Print

Higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is regulated by the Framework Law on Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette, No. 59/07, 59/09). The Law on Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina determines the organization of the higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the responsibility of the competent authorities in charge of this area, establishes the authorities in charge of enforcement of the Law and of international obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the method to ensure the quality in the area of higher education. This Law also establishes the basic principles and standards for acquisition of higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS, No. 5, 1950), and its Protocols, through the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Recognition and Evaluation of Quality of Private Higher Education Institutions [R(97)1], Recommendation on Access to Higher Education R(98)3], and Recommendation on Research Task of Universities [R(2000)8], and other relevant principles from internationally recognized legal instruments the contractual party of which Bosnia and Herzegovina is, and in line with the Convention of the Council of Europe/UNESCO on Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education in the European Region (ETS No. 165, 1997).

On the basis of the Framework Law on Higher Education, the Law on higher education was harmonized in the Republika Srpska, the ten cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, allowing the full implementation of the Bologna Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Types of higher education institutions

The higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina include universities and higher schools. The term “university”:

-          is limited to the higher education institutions involved in both lecturing and research work, offering academic degrees in all of the three cycles, with goals including improvement of knowledge, thought and education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, education, cultural, social and economic development of Bosnia and Herzegovina, promotion of the democratic civil society and accomplishment of the highest standards in lecturing and research work;

-          pertains to a higher education institution which implements at least five various study

programs from at least three scientific areas – natural sciences, engineering sciences,

biomedicine and health, bioengineering sciences, social sciences and humanistic sciences.

The university may have organizational units such as faculties, academies, higher schools or scientific institutes, which conduct the lecturing, scientific research and artistic work in one or more educational and scientific areas.

The term “higher school”:

-          is limited to the higher education institutions accredited to issue diplomas and degrees of the first cycle, with goals including preparation and training of individuals for expert, economic and cultural development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and promotion of the democratic civil society, as well as accomplishment of high standards in lecturing and study;

-          pertains to a higher education institution which implements at least one study programs from one scientific area and meets other requirements pursuant to the law.

The Framework Law on Higher Education in BiH stipulates that the theological faculties, higher theological schools and academies may be affiliated with universities, which is regulated through separate agreements. Before the implementation of the Bologna Process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were also higher schools/colleges which provided two-year vocational education.

Organization of higher education

The higher education is organized in three cycles:

-          the first cycle leads to the academic title of completed graduate study (the degree of Bachelor) or an equivalent, acquired following at least three and no more than four years of regular studies after acquisition of the certificate on the completed high school, which is valuated with at least 180, i.e. 240 ECTS credits,

-          the second cycle leads to the academic title of master or an equivalent, acquired following the completed graduate study, it lasts for one or two years, and it is valuated with 60 or 120 ECTS credits, and so that aggregately with the first cycle it carries 300 ECTS credits,

-          the third cycle leads to the academic title of doctor or an equivalent, it lasts for three years and is valuated with 180 ECTS credits.

One semester of studies carries 30 ECTS credits under each cycle. The study of the medical group of sciences under the first cycle is excepted from the provisions arising from paragraph 1 of this Article, which is valuated with up to 360 ECTS credits.

After the completion of the study programme, the graduates are awarded a diploma and the academic title in accordance with the previously approved study programme. The relation between pre-Bologna and Bologna study programmes and qualifications is defined by the Decision on the Adoption of the Qualifications Framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette, No. 31/11). The levels of the Qualifications Framework in BiH are stated in the Decision.

 

Relation to ISCED levels and EQF

Basis of the Qualifications Framework

Previous system in BiH based on degrees of professional qualification

ISCED

level

EQF

Qualification

Education

Level

Degree of professional education

Education

Qualification

5B

6

Bachelor or

Baccalaureat

First cycle of higher education

6

VI.

Viša škola

Viša stručna sprema - VŠS

5A

7

Master

Second cycle of higher education

7

VII./1

Fakultet osnovne studije

Visoka stručna sprema - VSS

VII./1

Specijalizacija

Magistar specijalist

5

8

Doktorat

Third cycle of higher education

8

VII./2

Magisterij

Magistar nauka

6

VIII.

Doktorat

Doktor

nauka

 

The Decision notes that the relationship between the existing system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is based on the degrees of professional qualification, and the qualifications defined by the European Qualifications Framework will be further elaborated and defined by the amendments to existing legislations and by separate and subordinate legislation, if necessary.

Access to Higher Education

The minimum requirement for access to higher education is a completed four-year secondary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The higher education institutions, in accordance with the Laws on higher education and the statutes of the higher education institutions, may also stipulate other requirements for access to higher education.

Grading systems

There are two systems of grading

In the first system, student’s performance in exams and other forms of assessment is evaluated and assessed in the 1-5 grading system (1- insufficient, 5- excellent). In the second system, student’s performance in exams and other forms of assessment is evaluated and assessed in the 5-10 grading system (5- insufficient, 10- excellent). The ECTS grading scale (grades from A to F) is used in the ECTS system.

In the first grading system, student’s performance in exams and other forms of assessment is evaluated and assessed in the 1-5 grading system (1- insufficient, 5- excellent) and, in the ECTS system, the ECTS grading scale (A to F) according to the following:

  1. 5 (excellent) corresponds to A in the ECTS grading scale, and vice versa;
  2. 4 (very good) corresponds to B in the ECTS grading scale, and vice versa;
  3. 3 (good) corresponds to C in the ECTS grading scale, and vice versa;
  4. 2 (sufficient) corresponds to D in the ECTS grading scale, and the grades D and E in the ECTS grading scale correspond to 2 (sufficient);
  5. 1 (insufficient) corresponds to F in the ECTS grading scale, and the grades F and FX in the ECTS grading scale correspond to 1 (insufficient).
  6. 10 (excellent) corresponds to A in the ECTS grading system, and vice versa;
  7. 9 (very good) corresponds to B in the ECTS grading system, and vice versa;
  8. 8 (good) corresponds to C in the ECTS grading system, and vice versa;
  9. 7 (acceptable) corresponds to D in the ECTS grading scale, and vice versa;
  10. 6 (sufficient) corresponds to E in the ECTS grading scale, and vice versa;
  11. 5 (insufficient) corresponds to F in the ECTS grading scale, and the grades F and FX in the ECTS grading scale correspond to 5 (insufficient).

The passing grades are: 5 (excellent), 4 (very good), 3 (good) and 2 (sufficient).

In the second grading system, student’s performance in exams and other forms of assessment is evaluated and assessed in the 5-10 grading system (5- insufficient, 10- excellent) and, in the ECTS system, the ECTS grading scale (A to F) according to the following:

The passing grades are: 10 (excellent), 9 (very good), 8 (good), 7 (acceptable) and 6 (sufficient).