Education System of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH or B&H) is defined as an independent state encompassing two entities:
- The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBIH)
- Republika Srpska (RS)
The education sector is managed by the 10 cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska and Brcko district. The Ministry of Education administers the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina). Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is compulsory for all children aged 6 to 15. Compulsory education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is free of charge, but parents are required to pay for transportation, food and books.
The education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina comprises of four levels:
- Kindergarten education
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Tertiary education
This educational level is optional. Children up to the age of 3 years attend daycare centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These centres focus on physical care. Kindergartens in Bosnia and Herzegovina cater to children aged 3 to 6/7. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are special kindergartens also available for children aged 3 to 7/9. The kindergartens are funded partly by the state. This level provides basic numbers and alphabet knowledge and prepares children for primary education.
Primary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is compulsory to attend for all children aged 6 to 15, and is free of charge at public schools. Primary education is divided into three cycles:
- Cycle 1 caters to children aged 6 to 9
- Cycle 2 caters to children aged 9 to 12
- Cycle 3 caters to children aged 12 to 15
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the regular primary schools that focus on academic subjects, there are ballet and music schools also available.
Secondary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not compulsory to attend and is for children aged 15 to 18. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is general secondary education or gymnasium, and vocational and technical secondary education.
- General secondary education (Gimnazija) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is of 4 years duration, which emphasize on academic subjects. At the end of this level, students are required to undertake a Matura exam that lead to their admission to higher education institution.
- Vocational and technical secondary education last for 3 to 4 years, depending on the field of study.
Tertiary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina
is offered by public and private higher education institutions- universities, art academies and faculties. Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to several private and international higher education institutions, some of which are:
- Sarajevo School of Science and Technology
- International University of Sarajevo
- American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Sarajevo Graduate School of Business
- International Burch University
Higher Education Qualifications
The higher education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina has three degree levels:
Undergraduate: This level is of 3 to 4 years’ duration, and lead to the title of Bachelor of Science or Arts.
- ECTS: 180 to 240 credit points
Postgraduate: This level is of 1-2 years duration and lead to the title of Master of Science or Arts.
PhD/Doctorate: Students who have complete master’s studies are eligible for PhD studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This degree programme is of 3 years duration, and leads to the academic title of Doctor of Arts or Doctor of Science.
Some of the universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina also provide postgraduate specialist programmes of 1 to 2 years duration that lead to the title of specialist.
To know more about the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, read the post "Overview".
Admission requirements vary depending on the level of study and programme of study. For admission to the undergraduate study programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, students must have completed secondary education and passed Matura exam.
Academic Grading System
School Education Grading Scale
The primary and secondary
schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina use a 5-point scale. The lowest passing grade is 2.
| Grading scale|| Grade description (In English)|| Grade description (In Serbo-Croatian)|| US Grade|
| 5.00|| Excellent|| Odličan|| A+|
| 4.00-4.99|| Very Good||Vrlo Doba || A|
| 3.00-3.99|| Good|| Dobar|| B|
| 2.00-2.99|| Fair/Satisfactory|| Dovoljan|| C|
| 1.00-1.99|| Unsatisfactory/Fail|| Nedovoljan|| F|
Higher Education Grading System
The higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina use a 10-point grading scale. The lowest passing grade is 6.
| Scale|| Grade description (In English)|| Grade description (In Serbo-Croatian)||US Grade |
| 10.00|| Excellent|| Odličan || A+|
| 9.00-9.99|| Very Good|| Vrlo Doba|| A|
| 7.00-8.99|| Good|| Dobar|| B|
| 6.00-6.99|| Satisfactory/Sufficient|| Dovoljan|| C|
| 0.00-5.99|| Unsatisfactory/Fail|| Nedovoljan|| F|
Language of Instruction
The language of instruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian.
The academic year in Bosnia and Herzegovina runs from October to June, with holidays from 1 July to 30 September. The academic year is divided into two semesters:
- Fall semester: Starts in early October and concludes in mid-January
- Spring semester: Starts in early February and concludes in late May.
Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance
The Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance in Bosnia and Herzegovina started operating in 2008 December. The Agency determines the criteria for accreditation of higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, defines the quality standards and norms, restructures the courses of study, provides recommendation for licensing of higher education institutions and its courses, and represents the country in international organizations that handle quality assurance in tertiary education.