Higher Education in Montenegro

The legal framework of the higher education system and quality assurance in Montenegro is defined by the Law on Higher Education, the Law on Academic Integrity, as well as by a set of standards and by-laws.

The strategic framework of higher education system is defined by the Strategy for the Development of Higher Education in Montenegro.

The Law on Higher Education (2017) stipulates that ACQAHE is responsible for ensuring the quality of higher education, in compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines.

In this regard, the competencies of ACQAHE arising from Article 13a of the aforementioned Law are as follows:

1) conducts study programme accreditation procedure and issues a certificate on accreditation of the study programme;

2) conducts higher education institution external evaluation procedure and issues a certificate on reaccreditation of the higher education institution based on the reaccreditation report;

2a) adopts standards for evaluation in accordance with standards in the European Higher Education Area;

3) conducts a periodic assessment of quality of licensed higher education institutions’ work, following the request of an authorized body of institution or the Ministry;

4) establishes the list of experts for accreditation of study programmes, or reaccreditation of institutions based on a public call;

5) cooperates with higher education institutions with regard to matters of quality assurance and quality improvement;

6) analyses self-evaluation and external evaluation reports of institutions;

7) proposes measures for quality improvement of higher education based on recommendations put forward in re-accreditation reports of higher education institutions and present them to the               Ministry and the Government;

8) keeps a register of accredited study programs and reaccredited institutions;

9) establishes the methodology for ranking the institution and performs ranking of higher education institutions;

10) performs other tasks prescribed by the Law.

Quality assurance is achieved through the self-evaluation process of higher education institutions, as well as through the external evaluation procedures conducted by the ACQAHE. External evaluation procedures in accordance with the Law on Higher Education are as follows:

– accreditation of study programs;

– reaccreditation of higher education institutions;

– accreditation of lifelong learning programs;

– periodic assessment of the quality of work of higher education institutions.

In addition to the legal framework, quality assurance of higher education is regulated by:

Higher education in Montenegro is obtained at the following institutions of higher education: university, faculty, art academy and college.

Studies differ according to:

  • Types: undergraduate, master and doctoral;
  • Undergraduate and master studies can be academic or applied;
  • Ownership: public (Faculties do not have the status of a legal entity) and private (Faculties may have the status of a legal entity);
  • Organization of study programs: independent, joint programs with a domestic or foreign institution;
  • Method of teaching: traditional, distance and in English language.

The Degrees obtained at the higher education institutions are:

  • degree of undergraduate studies: academic (180 ECTS) and applied (180 ECTS);
  • master’s degree: academic (120 ECTS) and applied (120 ECTS);
  • degree of completed integrated undergraduate and master’s studies of 300 and 360 ECTS;
  • degree in the field of regulated professions (medicine, dentistry, architecture, pharmacy, higher medical school) in accordance with Directive 2005/36EC and Directive 55/13EC;
  • degree of academic doctoral studies of 180 ECTS.

In addition to the amendment of the Law on Higher Education, which recognized the establishment of ACQAHE in 2017, the following key changes were introduced in the system of higher education in Montenegro:

  • new study model 3+2+3, instead of the former model 3+1+1+3;
  • undergraduate and master’s studies free of charge at the public institutions of higher education
  • mandatory practical training of at least 25% of the total student’s workload, by course, i.e. a year, depending on the learning outcomes for an individual study programme.
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