Education In Croatia


Education in Croatia is free, and is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 15. Many children start their education at the age of 3, at pre-school, which lasts until they are 6. Elementary school lasts for eight years, followed by four years of secondary school. At this level, schools are divided into high school, technical, specialized, and mixed curriculum schools. Compulsory education lasts 8 years in total. Pre-school education (for children aged 3 to 6) is not compulsory. Generally the academic year runs from October to September in Croatia.


After completing high school, the brightest students go on to one of the country’s four universities in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, or Osijek. Universities also offer free education, with particular emphasis on the sciences, medicine, and engineering. International schools are few, though there is the American International School of Zagreb, an independent, co-educational day school offering an educational program from kindergarten through grade 12. The curriculum is that of U.S. public schools, with instructions in English.

Within the country of Croatia the Ministerstvo znanosti, obrazovanja i športa (Ministry of Science, Education and Sports) is responsible for designing educational strategies and policies. It determines what is to be taught and is responsible for implementing various financial policies with relevance to the same.

Croatian higher education is governed primarily by the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education, which got into force within the nation by 2003. The Act was introduced by a binary higher education system, with higher professional education programmes offered by polytechnics and schools for higher professional education, in one hand, and academic programmes offered by universities, on the other. Most of Croatia’s higher education institutions are public institutions, run by the government.

The language of education is Croatian. However, under the influence of the Bologna Process, the number of higher education programmes being offered in English is also growing rapidly.

Higher Education system in Croatia

In Croatia, higher education is taught at universities (sveučilište), polytechnics (veleučilište), independent institutions for higher professional education and accredited private institutions for higher professional education (visoka škola).

A number of reforms in higher education have resulted in a greater distinction between academic and professionally oriented programmes. The new Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education (2003, amended in 2004) established a binary system with specialized programmes taught at polytechnics and higher professional education institutions on the one hand, and academic programmes taught exclusively at universities on the other.

Croatia Institutions

Both types of institutions are allowed to offer professionally oriented higher education programmes and to confer first and second cycle (bachelors and masters) degrees, but only universities have the right to offer programmes in the third cycle (PhD). All these are applicable to the universities and institutes that offer courses for international students.

The Act on Academic and Professional Titles and Academic Degrees, with effect from 2007, introduced the three-cycle system of higher education, with bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programmes.
Also introduced at this time was the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which has since been implemented in all types of higher education institutions. This is kind of a good attraction for all the international candidates seeking admissions in this reputed nation. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.   Follow Us: