Education in Croatia
In school year prior to the enrolling into primary school, children are obliged to attend the pre-school program, provided by kindergartens and primary schools.
Primary and Secondary Education
Primary and lower secondary education is organised as a single structure system, starting at the age of 7 and consisting of eight years of compulsory schooling.
Upper secondary education is not compulsory, but almost all students do enrol into the general or vocational upper secondary courses upon completing lower primary level. It includes three strands:
- generalist programs
- 4-5 year vocational programs
- 3-year vocational programs.
Generalist programs prepare students for entry into higher education. Completing 4-year vocational programs enables students to either enter the labor marketor pursue to higher education. Completion of 3-year vocational programs leads to the vocational career.
Educational Options for National Minorities
In primary and secondary education segment, special care is dedicated to the possibilities for education of students of national minorities in their mother tongue.
Hence a number of schools – almost fifty – provide tuition in Serbian, Italian, Czech and Hungarian languages. Just as national minority students can enrol into regular schools providing tuition in Croatian, students of Croatian nationality can enrol into schools providing tuition in some of the minority languages.
Higher education is provided by the universities, polytechnics and colleges.
Public universities provide the majority of higher educational offer in Croatia. Croatian Constitution guarantees organizational autonomy and academic freedom in teaching and research of higher education institutions. Most of funding for public universities is provided by the central government, covering such items as:
- salaries for academic staff
- capital investment
- running costs for academic institutions
- research funds
- student subsistence and tuition fees.
First year of study at both bachelor and master level at public universities is free of charge for all students. Student participation in tuition costs in subsequent study years depends on their previous study record.
Polytechnics are most often also publicly funded. However, their founders and funders are regional and local authorities, rather than the central government.
Colleges are almost exclusively privately funded higher educational institutions.
Pursuant to Article 66 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette No. 56/1990, 135/1997, 8/1998 – consolidated text, 113/2000, 124/2000 – consolidated text, 28/2001, 41/2001- consolidated text, 55/2001 – amend., 76/2010, 85/2010 – consolidated text), single structure education in the Republic of Croatia is free of charge for its beneficiaries. Single structure education is regulated by the Act on Education in Primary and Secondary Schools (Official Gazette No. 87/2008, 86/2009, 92/2010 amend. 105/2010, 90/2011, 5/2012, 16/2012, 86/2012 – consolidated text, 12620/12, 94/2013, 152/2014).
Secondary education is provided by secondary schools and student dormitories and other public institutions under the conditions laid down in the Primary and Secondary School Education Act (OG No. 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90 / 11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 94/13, 136/14 – RUSRH, 152/14, 7/17, 68/18 and 98/19). Another public institution may be an organisational unit of the ministry competent for the judiciary and an organisational unit of the ministry competent for internal affai rs, which provides education for the profession of police officer.
- The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (OG 56/90, 135/97, 8/98, 113/00, 124/00, 28/01, 41/01, 55/01, 76/10, 85/10)
- Primary and Secondary School Education Act (OG 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 94/13, 136/14 – RUSRH, 152/14, 7/17, 68/18 and 98/19).
- Vocational Education and Training Act (OG 30/09, 24/10, 22/13, 25/18)
- Art Education Act (OG 130/11)
- Act on Education in the Languages and Scripts of National Minorities (OG 51/00, 56/00)
- The Crafts Act (OG 143/13)
- Act on Textbooks and Other Educational Material for Primary and Secondary Schools (OG 116/18)
- The National Pedagogical Standards for Secondary Education System (OG 63/08, 90/10.)
- National Curriculum for Vocational Education (NN). 62/18)
- Ordinance on the Manner of Organising and Conducting the Teaching in Vocational Schools (OG 140/09), Ordinance on Drafting and Fulfilment of Requirements of Final Examination (OG 118/09)
- Ordinance on Conditions and Methods of Continuing Education for Higher Level of Qualification (OG 8/16)
- Ordinance on Taking the State Graduation Exam (OG No. 1/13 and 41/19)
- Ordinance on the Remuneration of Teachers, Professional Associates and Headmasters in Primary and Secondary Schools and Student Dormitories (OG 53/19)
- Ordinance Amending the Ordinance on Teaching Assistants and Professional Communication Intermediaries (OG 59/19)
- Ordinance on Promotion of Teachers, Professional Associates and Headmasters in Primary and Secondary Schools and Student Dormitories (OG 68/19)
- Ordinance on the Method, Procedures and Elements of the Evaluation of the Primary and Secondary School Students (OG 112/10 and 82/19)
- Decision on Adoption of Guidelines for the Development of a Network of School Institutions and Education Programmes – link
- Curricula for grammar schools https://mzo.gov.hr/istaknute-teme/odgoj-i-obrazovanje/srednjoskolski-odgoj-i-obrazovanje/nastavni-planovi-gimnazije/1093
- Curricula for professions and vocational curricula for the acquisition of vocational qualifications – link
- Curricula and programmes for art schools https://mzo.gov.hr/istaknute-teme/odgoj-i-obrazovanje/umjetnicko-obrazovanje/132
- Ordinance on the Teaching of Part of the Subjects and Contents Determined by the Curriculum in One of the World Languages in Secondary Schools (https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2016_12_116_2567.html)
- Science and Higher Education Act
- Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education Act
- Recognition of International Education Qualifications Act
- Regulated Professions and Recognition of Professional Qualifications Act
- Academic and Professional Titles and Academic Degree Act
- Ordinance on the Content of Licence and Conditions for Issuing Licence for Performing Higher Education Activity, Carrying out a Study Programme and Re-accreditation of Higher Education Institutions
- Ordinance on Areas, Fields and Branches in Science and Arts
- Rules on applying and taking exams for study programmes and on the grading of candidates
- Ordinance on State Graduation Exam
- Croatian Qualifications Framework
- Ordinance on the Content of Higher Education Diplomas and Diploma Supplements
(Source and more information: Eurydice, May 2020)