Study Abroad
Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education  
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition

 Pre-higher Education System

     Duration of compulsory education
     Age of entry: 7
     Age of exit:  15

     Structure of school system

     Type/level of education:     Basic First Stage
     Type of school:                    ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (1ST CYCLE)
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                              from 7 to 11

     Type/level of education:     Basic Second Stage
     Type of school:                     ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (2ND CYCLE)
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                               from 11 to 14

     Type/level of education:     General Secondary
     Type of school:                    GENERAL SECONDARY SCHOOL (GYMNAZIJA)
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                              from 14 to 18

     Type/level of education:    Specialized Secondary
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                               from 14 to 18

     Type/level of education:     Specialized Secondary
     Type of school:                    PEDAGOGICAL SCHOOL
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                               from 14 to 18

     Type/level of education:     Technical
     Type of school:                    TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL
     Length of program (years): 4
     Age level:                              from 14 to 18

     Description of secondary school system
Secondary education is provided by general and specialized secondary schools where studies last four years and lead to the matura (secondary school leaving certificate). Technical and vocational secondary education also lasts four years. Pupils graduating from general secondary schools can enroll in any faculty or academy by passing a qualification examination prescribed by the institution. Students graduating from pedagogical schools, technical, art and religious schools can enrol in related faculties by passing a qualification examination prescribed by the faculty or academy. Students who graduate from "expert" secondary schools can enrol in any faculty or academy if they pass two additional qualifying examinations prescribed by the faculty.

Higher Education System

     Structure of system

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has four universities, namely Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla and Banjaluka. The war in Bosia-Herzegovina (1992-1995) has created an extremely difficult situation for the university system: 78% of its capacities and equipment have been damaged or completely destroyed, including the University Library with more than 1,800,000 titles;  its possibilities for scientific communication have been reduced to a minimum (including access to knowledge in the form of recently published books and journals, international research projects, participation in networks etc..). The Association of European Universities (CRE) is organizing a network to assist in the development of following areas: law, natural sciences, management and economics, technical sciences. The University of Paris VIII, in collaboration with the universities of Barcelona, Mannheim and Torino, is setting up a programme to reinforce departments of European foreign languages.

     Main types of higher education institutions in country

     Type of institution:  UNIVERZITET
     Translation:               UNIVERSITY

     Type of institution:  AKADEMIJA
     Translation:               ACADEMY

     Type of institution:  VISE SKOLE
     Translation:               HIGHER SCHOOLS

Administrative structure of higher education

     Name of body:      Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports

          Street: Omladinska 9
          City: Sarajevo
          Postal code: 71000
          Telephone: 387-71-663863

     Academic year
     Classes start:     October
     Classes end:       July
     Long vacation:     from 30 June, to 1 September

     Languages of instruction
     Croatian, Serbian

Stages and Organization of Higher Education Studies

     University level studies

     Stage 1:     Undergraduate studies

Description: Vise skole (Higher schools) offer programmes lasting two to three years and leading to the Diploma Viseg Obrazovanja (Diploma of Higher Education). Faculties and Academies offer programmes that last four to five years, leading to the Diploma Visokog Obrazovanja (Advanced Diploma of Higher Education) with a professional title in various scientific and artistic fields.

     Stage 2:     Graduate studies

Description: Specialist studies last one year, whereas one or two additional years and presentation of a research project may lead to the award of the degree of "Magistar".

     Stage 3:     Doctorate

Description: The science doctorate (Ph.D.) is the highest scientific degree. The preparation of this degree does not imply postgraduate studies; it is rather the result of independent research. Public defence of a doctoral thesis is required for this degree.

     Teacher education

     Training of primary/basic school teachers

Primary teachers (kindergarten through fourth grade) were traditionally prepared in two-year post-secondary Pedagogical Academies. The government has recently published a decree stipulating that Secondary Teacher Training Schools should also train primary-school teachers (grade 1 to 4). Teachers for upper grades in elementary schools are to be trained in the expanded four-year programmes at the Educational Academies.

     Training of secondary school teachers

Secondary teachers are trained at Secondary-teacher Academies. (The number of teachers available in Bosnia and Herzegovina has dropped dramatically since the war began). A World Bank study indicates that about 8,000 teachers lack formal qualifications, while 4,000 teachers are abroad and could potentially resume their duties.

     Non-formal studies

     Distance higher education

Radio Zid Sarajevo has embarked on a youth radio programme with UNICEF aid. It is interested in expanding its work in distance education programmes. The SOROS Foundation, the Free University of Amsterdam and World University Service are setting up Internet equipment in order to improve the exchange of programmes and academic staff between Bosnian and foreign universities.

     Lifelong higher education

There are a number of training courses offered by NGO's and various inter-governmental organizations involved in the emergency effort.

Grading system

     Usual grading system in (upper) secondary school
     1: Unsatisfactory; 2: Satisfactory; 3: Good; 4: Very good; 5: Excellent.

     Highest on scale:  5
     Pass/fail level:           2
     Lowest on scale:   1

     Main grading system generally used by higher education institutions

     Highest on scale:  10
     Pass/fail level:           6
     Lowest on scale:   5

Admissions to Higher Education

  Admissions to university level    

    Secondary school credential/certificate/diploma(s) required for entry

     Name of sec. school credential: MATURSKA SVJEDODZBA
     Total number of years of primary and secondary school study: 12

   Admission for foreign students

     Reference to further information materials on foreign students admissions

     Title:                           Education in a Nation in Crisis: The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A Special Report.
     Author:                      Seth Spaulding, Lynn Cohen & Michel Rakotomanana
     Publisher:                  World Education News & Reviews, Winter 1995; publ. by World Education Services
     Year of publication: 1995

Student expenses and financial aid

 Tuition and fees for national students  Tuition and fees for foreign students 
 Minimum: US Dollar 700  Minimum: 
 Maximum:    Maximum: 


     Date:         1996/1997
     Source:     International Association of Universities (IAU)