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Bežigrad Gymnasium (Slovene: Gimnazija Bežigrad) is a selective coeducational state secondary school for students aged between 15 and 20. It is named after the Bežigrad district in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where it is located. It is famous for its quality and for eminent alumni and is regarded as one of the top grammar schools in Central Europe.
|Director||Ciril Dominko, MSc|
|Principal||Alenka Budihna, MSc|
For a number of years it has been the school with the highest admission requirements in Slovenia and the school with the best national external examination results in the country. Bežigrad has produced a number of distinguished politicians, academics and businessmen. It has also produced more NBA league players than any other high school in the world outside of the United States.
The school was founded in 1596 as a Jesuit educational institution located in the town center of Ljubljana, then capital of the Duchy of Carniola. In 1773 the Jesuit order was abolished and the Gymnasium became a state institution of the Habsburg monarchy. Until 1889 it was the only grammar school in Ljubljana. In that year, the Poljane Grammar School was founded and the old institution was renamed to "First Gymnasium of Ljubljana".
Most of the curriculum was delivered in German language until 1907, when the Austrian government introduced Slovene as the main language of instruction in most grammar schools in Carniola. The First Gymnasium of Ljubljana began conducting parallel classes in German the following year. Later they were merged into a new grammar school, called the "Imperial Royal Gymnasium with German Language of Instruction in Ljubljana". The new school, known colloquially as "The German Gymnasium" or the "Third Gymnasium", was the predecessor to the current Bežigrad Gymnasium. According to the official statistic of the time, most pupils regarded themselves as ethnic Germans, although some Slovenes also attended the schools. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918, the school was officially renamed to "Third Gymnasium in Ljubljana" and Slovene was introduced as the main language of instruction, although German classes were kept until 1924. In 1929, the school was renamed to "Classical Gymnasium". In 1936, it was moved to the current location in the Bežigrad district. When grammar schools were abolished under communism in 1982 the school was renamed to the "School for Sciences and Mathematics". Among the locals, it became known as the "Bežigrad Gymnasium". In 1990 the name was officially adopted and the school once again adopted a grammar school curriculum.
The Bežigrad Grammar School has historically been the most selective in Slovenia. Admission is decided based on primary school performance and standardized tests. The school does not have a catchment area. The school has consistently performed well in the Matura. The Bežigrad Grammar School was ranked first among the Slovenian secondary schools in school rankings based on the 2011-2013 Matura results, published by Alma Mater Europaea.
An International School with English as the primary language of instruction is also a part of the Bežigrad Grammar School. It also runs a small and merit-based class of the International Baccalaureate with results being consistently among the top 5% worldwide. Competitive entry is offered at the end of the second year (year 11).
Notable alumni and professorsEdit
Several notable professors and pupils are associated with the Bežigrad Grammar School.
- Lavo Čermelj, physicist, publicist and political activist
- Edvard Kocbek, poet and political activist
- Dragotin Lončar, historian
- Barbara Brezigar, politician and jurist
- Andrej Brodnik, computer scientist and university professor
- Katarina Čas, actress
- Vlado Dimovski, economist, politician and university professor
- Stane Dolanc, Yugoslav Communist official and politician
- Toussaint Hočevar, historian and economist
- Sara Isaković, swimmer, Olympic medalist
- Taja Kramberger, poet and historian
- Katarina Kresal, politician
- Aleš Leonardis, computer scientist and university professor
- Jure Leskovec, computer scientist and university professor
- Erazem Lorbek, basketball player
- Ljubo Sirc, economist
- Uroš Slokar, basketball player
- Franc Solina, computer scientist and university professor
- Bojan Štih, stage director, literary critic and essayist
- Eva Terčelj, slalom canoeist and architect
- Jurij Toplak, constitutional scholar and law professor
- Laura Unuk, chess player
- Blaž Zupan, computer scientist and university professor
- Slavoj Žižek, philosopher