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Pursuant to the Act on Higher Education and Scientific Activity, higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia perform activities related to higher education, as well as scientific, professional and artistic activities.

Higher education institutions consist of universities, faculties, art academies and polytechnics and they are established as public or private higher education institutions. By way of exception, a public higher education institution established for the purposes of military, police and diplomatic education can be established as an organizational unit of the competent state administration body.

Public higher education institutions are established in the name of the Republic of Croatia by the ministry concerned with science and education.

Private higher education institutions are established by a person or a legal entity.