Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. Its capital Zagreb forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty countries. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. 
Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a very high standard of living. It is a member of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. 
The Educational System in Croatia begins with preschools-kindergartens.  Education is mandatory for children aged 6 to 15. Public primary and secondary schools, as well as institutions of higher education, are tuition-free. Students only pay for textbooks, basic equipment, cafeteria food, student dorms and other necessities, although the state also gives thousands of scholarships each year. In addition, the state pays health insurance for students.
There are two main types of higher education in Croatia – polytechnic and university. Polytechnics provide professional study programs. Universities provide higher education within university programs in at least two scientific and/or art areas along with research opportunities. 
There are currently seven universities and twelve public polytechnics throughout Croatia. There are another two private polytechnics along with 19 independent colleges whereof 17 are private. The seven universities are located in the seven larger cities:
  • University of Zagreb 
  • University of Split 
  • University of Rijeka 
  • University of Osijek (named "Josip Juraj Strossmayer") 
  • University of Zadar 
  • University of Dubrovnik 
  • University of Pula (named "Juraj Dobrila") 
The universities are organized in faculties or colleges for each specific area of learning and all maintain their own administration. Mostly each college or department is located in the same city as the parent university – however not all so check this if you are looking into a particular school!
Introduction of the Bologna Process: Croatia joined the Bologna Process and signed the Bologna Declaration in Prague, in May 2001. Implementation of the Bologna Process in higher education started in the academic year 2005/2006. However, the Bologna Declaration was introduced into the Croatian medical education system in 2000, when the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) was first to be applied at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM).
The Croatian Government decided to implement the Bologna Process in higher educational institutions in Croatia from the academic year 2005/2006. Thus, all four medical schools in Croatia (from the Universities of Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, and Osijek) decided to work jointly on the improvement of the medical education system, as well as on the implementation of the Bologna Process in the curricula. All four medical schools consented to create together a core curriculum and to evaluate its implementation on the principles of the Bologna Process. Based on the UZSM experience in implementing the ECTS, all medical schools decided to formulate the ECTS as an indicator of student workload, as well as to emphasise the importance of quality assurance, to promote mobility within the Croatian universities, to develop life-long learning skills, to define national competences and qualifications, to work on joint degrees in doctoral studies and to enhance the European cooperation. These joint actions were also decisive for bridging the gap between the academic community and professional societies.
  • The Croatian educational system is ranked high in comparison to other countries in the world.
  • The Universities have been offering English Medium Courses since 2003.
  • The teaching method includes small classrooms, which enable personal attention and meticulousness. For these reasons, to study medicine in Croatia is rapidly becoming a popular option for international students.
  • Croatia has been attracting students from all over the world due to the very high quality of medical schools and the relatively low costs.
  • Universities have adopted  Bologna Process which ensures the formulation of ECTS s an indicator of student workload, as well as to emphasise the importance of quality assurance.
  • There is mobility among Croatian Universities which helps in developing life-long learning skills, to work on joint degrees in doctoral studies and enhance the European Cooperation which is beneficial for the students.

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