strengthen the economic and cultural cooperation between the USA and Slovenia.

The founders of the Foundation are ready to contribute to the President's Slovenia 2030 project with their experience and knowledge. The purpose of the collaboration will be primarily to inspire Slovenian students who would like to expand their knowledge abroad to do so, and to encourage the Slovenian state to establish conditions under which these exceptional individuals can return home.

The American Slovenian Education Foundation was founded on 23 February 2014 in San Francisco. The purpose of the Foundation is to support Slovenian students and professors in the USA with scholarships and vice-versa, while inspiring cultural and economic cooperation. Jure Leskovec has been an assistant professor at Stanford University in the Silicon Valley, one of the most famous American universities, since 2009.