Higher education field is regulated by the Law on Higher Education. Montenegro has been a full-fledged member of the Bologna Process since 2007 and the member of the European Space for Higher Education – EHEA since 2010. Higher education in Montenegro is regulated by the Law on Higher Education and the Strategy of the Development of Higher Education in Montenegro. Strategic objectives of further development of higher education are conceived by the Strategy of the Development of Higher Education in Montenegro 2016-2020:
- Improvement of the higher education system and creation of competitive staff,
- Harmonizing education with the labour market needs,
- Improvement of scientific-research work and increased level of participation in EU projects,
- Internationalization of higher education,
- Lifelong learning education,
- Setting up a sustainable model of financing.
In Montenegro higher education can be acquired in the higher education institutions: universities, faculties, art academies and higher schools.
Studies in Montenegro differ according to:
- Type: undergraduate, master and doctoral (PhD)
- Undergraduate and master studies can be academic or applied
- Ownership: public (Faculties do not have the capacity of legal entity) and private (Faculties can have the capacity of legal entity)
- Organization of implementing the study programmes: independent, joint programmes with local or foreign institution
- Method of teaching: traditional, distance and in English language.
Diplomas acquired at the higher education institutions are:
- Diploma of Undergraduate studies: academic (180 ECTS) and applied (180 ECTS)
- Diploma of Master studies: academic (120 ECTS) and applied (120 ECTS)
- Diploma of completion of integrated Undergraduate and Master studies in the scope of 300, that is 360 ECTS
- University Diploma in the area of regulated professions (medicine, dentistry, architecture, pharmacy, higher school of medicine) in accordance with the Directive 2005/36EC and Directive 55/13EC
- University Diploma of academic doctoral studies in the scope of 180 ECTS.
Last changes in the higher education system introduced by the latest amendments to the Law on Higher Education include:
- New model of studies 3+2+3, , instead of the former model of 3+1+1+3
- Bachelor and Master studies free of charge in the public higher education institutions
- New(contractual) model of higher education financing which implies entering into contracts on financing for the implementation of study programmes, which will ensure the possibility of higher allocations from the budget, but more responsibilities too;
- Compulsory practical classes at the level of at least 25% of the total load of students by subjects, i.e. by year, depending on the learning outcomes for each study programme;
- Establishment of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education.