Overview of QA System

Quality assurance and improvement in higher education are achieved through accreditation, self-evaluation and reaccreditation.


The accreditation process is the responsibility of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education (Agency). The institution is obliged to submit to the Agency, at least six months before applying for a license, a request for accreditation of the study program. The process of accreditation of the study program evaluates the quality of the study program and its compliance with professional needs and standards adopted and comparability with the same or similar programs abroad, as well as the representation and credit evaluation of practical training. The accreditation of the study program is issued for a period of no more than five years. Exceptionally, accreditation for study programs lasting more than five years is granted for the duration of that study program. The institution submits a Request for accreditation of the study program with supporting documentation and proof of payment of administrative fees. The Agency shall set up a committee for the accreditation of study programs. The Agency appoints a coordinator (employee from the Agency ) who checks the formal completeness of the documentation and manages the procedure.

The Expert commission evaluating the program is formed of independent experts from Montenegro and abroad from the list of experts. The list of experts shall be determined by the Agency following a public invitation. The Commission, based on the Request for Accreditation and other submitted documentation, prepares an Accreditation Report with a proposal that the study program be accredited/not accredited and submits it to the Agency . The Agency sends the Report to the institution for an opinion. Based on the Report on the accreditation of the study program, the Agency, i.e. the director as its legal representative makes a decision on the final outcome of the accreditation Agency of the study program. Based on the positive decision, the institution receives an accreditation certificate. The decision and the report are published on the Agency's website.

The cost of accreditation of study programs is funded by the institution itself. The funds are paid to the Agency. The procedure for accreditation of study programs, the content and form of the accreditation certificate are prescribed by the Ministry of Education, upon the proposal of the Agency.

From 2018 to the end of 2020, the Agency received 59 applications for accreditation of study programs. Of that number, 53 accreditations were granted, two were denied (both denied accreditations related to doctoral programs), while four were withdrawn by the applicant. Most of these requirements, especially in the first year, related to the harmonization of studies under the Law on Higher Education (adjustment of the study model - 3 + 2 + 3; introduction of 25% of practical classes; introduction of modules in the final year of basic studies). All procedures that were implemented by the end of 2020, were done according to the old Rules, taking into account compliance with the Law on Higher Education and European standards and guidelines. By adopting new rules on the accreditation procedure in September 2020, the accreditation procedure will be clearer and simpler both in the process of preparation by institutions and in the evaluation process by expert commissions (new rules and forms clearly define criteria, evaluation method, etc.). The new rules for accreditation include the accreditation of undergraduate, master's and doctoral studies, as well as the accreditation of English-language and distance learning.


At the end of each academic year, an institution conducts a self-evaluation procedure related to quality of study programmes, teaching and working conditions, in compliance with statute of the institution. Within the procedure of self-evaluation student surveys concerning study programmes, teaching, conditions and work of academic staff are carried out at all levels, at least once a year. Participation of students in the survey is mandatory. The survey is anonymous. Self-evaluation reports of an institution are passed by the governing body of the institution. An institution submits a self-evaluation report to the Ministry and Agency. Method and criteria of self-evaluation concerning study programmes, teaching equipment, qualifications of academic staff, teaching methods, enrolment of students, exam pass rate, percentage of graduate students and the content of survey are defined in more detail by act of the Agency.

The institution's self-evaluation is carried out on a continuous basis and is conducted by the higher education institution in accordance with its statute (internal evaluation). In the process of self-evaluation, students are interviewed at all levels, at least once a year, about study programs, teaching, conditions and work of academic staff. The internal evaluation report is an integral part of the re-accreditation. Also, the research on the applicability of acquired knowledge and competences in the labor market is obliged to conduct the institution once every five years, and the findings are considered during the preparation of the self-evaluation report.

Reaccreditation of Institution

Reaccreditation of institution is carried out by the Agency. Reaccreditation of institution is carried out every five yearsThe Agency conducts the evaluation of institution on the basis of evaluation standards for institutions, in compliance with this Law. Within the reaccreditation procedure, an institution prepares a self-evaluation report covering the period not longer than five years. Based on the self-evaluation report and the conducted evaluation procedure the Commission for reaccreditation, appointed by the Agency, prepares a reaccreditation report for the institution. The reaccreditation report is submitted to the Agency, the institution and the Ministry. Based on the positive reaccreditation report of the Commission, the Agency issues a certificate on reaccreditation of the institution. The form of the certificate is prescribed by the Ministry and published by its website. Evaluation costs are covered by the institution.

If an institution fails to obtain a reaccreditation certificate, the license is valid maximum one year, without the possibility to enrol students during that year. If an institution fails to obtain a reaccreditation certificate after this period the Ministry shall by means of a decision revoke the license granted to the institution. An administrative procedure may be initiated against this decision.

During the validity period of accreditation or reaccreditation, a licensed institution can make alterations in study a programme at undergraduate level up to maximum 30 ECTS credits without undergoing accreditation and licensing procedure.

An institution carries out labour market research at least once in five years by conducting survey among graduate students, associations of employers, commercial entities and entrepreneurs concerning the applicability of the obtained knowledge, skills and competences required in the labour market. The results of the research are considered on the occasion of preparing self-evaluation and reaccreditation reports, and shall be published on the website of the institution.

Institution reaccreditation is a process based on the Institution's external evaluation report and its study programs in accordance with the prescribed standards for institution reaccreditation. The re-accreditation process is implemented through the following stages:

  1. The institution shall apply for accreditation of the institution with a report on self-evaluation and other supporting documents.
  2. The Agency shall delegate a procedure coordinator from among the staff of the Agency.
  3. The coordinator checks the formal fulfilment and timeliness of the reaccreditation request and supporting documents.
  4. After establishing that the material is complete, the Director of the Agency shall form an expert committee that will evaluate the reaccreditation request with at least five members that include the student as compulsory and the representative of the economy as the required member. 
  5. The Commission, on the basis of standards and criteria for the reaccreditation of the institution, documentation and visits to the institution, evaluates the request for reaccreditation and sends to the Agency a report with an reaccreditation position. 
  6. The Agency shall send the report to the institution for its opinion; 
  7. The Commission shall, in accordance with the justification of the opinion of the institution, submit to the Agency a final reaccreditation report with an reaccreditation position.
  8. The Director of the Agency shall decide on the request for reaccreditation of the institution based on the reaccreditation report. 
  9. The Agency shall notify the institution of the decision on reaccreditation and publish the report and decision on the website. 
  10. The Agency shall issue a certificate for reaccreditation of the institution.

From 2018 to 2020, the Agency reaccredited 2 universities and 7 faculties. Reaccreditation of higher education institutions was conducted in accordance with the Rules adopted by the Agency. Respecting ENQA's recommendations, the re-accreditation expert commissions, in addition to experts from the region, included the participation of student representatives and business representatives. In 2021, the Agency will conduct the reaccreditation of the University of Montenegro, and in the following years, follow-up control of reaccredited institutions.


The establishment of higher education institutions and the licensing process are regulated by the Law on Higher Education. An institution can perform its activity and admit students after the Ministry identifies that the institution has met the requirements prescribed by this Law and renders a decision on licensing. The license determines the type of institution, accredited study programmes, maximum number of students that can be admitted to certain study programmes, levels of education and degrees that can be obtained at the institution. The decision on licensing is passed by the Ministry and published in the Official Gazette of Montenegro.

Licensing procedure is performed in accordance with the Rulebook on more detailed Conditions for the Establishment, Performance of Activities, Licensing Procedure and the Manner of Keeping a Register of Higher Education Institutions

External evaluation

Within the Project "Higher Education and Research for Innovation and Competitiveness" financed by the World Bank loan, an external evaluation of all higher education institutions in Montenegro was carried out by the experts of the European Association of Universities - EUA in 2014. The external evaluation reports of the individual higher education institutions as well as integrated report of higher education system quality are available on the official EUA IEP website.

Periodic control of the realization of the study programs or work of institutions

So-called post-evaluation (follow up) involving six HEIs that were evaluated during 2013/2014 year was completed in 2018. Three initial individual institutional evaluations of higher education institutions that were not included in 2013/2014 evaluation were subjects of evaluation too. Evaluation was conducted in 2018 by the Institutional Evaluation Program (IEP), the European University Association (EUA). The outcomes of the post evaluation are the individual reports of the institutions, as well as the integrated report of higher education system quality in Montenegro. 

Accreditation of the Lifelong Learning Program

The Lifelong Learning Program is a part of the study program, i.e. module, with a defined structure that provides learning outcomes for the acquisition of competencies and the issuance of certificates for performing related tasks in the areas of higher education work defined in the national qualifications framework.

The Agency accredits lifelong learning programs implemented by higher education institutions. The Agency adopted the Rules on the procedure for accreditation of lifelong learning programs in September 2019. By the end of 2020, four applications had been received and rejected. It is announced that several applications for accreditation of the lifelong learning program for 2021 will be submitted by higher education institutions. This type of program is recognized in the field of higher education as programs of great importance for the improvement and advancement of specialized knowledge, especially in the process of internationalization of institutions.

Periodic control of the implementation of study programs and the work of higher education institutions is an ad hoc procedure carried out at the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports or Institution.

(Source: Eurydice, page updated 24 March, 2021)