Access to education


Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 12/01/21


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According to the LITP, beneficiaries of international protection have the right to elementary, secondary and higher education under the same conditions as Croatian citizens, pursuant to separate regulations.[1]

Asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection shall exercise the right to adult education as well as the right to recognition of foreign qualifications pursuant to the regulations on adult education under the same conditions as Croatian citizens.

For asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection, who for justified reasons are not able to provide the necessary documentation to prove their foreign qualifications, an assessment shall be conducted of their prior learning.  The assessment of the prior learning of beneficiaries of international protection shall be conducted by a competent body, pursuant to the regulations governing regulated professions and recognition of foreign vocational qualifications.

A decision to refuse an application for recognition of foreign vocational qualifications cannot be based exclusively on the fact that no official documents exist to prove a specific foreign vocational qualification.

If an asylee or foreigner under subsidiary protection does not have sufficient financial resources available, the translation of foreign documents for the purpose of recognition of foreign qualifications shall be provided from the State Budget of the Republic of Croatia, under the item of the Ministry competent for education.

According to Are you Syrious, in 2019 official Croatian language courses have started only at the beginning of December 2019, and the timelines for the courses (9am-12pm and 4pm-7pm) make it impossible for employed beneficiaries to attend the course.

Are you Syrious (AYS) further reported that children are still facing problems with enrolment in schools, especially in secondary school. AYS illustrated this issue with the example of a child who missed the deadline for enrolment and thus failed to regularly enter the school system. After several months of chasing both the school and the competent Ministry of Science and Education, the child ended up being enrolled in adult education. Additional problem observed by AYS, is that after the expiry of the two years following which beneficiaries have to move from the paid apartment to another address, new documents indicating the new residence are necessary to be able to enrol the children in the new school where they have moved. In 2019, AYS recorded a case where the family did not have sufficient financial resources for obtaining new documents and consequently could not enrol their children in school.

For students who have insufficient knowledge of the Croatian language, the school is obliged to organise preparatory classes, but according to AYS, practice has shown that the process of organising preparatory classes is extremely long and children often wait several months before such classes are approved. Also, some children have to go to another school for preparatory classes, and as a result, they are not attending part of their classes at their own school.[2]

According to the Croatian Red Cross, official Croatian language courses are not organised continuously nor tailored to the needs of the beneficiaries. The Red Cross has set up its network of volunteers with whom they have developed successful collaboration.[3]

JRS offers language courses in its Refugee Integration Centre “SOL” and provides additional activities for persons granted protection such as educational workshops that promote technology and IT literacy. The JRS team, together with volunteers and refugees, also created “Staze”, the first newspaper in Croatia for refugees that is written by refugees themselves. “Staze” is published in four languages: Croatian, English, Arabic and Persian/Farsi. The newspaper covers topics relevant to refugees and the challenges they face. The workshop and publication creates a sense of community and gathers volunteer and refugees together to work on the same goal.[4]


[1] Article 70 LITP.

[2]  Information provided by Are You Syrious, 27 January 2020.

[3] Information provided by the Croatian Red Cross, 20 December 2019.

[4] See JRS’s website at:


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation