Croatia Higher Education

Since the beginning of the 2000s, when the country signed the Bologna Declaration, Croatia has undergone major reforms in the field of education, and several institutions offer tuition in English. Croatia officially became an EU member state in July 2013.

According to Countryaah, Croatia is a parliamentary democratic country in Southern Europe, and a former republic in Yugoslavia. Croatia became independent in 1991, and the first years after independence were dominated by the wars in the Western Balkans, which ended in 1995. Following the death of Croatia’s President Franjo Tudjman in 1999, Croatia has gradually developed into a Western democracy and has been integrated. in Euro-Atlantic structures. EU membership negotiations were concluded in June 2011, and in July 2013, Croatia became the 28th EU Member State.

The biggest city of Croatia is Zagreb which is also the capital of the country.

Higher education in Croatia

Higher education in Croatia is administered by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Since 2003, the Croatian higher education system has undergone significant reforms, in particular to meet the principles of the Bologna Declaration, which Croatia signed in 2001.

A special change has been the division of one integrated long higher education into two parts at sub-graduate and graduate level. This has meant that the majority of the Croatian institutions of higher education have changed the previous 4 + 1 year model to a 3 + 2 year model, as we also know it in Denmark. Law, however, follows an integrated 5-year structure, and medicine an integrated 6-year structure. You can read more about the system of higher education in Croatia here


Higher education in Croatia is generally divided into studies at universities and more professionally oriented studies at the so-called ‘polytechnics’ and ‘colleges of applied sciences’ (colleges). You can read more about the difference between the different types of education here.

There are the following institutions of higher education in Croatia:

  • 7 universities – e.g. University of Zagreb and University of Dubrovnik.
  • 13 public polytechnics
  • 3 private polytechnics
  • 3 public colleges of applied sciences
  • 25 private colleges of applied sciences.

On the Study in Croatia website you can find a full list of all these institutions.

Application for higher education

Depending on the type of study stay you are going on in Croatia, the application and admission process may vary. Following Croatia’s official accession to the EU in July 2013, EU citizens will be admitted to Croatian study programs on an equal footing with Croatian citizens.

Applications and admission to undergraduate programs in Croatia are managed centrally through the online application system Central Application Office, which is part of the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education.

The majority of Croatian institutions of higher education have an international office, which you can contact for specific information on, for example, the application procedure and other practical matters (link to Croatian institutions of higher education)

On Study in Croatia’s website you can find guides on how to apply to a Croatian institution of higher education, for whole educations (undergraduate and graduate)and for exchange stays.

The application deadlines for higher education are primarily in the month of July, but deadlines can vary from year to year. You can stay updated on the calendar for application deadlines here.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements for higher education in Croatia are determined by the various higher education institutions. For entire programs (undergraduate and graduate levels), admission is assessed, among other things. on the basis of education completed so far and grades obtained, but the specific requirements vary between the different institutions. Some institutions may make use of entrance exams. For exchange stays, several elements can come into play. If you are nominated by your educational institution in Denmark, it is this that decides whether you enter.

General information on admission requirements for students on entire programs and for student exchange stays is available on the Study in Croatia website.

Language proficiency

At most Croatian higher education institutions, the majority of teaching is in Croatian. However, many institutions also offer subjects in English. There is no comprehensive list of which subjects at which institutions are offered in English, but the various institutions will provide information about it on their website. Therefore, see the list of institutions of higher education in Croatia.

Study in Croatia’s website also informs about the opportunities for foreign students to learn Croatian.

Recognition of higher education

If you have completed a publicly recognized education abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Research and Education

Facts about Croatia

Population: approx. 4.3 million

Language: Croatian.

Employment: unemployment is 18.8% (Eurostat, January 2014).

Residence permit: required for stays over 3 months. Applied for at the Croatian Embassy in Copenhagen.

Croatia Higher Education