NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION

1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Supplementary private tutoring 

 

  1. Terminology

All educational institutions in Croatia are founded in accordance with the Institution Act and the provisions regulating the pre-primary education (Act on Early Childhood Education and Care, Official Gazette 98/19), primary and secondary education ( Primary and Secondary Education Act , Official Gazette, 64/20) and higher education (Higher Education Act, Official Gazette, 131/17). The organisation of private school organisations, i.e. religious community schools, is subject to the Institution Act and the provisions regulating the pre-primary, primary and secondary education as well as the Higher education.

ECEC institutions, primary and secondary education institutions can be founded by Republic of Croatia, Local and regional self- government units, religious communities and other legal entities and natural persons. The school founder is obliged to obtain a previous positive opinion of the Ministry of Education on the justification of the establishment of the school institution. Private schools may also have their own curriculum, in addition to that prescribed by the state. The curriculum of private schools must be approved by the Ministry of Education and monitored by educational inspectors, as is the case with public schools

 

  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

In Croatia, most schools in primary education (8 years beginning at age 7) and secondary education (lasts between 3 to 5 years beginning at age 15) are state schools (95,5%). They are free. Only primary education is compulsory, but almost all students enroll in general or vocational secondary education upon completing primary level.

Non-state managed, state schools

No information was found.

Non-state funded, state schools

No information was found.

 

2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

According to the Primary and Secondary Education Act schools can be founded by the natural person, NGO or association, legal entity or religious community. According to the data provided by the Croatian Bureau for Statistics (beginning of 2020/2021 school year) there are 18 private primary schools (8 of them are established by the religious communities) with total of 2329 students  (2% of total schools). There are 52 private secondary schools (18 of them are founded by the religious communities) with total of 5649 students (7% of total schools). Other schools funded by private natural or legal entities are mostly private Music schools (around 10 schools with total of 600 students). The total number of students in all types of private schools is less than 8500 (less than 2% of total number of students in both primary and secondary schools).

According to the MoE data (Školski e-rudnik, 2021) there are 41 private secondary schools (21 founded by the natural person, 4 founded by legal entity, 16 founded by religious communities. 36 of all private schools are so called Grammar schools (Gymnaisums) and there are only 11 VET schools. According to the data in all 41 school there is a total of 5563 students.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

The Ministry of Education co-financed private schools in the period 2001 – 2011. Following the budget revision in 2009, the financing of private schools was reduced. In 2010, the budget activities from which private primary and secondary schools were financed were left out, and the activity for the funding of alternative schools remained in the budget. The programs of three alternative schools continued to be co-funded: Waldorf School in Rijeka, Waldorf School in Zagreb and Montessori School in Zagreb. The co-financing of private schools is carried out by dividing the total amount earmarked for that purpose in the budget by the total number of pupils that applied and by dividing that amount by the number of months. These schools charge fees from the beneficiaries, which differ between single structure education and upper secondary education levels. Financial support to families is not provided. Educational activities using alternative teaching programs/methods can be carried out in primary schools in accordance with the Act on Education in Primary and Secondary Schools and following a positive opinion by the agency responsible for education or vocational education.

As for the financing of religious community schools, pursuant to the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Government and the Croatian Bishops’ Conference entered into an agreement on Catholic single-structure and upper secondary education schools, whereby the Croatian Government undertook to allocate funds from the state budget for the salaries, allowances and contributions, as well as other material right of the staff agreed under the collective agreement, for the staff of schools founded by the Catholic Church of the Republic of Croatia following the approval of the bishop of the relevant dioceses. Following the agreement, the internal organization of the schools is in compliance with the conditions provided for in the legislation of the Republic of Croatia and it adheres to the basic principles of Catholic education. Although no agreements have been concluded for other religious communities, the Republic of Croatia ensures the abovementioned funds for them too. In terms of management, based on the mentioned agreement, the founder of a Catholic school is entitled to appoint and remove the principal of the school (otherwise, it is the duty of the school committee to appoint the principal and relieve him/her of his/her duty) and is obliged to adhere to the canon law of the Catholic Church in the process of the employment of teachers. Catholic schools independently decide on the matters related to the admittance (enrolment) of pupils (other schools are obliged to follow the enrolment procedure) and approve the school’s code of conduct in accordance with the legal provisions and in accordance with the fundamental principles of Catholic education. The classes are carried out in accordance with the national curriculum and teaching plan and program approved by the relevant ministry.

Additionally, several international schools are registered in Croatia as NGOs or associations but also based on agreement between respective countries including German school and French school.

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.

2.3 Other types of schools

Homeschooling

Homeschooling is not regulated or allowed for nationals in Croatia, and therefore, not an option, except in the instance of students with severe illness or disability. Education officials interpret the current education law to mean that school attendance is required. However, the Croatian constitution states that parents shall have “the duty to raise, support and school their children” (Article 63) and the education law stipulates only that primary education is compulsory.

 

Following the approval by the relevant ministry, a school can organize education at home for pupils who cannot attend regular classes due to physical disabilities or chronic diseases or in a health institution if the pupil is hospitalized for a longer period of time. The pupils are given the possibility to take all of the required school exams. These types of classes are conducted in the form of distance learning (virtual classes), employing electronic communication. The school provides the required equipment for distance learning classes, in accordance with its means. The School in hospitals are provided for children who are in hospitals for a long term due to serious chronical illness. Some schools are appointed as those whose teachers are teaching in hospitals but this is not connected to home schooling but only to distance learning for those children who are in need due to their condition.

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

No information was found.

 

  1. Governance and regulations

Croatian education system is centrally managed by the Ministry of Education and Science (MoE). Besides Ministry, other national public bodies involved in the regulation, development and quality control of the educational sector in Croatia are Education and Teacher Training Agency, Agency for Vocational Education and Training, Agency for Science and Higher Education, Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes and National Center for External Evaluation of Education. MoE and other agencies are also responsible for non-state actors and their provision at all levels of education. They administer the national curriculum, laws, regulations, budget, supervision and inspections as well as quality assurance and assessment.

Early education and child care is financed and managed by local authorities, while MoE provides central guidance, accreditation and control over the educational programmes which are implemented in organizations providing early education and child care. Non-state provision of ECEC is governed and regulated by the Ministry of Education and local and regional authorities.

The school founder is obliged to obtain a previous positive opinion of the Ministry of Education on the justification of the establishment of the school institution. Private schools may also have their own curriculum, in addition to that prescribed by the state. The curriculum of private schools must be approved by the Ministry of Education and monitored by educational inspectors, as is the case with public schools

Higher education is governed and regulated by the Ministry of Education.

Vision: Croatia started with private education in 1992 and regulations and acts that were defining the private education at all levels were mostly incorporated in the acts in the field of education such as Pre-primary education Act, Act on primary and secondary education, Higher education Act. In the recent national education strategies such as Strategy on Education and Science (2014), National Development Strategy (2021) or National Resilience and Recovery Plan (2021) the private education as a term or strategy is not mentioned in none of these document. In some document there is only mentioning of the privatization of education in the field of higher education but mostly by securing more private investments in research and development. Otherwise, the country does not have any strategy that could be connected to private education at any of educational levels.

 

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
 

Early Childhood Education and Care (ECCE) is provided by kindergartens and other legal entities that have established education programs for children aged from 6 months to primary school age (under age 7) in accordance with the provisions of the Act on Preschool Education and Care (YEAR). According to UNICEF study « Kako do vrtića za sve ? » (UNICEF , 2020) by 2018, almost every fifth child attended a private kindergarten, and 76% of the new kindergarten capacities at the national level created between 2012 and 2018 were created in private kindergartens (compared to 34% in the period from 2004 to 2012). Proportion of children attending private kindergartens increased from 15.2% in 2012 to 18.8% in 2018 years. The number of employees in kindergartens in the private sector is growing. Private and religious kindergartens are subject to the same legal provisions and standards as kindergartens founded by local authorities.

On the pre-primary level, the most common owners of private ECEC institutions are private individuals and NGOs. According to the European Commission data (EC, 2018) the number of pre-primary institutions (kindergartens) whose founder is a religious community is 50, out of which 48 were founded by the Catholic Church, 1 is Evangelist and 1 Jewish. According to the Croatia Bureau of Statistics data (Official Gazette, KINDERGARTENS AND OTHER LEGAL ENTITIES IMPLEMENTING PRESCHOOL EDUCATION PROGRAMMES, BEGINNING OF 2019/2020 PEDAGOGIC YEAR, May 2020) in Croatia there is a large number of private ECEC institutions. Out of total 1496 ECEC institutions, 347 are privately owned and 62 are established by religious communities. Almost 20% of all children are enrolled in private ECEC institutions or those established by religious communities.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: The Act on Early Childhood Education and Care stipulates that founders of the ECCE institutions, among other sate actors, can be religious communities, other legal entities and natural persons (Article 7). The founders of the ECCE institutions are obliged to deliver founding document to the Ministry of Education in order to approve the act with the state regulations (Article 9). The local or regional community then issue a registration document (Article 10).

In 2013, legislation regulating home-based provision was passed. The government introduced an Act on Nannies (2013) to regulate the grey market and as a response to a shortage of places in the ECCE facilities. A family child carer (so called “nanny”) has to be registered and is allowed to care for a maximum of six children in the age up to 14 years. Usually these services are financed by parents’ fees, occasionally the municipality provides funding. This kind of service is supervised by the Ministry of Labour, Pension system, Family and Social Policy and is not part of the ECCE system.

License: The conditions for founding the ECCE institutions are: approved work plan, sufficient number of ECEC teachers, expert associates and other non-teaching staff, secured and adequate work space according to the provisions stated in the State Pedagogic Standard (Official Gazette, 63/2008), secured funds for the establishment of the institution etc. (Article 12). There is no established licencing system but only supervision system provided by the Ministry of Education – inspections, supervision done by pedagogical experts, health inspection etc (Article 44). There is no legal basis for a standard agreement with local authorities regarding duration of the concession, level of funding or participation of parents in co-financing of the ECCE program.

Financial operation

Profit-making: All providers of ECCE, regardless of their public or private status, are required to respect the Institutions Act (Official gazette, 76/93) which regulated that profit made by the institution should be exclusively used for the further development of the institution (Article 53).

Taxes and subsidies: In private and religious kindergartens, public subsidies account for approximately half of the revenue. In period from 2016 to 2018 public subsidies accounted for in an average of 47.0% of income in private kindergartens and 53.8% in religious kindergartens, compared to 78.9% in public ones. It is in line with the results of previous research. This is regulated by Act on Pri- primary Education (Article 48,49,50)  and the Ordinance from 1997 (Pravilnik o načinu raspolaganja sredstvima državnog proračuna i mjerilima sufinanciranja programa predškolskog odgoja (NN 134/1997)). The regulation sare the same as for financing the state funded kindergartens.

According to UNICEF study (UNICEF, 2020, pg.48) public co-financing for children in private kindergartens is on average 25% lower than in public kindergartens; secondly, procedures related to criteria for reducing parental participation are inconsistently applied in private kindergartens. In terms of income per enrolled child, the average public kindergarten receives 3,500 USD per year from public sources for each child enrolled in full-time education program - which is 55% more than the average private kindergarten (2,000  USD), or 84% more than religious kindergartens . On the other hand, income per child from private sources - i.e. parental participation  are 126% higher in private and 79% higher in religious kindergartens than in public ones. This is due to non-existence of regulations on parental participation in private kindergartens co-financed from public sources. As a result, amounts of parental participation in private kindergartens is on average more than twice as large as in public one.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: Early Childhood Education and Care is provided in accordance with the National Curriculum for Early Childhood and Preschool Education and Care (Official Gazette, 5/2015) as well as the annual activities plan and program adopted by the Governing Council of a kindergarten by 30 September. The annual curriculum is planned for a school year lasting from 1st September of the current year until 31st August of the following year. Every kindergarten develops its own education program according to its specificities (culture, tradition, geographical specificities, etc.).The Educational activities at kindergartens are performed in Croatian language and Latin script, whereas early childhood education and care for children belonging to national minorities are provided in accordance with the Act and regulations governing the rights of national minorities (such as Constitutional Act on Minority Rights). A part of the pre-primary education programme in the language and script of a national minority must be performed in Croatian for at least 10 hours a week per educational group. Religious education of preschool children in pre-primary educational institutions can be organized under the provisions of the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care and the Agreement on Catholic Religious Education in Public Schools and Religious Training in Public Pre-Primary Institutions (1999). Programs in ECEC that are co-financed by the State or local communities needs to be in line with the National Curriculum.

Teaching profession: Education of pre-school teachers is carried out on the Faculty of Teacher Education and primary school teacher training colleges and the related departments. The study programme for pre-school teachers lasts for three years and it ends with obtaining the Bachelor (Baccalaureus) degree (the total number of ECTS points necessary to acquire during the study programme is 180). A special emphasis in the curriculum is put on a student-centred approach and on project work. According the main Acts regulating ECEC in Croatia teachers working in public or private ECE institutions needs to have some qualifications. There are no special requirements for those working in private ECEC institutions. Almost 20% of all ECEC teachers are employed in private kindergartens.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Non-state providers decide on their own criteria regarding price or tuition free based on their own standards (scholarships etc.)

Children from Roma backgrounds are targeted by legal entitlement measures and their participation in settings is fully funded. Ministry of Science and Education covers the parental part of the fees (children from ethnic minorities have programs on their mother language). Furthermore, they have a free preschool programme available for the children two years before primary education for children from Roma background who did not participate in ECEC earlier. Children from other regional or ethnic minorities are not addressed by targeted legal entitlement. However, children form Roma background are attending public kindergartens, not those running by the NS actors.

Admission selection and processes: Non-state providers decide on their own selection/admission criteria and those are not proscribed by any regulations.

Policies for vulnerable groups: Non-state providers decide on their own selection and admission criteria as well as policies towards supporting children from disadvantage background – there are no any regulations provided by different acts and regulations.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: The Act on Early Childhood Education and Care says that founders of the ECCE institutions are obliged to deliver founding document to the Ministry of Education in order to approve the act with the state regulations (Article 9). The local or regional community then issue a registration document (Article 10). Also they are obliged to follow National Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care. There are no any specific documents that are different for non-state actors, the reuqirmenets are the same as those founded by the state actors.

Inspection: Ministry of Education is responsible according to the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (Article 44). It includes inspections, supervision done by pedagogical experts, health inspection etc. The regulations are the same for State and non-state actors.

Child assessments: In kindergarten, the strategies for planning and evaluating the educational process are as follows:

  • long-term planning : a team of educators makes plans throughout the whole year and defines activities and developmental tasks;
  • weekly planning
  • daily plan: serves to evaluate the effects of the activity on children
  • evaluation of curriculum implementation - the comments are made on the number of children in groups, the effects of changes on financial, organizational and other conditions are stated, the implemented activities and contents for children, the results of collaboration with parents are stated etc.

Pursuant to the Act on Early Education and Care parent, i.e. a guardian of a child, has the right to be regularly informed of developments and progress of the child through individual and parent meetings.

Sanctions: According to the Early Childhood Education and Care Act (Article 45) if the governing body responsible for the ECEC institutions (e.g. Ministry of Education) determine that the ECEC institutions is not working in line with its legal framework it will provide deadlines where institution needs to eliminate identified deficiencies. If the institution does not eliminate deficiencies in the prescribed deadline the governing body will close the institution.

 

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: A private school institution is established by the founding act and the founders can be natural and legal persons. According to the Primary and Secondary Education Act schools can be founded by the natural person, NGO or association, legal entity or religious community (Article 90). All of the private educational institutions have to be accredited by the Ministry of education following the same procedure as the equivalent public institutions. The founder of a school institution submits a request to the Ministry of Education in order to obtain a decision assessing that the founding act is in accordance with the Acts. After the Ministry issues a decision on the assessment of the conformity of the founding act with the law, the interim director of the school institution submits to the Ministry a request to start work, no later than three months before the planned start of work of the school institution. The documentations needed: School Bylaws, List of teachers, information about the work space, secured funding etc. The cost of the application is 350 USD. The Ministry appoints an expert commission which will determine by an inspection whether the school institution meets the prescribed conditions for starting work, and the request is decided by a decision. After the Ministry makes a decision on the beginning of work, the founder submits an application for registration of the school institution to the Court (Article 92). The school needs to become fully operated in 2 years after issuing a registration document, if not the school needs to submit documents again. The school in order to be fully operated needs to have approved educational program (curriculum), enrolled students, the adequate number of support and associated staff (including teachers) and adequate spatial and technical equipment.

License: There is no any licencing system after registration. The school that is founded by NSA, according to the Article 97, is obliged to work according to the national curriculum provided by the Ministry of Education or if it is working on its own curriculum the program needs to include part of the national curriculum provided by the Ministry of Education. All other regulations are defined by the State Pedagogic Standard and it is the same for public and private schools. 

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): Schools are obliged to ensure a healthy and safe environment within the school's property during school hours. There are no differences in regulations for private or public schools.

Financial operation

Profit-making: These schools charge fees from the beneficiaries, which differ between single structure education and upper secondary education levels. The fees in private schools range between 4,000 and 6,000 USD per a school year.

Taxes and subsidies: The Ministry of Education co-financed private schools in the period 2001 – 2011. Following the budget revision in 2009, the financing of private schools was reduced. In 2010, the budget activities from which private primary and secondary schools were financed were left out, and the activity for the funding of alternative schools remained in the budget. The programs of three alternative schools continued to be co-funded: Waldorf School in Rijeka, Waldorf School in Zagreb and Montessori School in Zagreb. The co-financing of private schools is carried out by dividing the total amount earmarked for that purpose in the budget by the total number of pupils that applied and by dividing that amount by the number of months.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: In Croatia all private schools that have the status of private schools with the right of publicity (“privatna škola s pravom javnosti”), must conduct their work according to state curriculum and those mandatory parts that also appear in public schools. Therefore, in Croatia, a "combination" between the public and private curricular can occur. Private schools may also have their own curriculum, in addition to that prescribed by the state. The curriculum of private schools must be approved by the Ministry of Education.

Textbooks and learning materials: The regulation on textbooks and other material are the same for private as for public schools (Textbook Act).

Teaching profession: There is no difference in requested qualifications between teachers in public and private schools. There are no information about the salaries in private schools but some of the teachers are not full time employers of private schools but partially working in few schools. The working condition in private school are better than in private because the number of students per class is lower then average number in public schools.

Corporal punishment: The Act on Education in Primary and secondary school defines in Article 67 that schools are obligatory to provide conditions for mental and physical development and wellbeing of students.

Other safety measures and COVID-19: During the last year there was a number of times when Government decided to close school because of the COVID-19 and  schools were transferred to distance learning. This was a case for both public and private schools. Also the Croatian TV in collaboration with Ministry of Education produced School on Channel 3 program with lessons for bit primary and secondary schools (private and public). The program was available to all students.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Some of the secondary private schools are offering scholarship (tuition free schooling) for extraordinary students coming from disadvantage background. This is not a rule but it depends on the policies of each private school.

Admission selection and processes: Private primary and secondary schools are able to set their own admission requirements in addition to basic requirements prescribed in the Acts and regulations. Private secondary schools usually conduct interviews or selections exams for students who would like to enrol to their schools.

Policies for vulnerable groups: See Early Childhood Care and Education.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board: School board is the main governing body on the school level in private school and it consist of 7 members (2 members from the Teachers council, 1 member from the Working Council, 1 member who represents Parents council and 3 members  appointed by the school founder. According to the Primary and Secondary School Act (Article 119) the 3 members of the School Board appointed by the founder (local authority) needs to have diploma (university graduated – 180 ECTS) and cannot be a person who is employed in school. No other provisions are defined. The school board makes decisions about annual school plan, approves school curriculum, approve financial reports and plans, etc. The governing structures of private schools are regulated by School By laws.

Reporting requirements: If the founder of the school is another legal or natural person, it shall secure funds for the financing of: salaries and allowances with contributions, other staff expenditures, material and financial expenditures of the school and other necessary materials necessary for the operation of the school.

School inspection: Minister of Education is the competent person who monitors the work of private schools through state educational inspectors, as is the case with public schools.

Student assessments:  No information was found.

Diplomas and degrees: Diplomas and degrees are similarly recognized as those offered by public institutions.

Sanctions on school closures: Article 94 of the Primary and Secondary Education Acts defines that schools need to deliver following proofs if the Ministry is requesting: proof of the implementation of the educational program that was approved by the Ministry, conditions defined for the enrolment of students in school, list of teaching staff, proof that the school is working in adequate work space. If the founder does not respond adequately to the request, the Ministry can decide on closing the school.
 

 

Higher education in Croatia is provided at universities and their constituents (faculties, academies of arts, departments), polytechnics, and colleges, through university and professional study programmes at different qualification levels (5, 6, 7, and 8) that correspond to the European Qualifications Framework. The majority of higher education institutions in Croatia, according to the data from the Agency for Science and Higher Education are publicly-owned (9 public universities vs 3 private universities). Public institutions of higher education may also secure additional funding through tuitions from part-time students or through study programmes that are not government-funded, different projects, and other sources of income. Private institutions of higher education are established by their founders’ decision and funded from their own sources (8,44% of students are enrolled to private HEIs).

In Croatia there are 3 private universities (Croatian Chatolic University, Libertas International University and VERN University). The higher education system currently includes 117 higher education institutions with the status of a legal entity: 12 universities (9 public and 3 private universities), 71 faculties and art academies as part of universities, 17 polytechnics (11 public and 6 private polytechnics) and 18 colleges (3 public and 15 private colleges). According to the available data from the Agency for Science and Higher Education the total number of students in the school year 2017/2018 was 164,826 out of which 13.930 (8,44%) were enrolled in private higher education institutions.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: Private higher education institutions are established by the decision of the founder in accordance with provisions of the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education. According to the Act universities, polytechnics and colleges are established as institutions. Private universities, polytechnics and colleges are established by the decision of the founder according to the prescribed Acts and regulations relating to the establishment of institutions. Higher education institution may begin to perform activities and conducting certain studies after registration in the Register of Higher Education Institutions and the Register of the institution at the Court.

In accordance with the Scientific Activity and Higher Education Act, the HEIs established by Church authorities are always private HEIs. Universities provide non-religious study programmes, and therefore these HEIs are considered private accredited higher education institutions, to which, in accordance with the Scientific Activity and Higher Education Act, the provisions regulating private HEIs apply.

In accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation in Education and Culture, on 12 October 2004, the Croatian Bishops’ Conference passed a decision on the establishment of the Catholic University. The founder of the University is the Zagreb Archdiocese, and the Croatian Bishops’ Conference is the sponsor. The Zagreb Archdiocese, pursuant to a decision by the Croatian Bishops’ Conference, entered into an agreement with the Croatian Government in 2007, stipulating that the Zagreb Archbishop, Cardinal Josip Bozanić, established the University, pursuant to a decree by the Archdiocese and in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church in Croatia.

License: According to the Ordinance on the content of the permit and the conditions for issuing a permit to perform higher education activities (Article 7) and the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education (Article 19) the institution needs to submit, in order to be accredited as a higher education institution, following documents: a positive recommendation of the Agency on higher education on the justification of establishing a HEI according to the strategic document of the network of higher education institutions; contract with an already existing higher education institution on joint implementation of a study programme that has a license; foundation act; study on the establishment of institution, which includes a feasibility study for the establishment of study programmes that a higher education institution wishes to implement, pursuant with the strategic document of higher education institutions network; proof of adequate facilities and equipment; bank guarantee, submitted by private higher education institutions for the purposes of continuation and completion of studies in cases of cessation of operation of an institution or termination of a particular study programme. The Ministry verifies the request, and if the request is in order, it is forwarded to the Agency for Science and Higher Education. Within 8 days from the receipt of the request, the Agency initiates the procedure of determining whether all the requirements for the establishment of higher education institution are met in accordance to documentation from Paragraph 3 of this Article. Within 60 days, the Agency shall forward its recommendation for the issuance of the consent for establishment to the Ministry. Upon positive recommendation from the Agency, the Ministry shall issue the consent for establishment within 8 days. The request for the implementation of a new study programme is submitted by private higher education institutions, public schools of professional higher education and polytechnics. The request shall be submitted to the Ministry at least 1 year before the beginning of the academic year in which the new study programme is to be implemented.

Financial operation

Profit-making: There is no regulation on profit-making.

Taxes and subsidies:  No information available. As for the financing, the Republic of Croatia shall allocate monthly funds for the salaries and other allowances for the staff providing undergraduate and graduate programmes, for 40 students per a year of each study programme, and for the salaries and other allowances for professional and other staff, in accordance with the provisions regulating salaries of civil servants and employees; and that the contracting parties agree that the University shall be granted funds under the provisions of the Agreement between the Holy See and Croatia.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: To be authorized, both state and non-state higher educational institutions educational programs must follow current legislation on European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). It is required that specific academic programmes are developed following the Qualification Framework. Croatian Qualifications Framework (CroQF) – instrument that defines the entire system of qualifications on all educational levels in Croatia through standards of qualifications that are based on learning outcomes and aligned with the needs of the labour market, individuals and the society. Croatian Qualifications Framework Act prescribes level descriptors of learning outcomes for all levels of study. According to the CroQF, each qualification obtained in the Republic of Croatia corresponds to a particular level of learning outcomes units for that qualification. Qualifications can be compared and interlinked. While the said level descriptors apply to all qualifications of a certain level, Qualification Standards refer to a specific qualification (e.g. Bachelor of Art History, Doctor of Dental Medicine, Master of Business Economics). On account of the Croatian Qualifications Framework Act, qualification obtained in the Republic of Croatia can be compared with the levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the Qualifications Frameworks in the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA). CroQF should facilitate the recognition of foreign qualifications and outcomes acquired by formal education, but also non-formal and informal learning.

Teaching profession: The teaching staff of a higher education institution have to be appointed to scientific-teaching or artistic-teaching grades. The appointment to scientific grade is the basis for the appointment to scientific-teaching grade.

The conditions for the appointment to scientific-teaching grade are: appropriate scientific grade, adequate number of teaching hours, papers co-authored by students, experience in supervising, professional development, publication of teaching materials and textbooks, introduction of new teaching methods, membership in editorial boards of journals, editorship of conference proceedings, project leadership experience, reviewer experience, invited lecturer experience, etc.

The common practice at the private HEI is that teachers who are teaching at the public universities are part time teachers at the private HEI as well. There is no publicly available information about the salaries of the teachers (full or part time) at the private HEI.

Equitable access

Fee-setting:  Some private universities are offering scholarships or tuition fee for extraordinary students. Students applying for private higher education institutions cannot apply to the state scholarships funded by the Ministry of Education. Non-HEIs can set their own tuition fees.

Admission selection and processes: Students can enrol in higher education institutions following an admissions procedure which usually involves an evaluation of candidates’ grades from their previous education. For undergraduate studies, candidates’ high school grades and the results of their high school final exams or State Matura are used as the basis for the evaluation, while at some higher education institutions an additional entrance classification exam may also be required.State Matura exams are mandatory for gymnasium students, but are optional for students of four-year vocational and artistic secondary schools. The latter complete their secondary education with a final work, but can also take the State Matura exams if they so wish. Exams are the same for all students - they are taken at the same time and in the same way. State Matura is organised and implemented by the National Center for External Evaluation of Education.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: Private universities have following management structure: Board of Directors (3 members), Rector, General Manager, Senate

Reporting requirements: See section “Entry/establishment”.

Inspection: All public and private higher education institutions, public scientific institutions and other scientific organizations founded by the Republic of Croatia, as well as private scientific organizations and legal entities financed from the national budget, undergo a periodical re-accreditation every 5 years. Private scientific organizations and other legal entities funded from the national budget undergo a periodical re-accreditation only for the parts funded from the national budget.Quality assurance in Croatia’s higher education system is a responsibility of higher education institutions, the Agency for Science and Higher Education, and the Ministry of Science and Education. In accordance with national regulations and Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, the Agency is partly responsible for external quality assessment in the process of formation of higher education institutions, namely private universities, polytechnics, and colleges. The Ministry issues licences/certificates for study programmes and institutions on the basis of results of external assessment carried out in public universities or in the Agency, then it enters them into the official directory of study programmes and higher education institutions. The re-accreditation model that is used in Croatia includes checking the compliance with the quality criteria necessary for performing higher education activity and carrying out study programmes, but also giving a quality grade with recommendations for quality improvement which are an integral part of the re-accreditation report. Re-accreditation is regulated by the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education. The process of checking compliance with the necessary requirements is based on criteria that are prescribed by the Ordinance on Conditions for Issuing Licence for Scientific Activity, Conditions for Reaccreditation of Scientific Organisations and Content of Licence (OG 83/2010)1. The quality grade is based on the Criteria for the Assessment of Quality of Higher Education Institutions within Universities and the Criteria for the Assessment of Quality of Polytechnics and Colleges. The re-accreditation procedure entails several stages – 1. writing and delivering HEI’s selfevaluation report, 2. site visit, 3. writing the expert panel's final report and issuing the accreditation recommendation, and 4. follow-up.

Assessment: All higher education institutions in Croatia are required to end courses with preliminary examinations (kolokviji) or examinations (ispiti). Examinations are usually held at the end of each semester (February and June/July) during the four-week examination session. Often study programmes in humanities and social sciences will have oral exams while technical sciences will have written exams. In all study programmes exams may consist of a written and oral examination. Upon enrolment students get their own student transcript book – in Croatian "indeks". It contains basic information on courses taken, grades awarded and ECTS achieved.

Diplomas and degrees: According to the Act on science and higher education (Article 84) the diplomas and degrees are issued to each student after completion of the study program. The form of diplomas and supplementary study documents, the content and form of the certificates of graduation and other certificates as well as information packages for the transfer of the ECTS credits shall be prescribed by the university, the polytechnic and the college. As the procedures for accrediting higher education institution (private or public) are unified the diplomas and degrees issues by state institutions or non-state institutions are similarly recognized.

Sanctions: Supervision of the work of the HEI is provided by the Ministry of Education but according to the principle that does not violate autonomy of the universities (Article 113, Act on science and higher education) defined by the Constitution. According to the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education (Article 22) In case of discontinuation of work of higher education institution due to denial of license, the Ministry shall, at the recommendation of the Agency, brings forth measures to assure the continuation and completion of study for the students of the higher education institution in question. This provision can be applied on private higher education institutions as well, in which case the implementation of measures is the financial obligation of the founder.

3.2 Supplementary private tutoring

In Croatia, the main providers of private instruction services are teachers working in the official education system, but a significant number of private tutors are students and experts in the field (e.g. teachers in mathematics, chemistry or physics) as well as higher education teaching staff. The main way to reach an instructor is through referrals acquaintances and friends, and sometimes subject teachers who teach students certain case, according to Ristić Dedić, Z. and Jokić, B. (2011), Razvoj modela regulacije pojave privatnih instrukcija u Republici Hrvatskoj – prikaz rezultata projekta there are also some companies (Ltd.) that provide private tutoring or preparation classes high school students taking the Matura exam. These type of preparatory classes are widespread. As there are no regulations those companies do not need any kind of certificate or accreditation for teaching students.  More than 90 % of private tutoring users feel that they have been helped significantly although parents pay annually for private tuition of their children around 10 million USD (Jokić, Ristić Dedić, 2011).

Entry/Establishment

No information was found.

Financial operation and quality

No information was found.

Teaching profession

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Última modificación:

Vie, 03/12/2021 - 11:19