Education in Croatia
Croatia has a strong literacy rate of 98.1 percent. The quality of living here is also ideal, especially due to the quality of education that citizens are given. Children begin to learn at the age of six or seven and continue their education in primary school through eighth grade. This is free education, provided by the government. Secondary education is not compulsory, though. Students can continue education through age 18 at the secondary level. At this secondary level, students often enroll in vocational schools. A large number of art and music schools exist here.
Higher Education in Croatia
The country has a current total of eight universities. Those include the following:
- University of Zadar
- University of Osijek
- University of Zagreb
- University of Pula
- University of Dubrovnik
- University of Split
- University of Rijeka
- Dubrovnik International University
The University of Zadar was initially founded in 1396. The second university to be established here was the University of Zagreb, which was established in 1669. This facility is the oldest continuously operating university in the southern portion of Europe.
In addition to these schools, which offer a range of educational focuses and opportunities, students can consider any of the other schools available, including 23 higher education schools (19 of which are private and considered a higher-level) or the 11 polytechnics available. Additionally, students may enroll in one of the specialized schools available, of which there are 132 institutions of higher education. Overall, the country has a high rate of enrollment of students. More than 145,000 students enroll in these higher education schools.
Areas of Focus
As with most countries, the race is on to educate students to learn and grow in the areas of health research, scientific research, and in technology. This is where many students enrolled in higher education schools in the country are focusing their attention. As a main component of this, there are over 200 companies, education system institutions, and government schools operating with the specific goal of furthering education in these areas. The largest of these is Ruder Boskovic Institute.
Students enrolling in these programs generally will enroll in a three-cycle education system, somewhat like what is available throughout much of the Western cultures. Students spend up to four years as an undergraduate and then move on to graduate studies. Students may spend an additional year there or even as many as four more years of education. Some students (and it is not as common as in other areas) will move on to post-graduate work. This makes it easier for international students to move into programs in Croatia.
Education here is available nearly year-round. Most students attend during the standard academic year which begins in October and will go through September with time off throughout the year. Exams are scheduled throughout the year as well since most schools operate on a semester schedule.
Costs of Higher Education
The cost of going to school at a higher education facility depends on various factors, including whether or not the school is private or public. The schools themselves set tuition and fees, not the government. Costs for international students will range significantly from one school to the next.
For most undergraduate degree programs, international students can expect to spend about €800 to €2500. The cost for technical schools tends to be significantly higher than this. The highest-costing programs include those in the sciences and medical programs. The costs for postgraduate education is more, but will range significantly from one school to the next.
Students need to have a student residence permit. This is obtained through a consulate of Croatia in your home country or may be done through a local police officer once you arrive in the country. It is best to have this in place before arriving.
Overall, education in Croatia can be diverse and exciting. Schools are often looking for students who wish to come into the country to help to diversify its population.