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Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The education sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina reflects the state constitution. It is defined by the BiH Constitution, the constitutions of the entities, cantons, and the Statute of Brčko District of BiH, which govern legal competencies in education.BiH consists of two entities (The Republic of Srpska and Federation of BiH) and Brcko district of BiH.The Republic of Srpska has a centralized government and one ministry of education. Federation of BiH has a decentralized government and consists of ten cantons where each canton has their own ministry of education. There is also Federal ministry of education, but this ministry has only coordinative role. And Brcko district of BiH has a government with departments. One of those department is The Department for Education.In accordance with that there are twelve responsable institutions of education in BiH. The Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Srpska, ten cantonal ministries of education in the Federation of BiH and the Department for Education of the Brčko District of BiH Government. There are also two others ministries with coordinating role. The Federal Ministry of Education and Science coordinates, among other things, activities within the Federation of BiH, between ten cantons. The Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH (MoCA), established on a state level and coordinates activities within all education institutions in BiH. In accordance to the law, MoCA is responsible for carrying out activities and tasks within the jurisdiction of BiH related to defining basic principles of coordination of activities, harmonization of plans of entity bodies and defining strategy at the international level, including, among others, education. The Agency for Higher Education and Quality AssuranceCenter for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education and the Agency for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education have been established at the BiH level. The bodies for the coordination of the education sector have also been formed including the Conference of Ministers of Education in BiH and the Council for General Education in BiH. The Rectors’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been established and it defines and represents the common interests of universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, cooperates with education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and acts as an advisory body for the implementation of the reform of higher education. In BiH, there are three constituent peoples and three official languages: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. They are tought in a school as a mother tongue.


Preschool education and care is intended for children from 6 months old until they start with primary education. It comprises three levels: nursery (for children from 6 months to 3 years old), kindergarten (for children from 3 years to 6 years old) and preschool preparatory programme. in the year before starting school the preschool preparatory programme has implemented and it’s first part of compulsory education. This programm attend children between 5 ½ and 6 ½ years old.Primary education is compulsory and it lasts 9 years, divided into three cycles/triad  (Triad 1: 1st to 3rd grade; Triad 2: 4th to 6thgrade and Triad 3: 7th to 9th grade). Public primary education is free and the only admission criterion is the age – all children have to be enrolled in primary school between 5 ½ and 6 ½ years old. Secondary education is available in forms of general secondary education schools (grammar schools), vocational secondary education schools, art schools and other, less frequent types. General secondary education lasts 4 years and vocational secondary education lasts 3 or 4 years. Students are usually 15 years old when they enter secondary education and they are admitted to schools on the basis of primary school achievements and final exam results.Higher education in BiH is organized in three cycles.The first cycle leads to the academic title of completed undergraduate studies [the degree of Bachelor] or equivalent, obtained after a minimum of three and a maximum of four years of full time study. Precondition sor enter is certificate of completion of secondary education, and it is evaluated with at least 180 or 240 ECTS credits. Exceptions are integrated studies of medical science group in the first cycle, which are valued up to 360 ECTS credits.The second cycle leads to the academic title of Master or equivalent, obtained after completing undergraduate studies, lasting one or two years, and it is evaluated with 60 or 120 credits, and the sum with the first cycle is 300 ECTS credits, andThe third cycle leading to a doctoral degree or equivalent, last three years and it is valued at 180 credits.
One semester is evaluated with 30 credits in each cycle.Youth and adult education can be formal, non-formal and informal learning. Legal provisions that entitle to continuing adult education define this area as part of a unified education system.
For further information, please consult the introduction articles on mentioned topics.

Source and more information: Eurydice

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