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Frequently asked questions

1. What changed with the new Act on the Recognition and Assessment of Foreign Educational Qualifications?

When the new Act on the Recognition and Assessment of Foreign Educational Qualifications (OG, no. 69/2022) came into force on the 25th June 2022, it signaled a halt of the previous administrative procedure of recognition of foreign higher education qualifications, and the introduction of the procedure of assessment of higher education qualifications after which the Agency for Science and Higher Education issues an informational document – opinion on a foreign higher education qualification.

Assessment of a foreign educational qualification refers to the process of determining the level, volume, profile and quality of the qualification, as well as all the rights conferred by that qualification in its country of origin.

Opinion on a foreign higher education qualification is a document that contains information on the status of the higher education institution and the study programme, the level, volume, profile and quality of the qualification, as well as the comparison with the level of education in the Republic of Croatia (if possible).

Guidelines for starting the procedure for assessment of foreign higher education qualification

2. Does the Agency’s opinion give me the right to access the labor market or do I have to fulfil any additional requirements?

The Agency's opinion provides access to the labor market for unregulated professions. It is important to mention that the decision to employ a candidate for a particular job depends on the employer, or rather on the previously defined employment requirements.

If you want to work in a regulated profession in Croatia, you should contact the competent authority for a particular regulated profession – Database of Regulated Professions in Croatia.

As of the 1st July 2013, the recognition of foreign professional qualifications was prescribed by the Act on Regulated Professions and Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications (OG, no. 124/2009, 45/2011, 82/2015, 70/2019 and 47/2020). This Act stipulates that all those who want to provide services within a regulated profession in the Republic of Croatia (List of regulated professions in the Republic of Croatia – in Croatian), and have acquired their professional qualification abroad, have to contact the competent authority (professional associations (chambers) or competent ministries) that grants access to that regulated profession in Croatia, and apply for the recognition of a foreign professional qualification.

3. Is it possible to obtain a Croatian academic title through the process of assessment?

According to the current regulations, it is not possible to obtain a Croatian professional or academic title through the process of assessment. Holders of foreign educational qualifications use their acquired titles in their original form.

4. Are asylees, aliens under subsidiary protection and aliens under temporary protection exempt from paying fees for the assessment of foreign higher education qualifications?

Yes, they are exempt from paying fees for the processes of assessment and recognition of foreign higher education qualifications and periods of study based on the Ordinance on the Evaluation of Foreign Higher Education Qualifications (OG, no. 60/2005 and 10/2008).

Furthermore, they can apply to have the cost of translating documents necessary for the assessment of foreign higher education qualifications covered by the Directorate for Support and Improvement of the Education System, the Ministry of Science and Education. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

5. Can people who, for justified reasons lack documentation for a part or all of their higher education, get an opinion on their foreign higher education qualification?

Asylees, aliens under subsidiary protection and aliens under temporary protection as well as their family members who are staying legally in Croatia, and who have justified reasons for not being able to submit documentation for their foreign higher education qualification, can request an informational document on a foreign higher education qualification for asylees, aliens under subsidiary protection and aliens under temporary protection without documentation.

Informational document contains information on the higher education institution that issued the qualification as well as the profile, level and the assessed volume of the qualification.

Guidelines for issuing the informational document on the higher education qualification for asylees, aliens under subsidiary protection and aliens under temporary protection without documentation

6. What is the duration of the procedure of assessment of foreign higher education qualifications?

The optimal duration of the process of assessment is up to 45 days, starting from the date of receipt of the complete documentation.

7. Is it possible to get a formal confirmation that I have submitted documents for assessment?

At your formal request, and if the application is complete, the Croatian ENIC/NARIC Office will issue a formal confirmation that the process of assessment is in progress. If the application is incomplete, you will be informed about the missing documents in writing.

8. May I pay the administrative fee for assessment online?

Yes. The only important thing is that all the required data for payment is visible (the name of the applicant, the name of the payer (if different than the applicant), and purpose of payment). You can submit the payment printout as proof.

9. Do I have to assess a lower level higher education qualification in order to obtain the assessment of a higher level qualification?

Assessment of lower level higher education qualifications acquired abroad is not a requirement for the assessment of a higher level qualification. For example, it is not necessary to have a Master’s degree assessed in the Republic of Croatia in order to get the assessment of a PhD degree.

10. I wish to obtain an assessment of my Master’s and PhD degrees issued by a foreign institution. Can I submit one application for the assessment of both qualifications?

No. Each foreign higher education qualification is assessed individually, meaning that a separate application - including the application form and the administrative fee - should be submitted for each qualification.

11. What is the accreditation of higher education institutions and study programs?

Accreditation is a result of a review/evaluation of an education program or institution, which monitors the achievement of previously determined standards. It can be defined as the recognition of a program or institution that meets the previously determined standards. Most countries have established a system of formal evaluation of their higher education institutions, or rather of issuing licenses for individual study programs. Considering the expanding range of higher education institutions, the establishment of numerous private higher education institutions in many countries and significant differences in laws and practice for the evaluation and recognition of higher education institutions, qualifications cannot be suitably assessed without considering the institution that issued them and whether that institution is recognized as part of the national higher education system.

In the Republic of Croatia, accreditation of a higher education institution implies that the institution is registered as a higher education institution and listed in the Register of Higher Education Institutions. A study program is considered to be accredited if the institution which delivers it has a license for delivering the study program that was issued by the competent accrediting authority. A license is a document confirming that a public scientific institute or a higher education institution meets the standards and requirements for performing certain activities or delivering a particular study program.

12. How can I find out if a higher education institution is accredited?

The Republic of Croatia maintains a Directory of Study Programmes, which includes all higher education institutions in Croatia that have accreditation, or rather a license issued by the Ministry of Science and Education.

Other countries have similar lists of higher education institutions, some of which are available online. More information about a particular country can be found on the website of the ENIC/NARIC Network.

13. How can I find out which higher education institutions and study programs are accredited in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

One of the main criteria for the assessment of a foreign higher education qualification in Croatia is that it was obtained upon the completion of an accredited study programme at an accredited foreign higher education institution.

It is thus only possible to assess those higher education qualifications that are issued by a higher education institution accredited by a competent accrediting authority of that country.

The competent accrediting authority, which is in charge of accreditation for the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Agencija za razvoj visokog obrazovanja i osiguranje kvaliteta, HEA).

Consequently, the Agency for Science and Higher Education can assess those Bosnian higher education qualifications that have been issued by higher education institutions which passed the accreditation procedure in Bosnia and Herzegovina and are listed in the National Register of Higher Education Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, maintained by HEA.

The HEA webpage states:

“According to the Framework Law on Higher Education, an accredited higher education institution issues academic degrees and diplomas. The competent authorities and other bodies and organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall recognize only those academic degrees and diplomas awarded by accredited higher education institutions for the purpose of employment and performing a public function.” (http://hea.gov.ba/FAQ/Default.aspx?id=6178)

The information on higher education institutions listed in the National Register of Higher Education Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina is available on HEA’s website, under the List of accredited Higher Education Institutions (http://hea.gov.ba/akreditacija_vsu/Default.aspx).

14. Is it possible to make an equivalence of a foreign qualification to a Croatian one?

No. Since the 1st July 2004, the Republic of Croatia was conducting the procedure of the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications in accordance with the Act on the Recognition of Foreign Educational Qualifications (OG, no. 158/2003, 198/2003, 138/2006 and 45/2011), and since the 25th June 2022 it will continue to conduct it in accordance with the Act on the Recognition and Assessment of Foreign Educational Qualifications (OG, no. 69/2022), which is based on the principles of the Lisbon Convention on Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in Europe from the 11th April 1997, and the Act on Ascertaining the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (OG – International Treaties, no. 9/02 and 15/02). With the adoption of the 2004 Recognition Act, the previous Act on the Recognition of Foreign School Certificates and University Diplomas (OG, no. 57/96 and 21/00), on the basis of which the so-called nostrification process had been carried out, had ceased to be valid.

15. Is it necessary to assess qualifications acquired in the area of former Yugoslavia?

The assessment of higher education qualifications from former Yugoslavia depends on the date when the qualification was issued. According to the relevant legislation, all foreign higher education qualifications that were issued before the 8th October 1991 in educational systems of former Yugoslavian states are legally equal to higher education qualifications of educational institutions of the Republic of Croatia, and are therefore not subject to the procedures of recognition or assessment.

16. I finished my study in Croatia according to the ‘old program’ and acquired the title “diplomirani...”. How can I get a new title in accordance with the Bologna system of higher education?

In accordance with Article 14 of the Act on Academic and Professional Titles and Academic Degree (OG, no. 107/2007) and Article 120 of the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education (OG, no. 123/03, 198/03, 105/04 and 174/04), the institution that awarded your qualification should issue a certificate with the new title that you are entitled to use.

17. I want to recognize my qualification obtained in the Republic of Croatia in a foreign country. Whom should I contact?

For information on the recognition of Croatian qualifications abroad, we suggest that you contact the ENIC/NARIC office in the country in which you wish to have your qualification recognized, or the embassy of that country in Croatia, should one exist. Further information on the recognition of foreign qualifications in a particular country can be found on the website of the ENIC/NARIC Network.

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