In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) there are 30 accredited institutions of higher education. The number of private HEIs in 2014/2015 was 37. Amongst those is the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the most prestigious in the region. The institutions are recognised as either universities or higher schools. The former offers courses at all cycles while the latter will only have Bachelors. Taking into consideration the division into cantons of the country, each administrative unit has their own ministry of education and creates their own education policies. However, a general strategic development for higher education wishes to assure good governance and management, quality in teaching, scientific research and internalisation to meet European standards. The project is set to run between 2016 – 2026. For more information the Ministry of Education’s website is available at http://www.fmon.gov.ba/.
Tertiary education in BiH is organised in three cycles. The first one leads to the degree of Bachelor’s (Diploma) and lasts for three to four years. The second one leads to the degree of Master’s (Magistar) and it lasts for one to two years. The last one is the doctoral studies (Doktor) which last for three years. After its adherence to the Bologna Process in 2003, the country implemented the ECTS credit system in 2007 where each semester is 30 credits. Therefore, a Bachelor’s course is between 180-240 credits, a Master’s course is between 60-120 credits, and a PhD course is 180 credits. The medical courses are organised as integrated masters and have 300 credits. The academic year is structured into semester and lasts from September until July. The official language is Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian, but courses are also taught in English.
Higher education is open to students who have finished four years of secondary education and have been awarded the Diploma o položenom maturskom ispitu or equivalents. Admission to university studies is open every year in June-July with a second period in September for places who were not occupied the first time. Applicants to undergraduate studies are required to sit an entrance exam which, along with the secondary education qualification, determines whether or not the student is enrolled. For postgraduate studies, applicants need to prove they have finished previous cycles with a Bachelor’s degree for Master’s studies and a Master’s degree for doctoral studies, respectively. Same process is available for native and non-native students. International students should make sure they have obtained an entry visa prior to their application.
Tuition fees depend on a range of variables such as institution, course or length. Within the public higher education system, fees range from € 306 to € 920 for undergraduate studies, from 767 € to 3,060 € for Master’s and from 2,045 € to 6,120 € for PhDs per annum. Integrated studies are between 3,060 € - 6,120 €. Within the private higher education system, institutions are responsible for their own prices, which are more or less similar to the public ones. Scholarships and grants are awarded for students to cover their costs for the full duration of the course. Loans are also available, approximately 1,280 € per academic year.
Information for International Students
Living costs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are considerably lower than in the rest of the world. For comparison, it is 48.07% less expensive to live there than in the UK, and rest is 78.28% lower. Students can rent a place in the city centre for only 194 € per month. Coming to study in Bosnia and Herzegovina can prove to be a really worthwhile decision, especially if you are looking for low tuition and living costs. Also, the government is committed to bring forth excellence and development into their tertiary education which has proved to increase the experience overall.