The qualitative part aimed to identify major problems in the Slovak education system, and their causes and context in the respective five areas: customised support for all learners; training and development of teachers and professional staff; education content and methods; education openness and permeability; governance and financing in education, including quality assessment and development. The collection of qualitative data was implemented using the methods of semi-structured individual and group interviews. In the qualitative data collection, 421 interviews (398 individual and 23 group interviews) were carried out in total, with 656 respondents from kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, including special needs schools, advisory and prevention centres, municipalities, private and church-affiliated school founders, state administration bodies in the education system – the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (from here on MoE SR), district offices, organisations directly subordinated to the MoE SR (the State School Inspection, methodological and pedagogical centres), higher education institutions, the Accreditation Commission, representative bodies at higher education institutions, agencies for mobilities, grant agencies in science, non-governmental organisations, personal agencies and employers. Semi-structured individual and group interviews were administered based on protocols prepared for each group of respondents (e.g. school principals, teachers, students, other professionals, rectors, deans, HR managers and many others). Upon the respondent’s consent, the interview was recorded, anonymised and transcribed verbatim. Most interviews were administered from February 2017 to March 2018. Additional interviews aimed to explain several particular issues raised by the analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data were administered during July 2018–April 2019. Interview transcripts were segmented and coded into main categories of problems together with their causes and context that, under current education policy and its implementation, inhibit us from achieving the education vision in 2040. A method of thematic analysis combining both inductive and deductive approaches was applied. Basic categories reflecting the structure of interviews had been established before the analysis started, and they were later amended and refined. Triangulation of data sources served to interpret the qualitative data gathered, i.e. questions regarding the same issue were directed at several types of respondents (e.g. students, teachers, principals, school founders) and were also contrasted with data from other sources. The analysis was performed by the application Dedoose, which is a web-based tool intended for qualitative analysis, while enabling teamwork and the simultaneous work of several analysts with the same texts.