Republic of North Macedonia

Higher Education System

The ten basic principles on which the function of the higher education system is set are stipulated in the Law on Higher Education, adopted by the Parliament in May 2018. These are:

  1. Autonomy and academic freedom;
  2. Unity of the teaching, scientific and research activities;
  3. Openness towards citizens and the public;
  4. Respect for the humanistic and democratic values of the national and European tradition and values of cultural heritage;
  5. Respect of the human rights and freedom and assurance of the principle of equality and protection from discrimination;
  6. Further improvement of the academic mobility of the teaching staff and the students;
  7. Participation of the students in the management and decision-making processes;
  8. Aspiration for universal knowledge which imperative are science, freedom and truth;
  9. Provision of system for lifelong learning and
  10. Provision of quality and efficiency in the studying.

As of September 2013, the country is member and signatory of the Bologna Process. As such, in the last 15 years the country has adapted the policies and facilitated the realisation of the goals resulting from the Bologna Process. The higher education system has been correspondingly transformed, especially in the area of adoption of a three-cycle system, introduction of a diploma supplement, introduction of a credit system, promotion of mobility, promotion of the European collaboration in quality assurance and the inclusion of the students.

The new Law set ambitious set of objectives for the HE system in the forthcoming period. However, the major progress is expected to be done in the realm of quality assurance.

The provisions of the Law set the legal basis for establishing the National Council for Higher Education and the Agency for Higher Education. The latter is replacement for the former Board for Accreditation and Evaluation of the Higher Education. The former Board was split into two bodies, Higher Education Accreditation Board and Higher Education Evaluation Board, and these will be part of the Agency which is expected to be established until May 2019.

The main priorities of the national higher education system are set in the Strategy for Development of Education 2018 - 2025 which was adopted in February 2018.  There are five priorities for the development of the higher education system until 2025:

- Ensure Quality and Effectiveness of Higher Education in accordance with European good practices; Improve the Content of Higher Education; Improve Availability and Enrolment System of Higher Education; Improve Management and Funding of Higher Education; Support Research and Innovation.

According to the measures specified in the Strategy’s Action Plan the focus of the development of the higher education system will be put on strengthening of the academic freedom, enhancement of the quality assurance system, employability of the graduate students, mobility of the academic staff and students and the internationalization of the system.

(Source: Eurydice, page updated 27 December, 2018)

Types of Higher Education Institutions

  • Higher education studies are organised by both public and private universities, and other higher education institutions, namely at faculties, art academies, and higher vocational schools and colleges within the regulation of Law for higher education and its latest Amended version from February 2013, Ammended Law on Higher education in Republic of Macedonia.pdf.  

    According to the Ministry of education and science of Republic of Macedonia and Board of accreditation and evaluation of education [[../Akreditirani visokoobrazovni ustanovi.doc|List of accredited higher education institutions in Macedonia]], by the academic year 2012/2013 there are overall 16 accredited universities (from which 5 are public and 11 are private) with 119 faculties (from which 55 are public and 64 private), 6 institutes (from which 2 are public and 4 private), and 5 higher vocational schools (from which 2 are public and 3 are from the private sector).

    Educational requirements for admission into study programmes are set by higher education institutions. In the past the admissions process to first cycle programmes at Macedonian universities required students to present their secondary school grades and take an entrance examination. Since 2009, instead of individual entrance exams, universities use the new national examinations administered at the end of secondary school (State Matura). State Examination Center became the central service for administering the State Matura as part of the process of enrolment into higher education in Macedonia. The State Matura was successfully administered for the first time in the school year 2007/2008. The objectives of each Matura exam are determined by subject syllabi for the Matura, whose scope and level of achievement are in compliance with the curricula of the individual subjects.  A pass in the Matura is a general admission requirement for University.

  • (Source: Eurydice, page updated 9 October, 2017)