Admission procedures for undergraduate enrolment at higher education institutions in Croatia are centralised through central online application system and managed by the Central Application Office.
All higher education institutions that accept international students usually have an International Cooperation Office or a designated contact person who provides information for prospective international students. Prospective students should contact that office well before starting their studies in order to obtain relevant information on application procedures and other important matters.
Starting from the academic year 2010/2011, admission procedures for enrolment at higher education institutions in Croatia are centralised and managed by the Central Application Office which is a part of the Agency for Science and Higher Education. The basis for the admissions ranking are secondary school grades and success at the newly introduced State Matura (or a recognised equivalent from countries that have external evaluation of secondary education), implemented at state level. Higher education institutions are autonomous in deciding on the weight given to the results of the state graduation examination.
Admission periods and application deadlines
Enrolment into a degree programme is carried out based on a public competition announced by the higher education institution that implements it, at least six months prior to the commencement of the programme. The competition includes information on: enrolment criteria, number of places available, application procedure, data on required documents and closing dates for the competition and enrolment.
The months of Julyand Septemberrepresent two main admission periods for study programs beginning in fall at most higher education institutions. However, the September admission period is only announced if the enrolment quota for a particular study programme has not been filled in July. Candidates who need to take the Croatian State Matura exams usually need to register for the exams and send all available application documents by February in order to sit the State Matura exams in May and compete in July admission period. Further details on State Matura exams may be found in the sections below. Candidates who do not take the State Matura exams may normally apply to study programmes by July in order to compete in July admission period. Please consult the application calendar at www.studij.hr for specific dates as deadlines may change each year.
Information on student enrolment quotas and special application deadlines for particular study programs, as well as the list of exams required for admission to particular study programmes are available in Croatian here: https://www.postani-student.hr/Ucilista/Nositelji.aspx.
Registering on Central Application System
Prospective students who apply to undergraduate study programmes as degree-seeking students and who have completed the minimum of four years of secondary education outside Croatia can apply to higher education institutions in Croatia using the Central Application System at www.postani-student.hr. The Central Application System allows prospective students to:
- Check the application information and calendar available at www.studij.hr
- Register at the Central Application System at www.postani-student.hr
- Fill in the application forms entering personal and educational data
- Apply to 10 study programmes in order of candidate’s priority for admission
- Register for State Matura exams if necessary (applicable only for students applying from countries that do not have an established system of external evaluation of secondary education)
- Check the results of the State Matura exams (if applicable) and admission ranking lists of particular study programmes announced at www.postani-student.hr. Please see section “Applying through the Central Application System” below for details.
- Register for a study programme for which the right of enrolment has been gained and cancel registration for remaining study programmes
State Matura Exams
Applicants who have completed their secondary education in a country that has an established system of external evaluation of secondary education should have the results of their final exams recognised by the Central Application Officeas equivalent to the Croatian State Matura (see section below). The deadline for submission of the results of final exams to the Central Application Office is normally in July.
Applicants who have completed their secondary education in a country that does not have an established system of external evaluation of secondary education are advised to take the State Matura exams in subjects proscribed for admission to a particular study program. Namely, the results of the State Matura exams influence the candidate ranking in the selection process for admission to most study programs. Students may also choose not to sit the State Matura exams, in which case they compete for admission based on their high school grades and other relevant achievements.
The candidates, who choose to take the State Matura exams, will learn about specific subject tests required for admission to particular study programmes by applying to these programs throughthe Central Application System. The State Matura exams are available only in Croatian. Students, who are taking the State Matura exams, also need to pay a fee to sit the exam (usually by April/May to compete in July admission period). For additional questions on application to State Matura exams or to study programmes, please check the FAQ at www.studij.hr or contact the Central Applications Office:
Contact phone: + 385 1 6274 844 (Mon - Fri, 8 AM - 4 PM)
- Sample State Matura exams (available only in Croatian)
- State Matura exam catalogues (available only in Croatian)
Recognition of educational qualifications
Foreign secondary school certificates that are issued outside of Croatia should undergoa process of recognition, which is conducted by the Education and Teacher Training Agency for general, gymnasium and art secondary school degrees and the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education for vocational secondary school degrees. Further information on recognition of foreign educational qualifications can be found in the section “Foreign qualifications and degrees”.
Applying through the Central Application System
The application procedure through the Central Application System for candidates who have completed four years of secondary education outside Croatia is the following:
Register as a new user on www.postani-student.hr (central application web site).
The new user will be assigned a user account, password, PIN (personal identification number) and TAN (number for enrolment confirmation of the selected study programme)
- Enter personal information
- Enter information on education and secondary school grades
- Enter information on participation in competitions and sport status
- Print application form
- If taking State Matura exams,register for State Matura exams, usually by February to compete in July admission period
- If not taking State Matura exams, applyfor study programmes by July for July admission period (for candidates who have a recognized equivalent of State Matura from their own country)
- Submit all the application documents for verification, including the recognised secondary education certificates, to the relevant state institutions. More details in the Posting application section below.
For any additional questions on application to State Matura exams or to study programmes, please check the FAQ at www.studij.hr or contact the Central Applications Office:
Contact phone: + 385 1 6274 844 (Mon - Fri, 8 AM - 4 PM)
After registering at the Central Application System to take State Matura exams and/or to apply for admission to Croatian higher education institutions, candidates should also post the following documents to the relevant institutions:
- Completed application form (www.postani-student.hr- My account - Information on registration - Download the Application Form)
- Proof of citizenship (certificate of citizenship for Croatian citizens and copy of international passport for other nationals)
- Proof of completion of all secondary school levels by that date (certificate of each level)
- Proof of completion of secondary school (secondary school diploma)
- Official results of the final secondary school exams (only if exams are taken as part of an established system of external evaluation of secondary education)
- Confirmation of the results of national or international competitions (if any)
- Confirmation of sport status (if any).
The candidates, who are taking Croatian State Matura exams, should send the above mentioned documents, along with the registration form for State Matura exams, by registered mail to the National Centre for External Evaluationof Education (usually by February). Please note the results of national or international competitions should exceptionally be sent to the Central Application Office in this case.
National Centre for External Evaluationof Education (NCVVO)mailing address:
National Centre forExternal Evaluationof Education (NCVVO)
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
The candidates, who have a recognized equivalent of State Matura from their own countryand who areapplying to study programmes without taking the Croatian State Matura exams, should send the same set of application documents, along with the results of final exams taken in their country, by registered mail to the Central Application Office (usually by July).
Central Application Office mailing address:
Agency for Science and Higher Education
Central Application Office
Donje Svetice 38
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Candidates should post copies of the original documents, certified by the notary public or the educational institution which has issued the original document.The application is not valid if it does not comprise the above mentioned documentation, or if all the grades obtained during secondary education are not entered. The application becomes valid at the moment when the National Centre for External Evaluationof Educationor the Central Application Officeconfirms the candidate’s personal information and the information on grades, results of exams or participation in competitions and sport status.
Additional notes regarding application documents
Documents submitted should be originals or certified copies. If any of the documents are issued in a foreign language, candidates are required to submit a translation certified by a court interpreter.
Certificates of previous educational qualifications submitted tothe National Centre for External Evaluationof Educationor the Central Applications Officeshould be recognised by the appropriate Croatian institution, or a confirmation receipt should be provided that the certificate is undergoing a process of recognition. If candidates are still attending the final level of secondary education at the time of application, the final exam certificate and a certificate of completion of four years of secondary education (secondary school diploma) can be submitted at a later date, usually by July for July admission period.
Information on recognition of foreign educational qualifications can be found in the section “Foreign qualifications and degrees”.
Institutional entrance classification exams
Only some higher education institutions require applicants to pass additional entrance classification exams, so prospective students should contact the higher education institution they wish to enrol in to find out whether this is a requirement.
Similarly to the application deadlines, most higher education institutions have two entrance examination periods: the first (July) examination period and second (September) examination period (only if the enrolment quota has not been filled in July).
For more detailed information on the entrance classification exams (subjects at the examination, the literature that should be studied, cost of the examination procedure, exact dates of the exam, and so on). Prospective applicants are advised to inquire at the higher education institution they wish to enrol in.
It is the candidates’ responsibility to check whether the higher education institution has set any additional application requirements and meet these by the set deadlines.
Prospective students who must take State Matura can also use the central application system at www.postani-student.hr to choose a desired location for taking the exam.
Source: Agency for Science and Higher Education