Abstract: Constant changes in external environment of higher education (massification of higher education, diversification, high requirements from society and state, students’ expectations, changes in financing system, external and internal competition, internationalisation of higher science and etc.) impose higher and higher study quality related requirements. When planning and organising the study process, higher education institutions have to guarantee and provide conditions facilitating achievement of the study outcomes foreseen in the study programmes. One of the most complicated and important part of the learning process is independent learning. The interrelation between teaching and independent learning within the context of higher education as well as the experiences of the researchers who have analyzed the phenomenon of independent learning are discussed is this article. The core elements needed for independent learning (abilities, skills, motives and etc.) are highlighted and the situations in which they appear are discussed. The research aimed at identifying factors fostering independent learning among the students of Social Sciences has been the basis for establishing the level of independence as well as providing recommendations for selection of more effective learning strategies and other supportive measures.
Keywords: independent learning, self-directed learning, level of independent learning