The Ministry of Education is responsible for the policy in the field of education in Montenegro. The education system of Montenegro consists of pre-school education, primary education, general secondary education (high school), vocational education, upbringing and education of people with special needs, adult education and higher education. Adult education is part of the overall system and is being implemented at all levels of education.
Pre-school education is implemented in a nursery (children aged up to three years) , kindergarten (for children from three years to school age) and in other aspects of the organization of pre-school education, such as schools, playrooms , etc. Pre-school education is not a prerequisite to attend primary school. Primary education is compulsory for all children aged 6 to 15 years, lasts for nine years and it's free. General secondary is performed in gymnasiums. This education is not compulsory. High school may enroll persons who have completed primary education and are less than 17 years old. Education in high school lasts for four years. Secondary vocational education is also not mandatory, and is implemented in a period of three or four years in secondary vocational schools. Secondary vocational education is also performed in art schools. Higher education is acquired at the University of Montenegro and other public and private institutions. Tuition fee for a certain number of students is provided from the Budget of Montenegro, while other students bear the cost of tuition. University of Montenegro is composed of faculties, independent study programs, academy and institute. At the University of Montenegro the principles of the Bologna declaration are applied. University of Montenegro is comprised of 19 faculties and three research institutes. These 19 faculties offer 79 study programs. Higher education in Montenegro is structured as a three-cycle system and includes:
- Undergraduate Studies
- Postgraduate studies
- Doctoral Studies
The Law on Higher Education in Montenegro was adopted in October 2003, the same year when Montenegro officially became a signatory of the Bologna Declaration. Amendments to the Law on Higher Education were adopted by the Parliament on July 27th 2010. University of Montenegro is the only public institution of higher education in Montenegro. The first private university, the University Mediteran, began working in 2006. University Mediteran includes six university units. Approximately 2000 students are currently studying at the University. In addition to a private university, there are also 7 individual private schools in Montenegro, which have about 2400 students. According to the Law on Higher Education, it is possible to create new study programs, but in order to use the name of the university, an institution must have at least five study programs from three different scientific fields. In accordance with the Law on Amendments to the Law on Higher Education, the institution may have university status , i.e. use the term "university" in its name , provided that it has at least five different academic programs at the undergraduate level. One of the five different study programs must have at least one undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies. In April 2010 an other private university is established, the University of Donja Gorica, which acquired the license to operate. The new university is now comprised of 10 faculties.