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Higher education

Higher education system has two types of studies:

  • academic studies organized at universities, and
  • applied profession-oriented studies organized either at colleges of applied studies or at universities.

Serbia currently has 17 accredited universities - 8 state universities, and 9 private universities. There are altogether 64 (47 public and 17 private) accredited colleges of applied studies, and 8 colleges providing academic study programmes at both Bachelor and Master levels.

Serbia joined the Bologna Process in 2003 and thus initiated a gradual reform process, which received its legal support in 2005 by the adoption of a new Law on Higher Education. This law formally introduced the European Credit Transfer System, three-cycle system of study and diploma supplement. From 2007/08 all new students study under the new reformed study programmes at all higher education institutions.

Academic studies

The three-cycle system of academic studies includes:

  • Basic academic studies (Bachelor) lasting 3-4 years, with 180 to 240 ECTS,
  • Master studies lasting 1-2 years with 60 to 120 ECTS, and
  • Doctoral studies (PhD) with a minimum of three years of study or 180 ECTS.

In the field of medical science (the studies of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine) studies are organized through integrated studies that last 6 years and must carry a minimum of 360 ECTS. Also, integrated pharmacy studies with 300 ECTS have been introduced.

In addition, the second cycle of academic studies includes specialist academic studies with the minimum duration of one year with 60 ECTS if a student has achieved a total of 300 ECTS in previous studies.

Applied studies

Vocational studies comprise of two levels:

  • Basic applied studies, which last three years and have 180 ECTS, and
  • Specialized applied studies, which carry 60 ECTS and last one year.

All higher education institutions must be accredited in order to obtain the working license issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Private higher education institutions (not founded by the state) have the same status as public ones.