Montenegro

Montenegro is a country of South and Southeast Europe on the coast of the Balkans. After signing the Bologna Declaration in 2003, the structure of the educational process was altered by introducing three cycles of studies and the European Credit Transfer System ECTS as a measure of the scope of studies. The reformed higher education system is characterized by quality assurance and continuous quality control, the introduction of “diploma supplement” as an accompanying document that describes the study program and acquired knowledge, skills and competences, increase in student and academic staff mobility, recognition of acquired qualifications and degrees in accordance with the Lisbon Convention, engaging students as partners in educational process and decision-making system and developing the lifelong learning concept.

RegionSouthern Europe
CapitalPodgorica
LanguageMontenegrin
Population631,219
Expenditure on higher education1,9 %
Unemployment14,2 %
EuroUniversities in top 1000
EuroUniversities in top 2500
EuroUniversities in top 5000
EuroUniversities in top 10003
Students24,700
Foreigner students1,8 %
Enrollment rate in higher education56,1 %

European Country Ranking
South-European Country Ranking
YearOverallResearch EmploymentInnovationInternationalizationInfrastructureEducational potential
202073,815,112,714,5811,1610,59,76
201968,1311,612,810,712,7510,59,78
201871,5911,712,714,6411,7310,610,22
201766,7111,89,615,4613,257,19,5
201667,3411,913,115,0710,677,19,5
201577,3717,9413,115,6713,138,249,29
Statistics of the higher education

The area of higher education is regulated by the Law on Higher Education, whose last amendments were adopted in June 2017, and they relate to:

  • the introduction of a new 3 + 2 + 3 study model, being the dominant one in the European Higher Education Area, instead of the previous 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 model;
  • free bachelor and master studies at public higher education institutions, i.e. the University of Montenegro, starting from 2017/2018 academic year for bachelor studies. Studies of the second cycle, i.e. master studies according to the reformed study model, will be free of charge as of 2020/2021;
  • the introduction of a new higher education funding model, the so-called contractual model;
  • mandatory practical instruction comprising 25% of total student’s workload by course, i.e. a year, depending on the learning outcomes for a particular study programme;
  • establishment of the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education.

All of the strategic objectives for further higher education development have been formulated in the Strategy for the Development of Higher Education 2016-2020, and they include:

  • improving the quality of higher education and creating competitive staff
  • harmonizing education with the labour market needs
  • improving scientific and research work and increased level of participation in EU projects
  • internationalization of higher education
  • lifelong learning
  • Establishing a sustainable funding model.

Higher education in Montenegro can be acquired at the university, faculty, art academy and college. Higher education institutions can be established as public or private. A public institution is founded by the government. A private institution may be established by a national and foreign legal entity or natural person.

Study programmes that can be implemented at institutions are:

  • bachelor, comprising 180 ECTS
  • master (postgraduate), comprising 120 ECTS
  • doctoral, comprising 180 ECTS points.

Study programmes may be interdisciplinary and organized from at least two fields.

Undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes can be accredited as academic and applied.

Doctoral study programmes can be accredited as academic.

First cycle programmes (undergraduate studies) take three years, and the majority of study programmes comprise 180 ECTS. In accordance with the Law on Higher Education, first-cycle programmes can also be organized as integrated bachelor and master programmes comprising 300 ECTS points, or 360 ECTS points. Persons who obtain a degree by completing integrated bachelor and master studies are entitled to apply directly to doctoral studies.

Programmes in the field of regulated professions (Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture, Pharmacy, Medical College of Vocational Studies) have been harmonized with a special European Union regulation governing the field of regulated professions, i.e. Directive 2005/36EC and Directive 55/13EC.

Persons who complete the first-cycle programmes (academic and applied study programmes) have an option to continue education on second-cycle programmes.

Each study programme has to include practical training, as well as learning outcomes for the scientific area to which the relevant study programme belongs, i.e. competences for performing the relevant activities. Practical trainings make at least 25% of total student’s workload by course, i.e. a year, depending on the learning outcomes for an individual study programme.

The condition that each higher education institution needs to meet in order to be able to carry out study programmes and enrol students is to have an accreditation certificate issued by the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education and a license to work issued by the Ministry of Education. Among other things, the Agency:

  • conducts the procedure of study programme accreditation and issues a certificate on accreditation of the study program
  • conducts the procedure of higher education institution external evaluation and issues a certificate on reaccreditation of the higher education institution based on the reaccreditation report
  • carries out periodic assessment of quality of licensed higher education institutions’ work, following the request of an authorized body of institution or the Ministry
  • establishes the list of experts for accreditation of study programmes, or reaccreditation of institutions based on a public call
  • ranks higher education institutions.

Activities of improvement and development of higher education are conducted by the Council for Higher Education. The Council is appointed and removed by the Parliament of Montenegro on the proposal of the Government. Members of the Council are appointed from among the eminent experts in the area of higher education, science, arts, from among students and the area of economy, social matters and other relevant areas. Representatives from among students are appointed for a period of two years.

Among other things, the Council:

  • analyzes the state and achievements in higher education and offers expert proposals to the Ministry of Education and the Government of Montenegro
  • prescribes the conditions and criteria for appointment to academic titles
  • provides opinion on the amount of resources required for funding public higher education institutions and students of these institutions, for each academic year
  • provides opinion on the number of students and the amount of resources required for funding students attending programmes of public interest at private higher education institutions, for each academic year
  • provides opinion on regulations in the field of higher education
  • cooperates with higher education institutions in terms of quality assurance and quality improvement.

The Government determines the number of students to be financed from the budget of Montenegro for a certain study programme, in accordance with the number prescribed in the license of the public institution. In the procedure of giving approval to the call for enrolment in study programmes, the decision is made by the Government, following the proposal of the public institution’s management body.

Funding public institutions for implementing the first-cycle study programmes began in 2017/2018, whereas the funding of public institutions for the implementation of the second-cycle study programmes will begin in 2020/2021. This means that in 2017/18 academic year, all students enrolled in the first year of first-cycle studies attend public institutions free of tuition fees, whereas from 2020/21 academic year, students enrolling master studies in public institutions will be exempt from paying tuition fees.

A foreigner is entitled to be enrolled in study programmes in Montenegro under the same conditions as Montenegrin citizens, in accordance with the Law and the statute of the institution.

Students with disabilities in public and private institutions are exempt from paying the fee. For persons with disabilities, the principle of affirmative action is applied on the occasion of enrolment in a study programme.

Students are involved as partners in the decision-making process, the improvement of studies and the quality of studies. Pursuant to the Law on Higher Education and the Statute of the institution, a student is entitled to elect and be elected to the bodies of the institution. Students have their representatives in the governing board, the highest governing body of the institution, the senate and the council of the faculty. At least 20% of the total number of members professional and management bodies are students.

Bachelor

Branches of study

Undergraduate study programs are provided by licensed higher education institutions in compliance with the Law on Higher Education from the following areas:

  • natural sciences
  • technical and technological sciences
  • medical sciences
  • social sciences
  • humanistic sciences
  • agricultural sciences
  • interdisciplinary sciences

Undergraduate study programmes are organized as three year courses – 180 ECTS for the majority of study programmes.

Exceptions are some undergraduate Bachelor study programmes like Teacher training, Teacher training in Albanian Language, Architecture  and Pharmacy which are organized in duration of five years, 300 ECTS. Study of Medicine and Dentistry are organized in duration of six years, 360 ECTS.  Students who complete  undergraduate studies in duration of five or six years can be enrolled  in doctoral studies directly.

Admission requirements

A person who has obtained a proper level education required for attaining IV-1 sub-level of National Qualifications Framework is entitled to enrol in undergraduate academic and applied studies.

Enrolment in studies is conducted on the basis of:

  1. general performance concerning the completion of individual grades for attaining IV-1 sub-level of National Qualifications Framework;
  2. results achieved at external Matura or vocational exam;
  3. performance from two subjects of third and fourth grade relevant for continuance of education;
  4. achieved success at national or international competition in subjects of importance for continuing education;
  5. “Luča” diploma awarded for excellent study performance.

For enrolment in certain study programmes, an admission exam may be introduced.

For persons with disabilities the principle of affirmative action shall be applied on the occasion of enrolment in a study programme.

Matura or vocational exam is valued with at least 15% of total number of points acquired on enrolment by evaluating all criteria.  On professional-artistic study programmes of undergraduate studies of faculties and art academies, a candidate without completed secondary school can be enrolled, provided that they pass an admission exam in compliance with the Law on Higher Education.

If a candidate is a person with a disability, the principle of affirmative action is applied.

A foreigner is entitled to be enrolled into study programmes in Montenegro, under the same conditions as Montenegrin citizens, in compliance with the Law and statute of institution.

More detailed conditions and criteria, method and procedure of enrolment in the first year of undergraduate academic and applied studies is prescribed by the Ministry of Education.

Curriculum

An institution is entitled to determine study programmes to be carried out and courses to be taught and independently develop and carry out study programmes.  

Studies at institutions are carried out on the basis of an accredited study programme. Undergraduate study programmes can be accredited as academic and applied.Accreditation is done by the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education in accordance with the Law on Higher Education and by law acts.

A study programme must include practical training, as well as learning outcomes for the scientific area to which the relevant study programme belongs, i.e. competences for performing the relevant activities. Programmes of undergraduate studies shall include at least two elective modules. An institution can perform its activity and admit students after the Ministry of Education identifies that the institution has met the requirements prescribed by the Law on Higher Education and renders a decision on licensing 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

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.

Within the programme implemented, a higher education institution  provides students with conditions for acquiring knowledge of at least one foreign language on the level of proficient user.

Teaching methods

As a part of institutions rights  an institution is entitled to determine methods of teaching and assessment of students’ knowledge.

An institution organizes lectures, exercises, practical training and other forms of instruction for all students, except in case of distance learning, in accordance with study programmes for achieving learning outcomes.

Practical knowledge, skills and competences, or practical training may be acquired at the premises of the institution and outside the institution.

Practical training outside the institution is provided by legal entities on the basis of agreement on practical training.The manner and time of organizing all forms of instruction are regulated by a general act of institution.

At the beginning of an academic year, an institution  duly informs students on the manner, time and place of conducting instruction, knowledge assessment and examination, examination results and other matters relevant for the organization of studies.

Also, a public institution may, with the approval of the Government, organise studies in cooperation with a domestic or foreign higher education institution.

A private institution may organise studies in cooperation with a domestic or foreign higher education institution.

In organisation of the these studies an institution is entitled to carry out a programme of double or joint degrees.

Double degree is acquired upon completing a study programme at two higher education institutions and is verified by two diplomas issued by these institutions.

Joint degree is issued by at least two or more higher education institutions, according to a study programme for joint degree acquisition, that hold the license to implement such study programme.  

Teaching may also be organised remotely (distance learning), whereas exams are held at premises of an institution. Conditions and manner of teaching organisation and exam taking are prescribed by the Ministry of Education, following the prior opinion of the Council for Higher Education.

By the Regulation on Norms and Standards for Financing Public Higher Education Institutions and Financing of Students at the Higher Education Institutions , passed by the Government,norms and standards for financing of public higher education institutions and students at this institutions, as well as financing students of those study programmes at private higher education institutions that have been determined as programmes of public interest, are prescribed. By this by-law act the  number of students in study groups is determined in accordance with study programme groups, number of study groups, activities of academic staff at public institution financed from the Budget, number of employees (academic staff) at public HEI, number of teaching assistants at public HEI, number of technical staff at public institution, number of non-academic staff at public institution, overheads and material costs of the public institution necessary for its activities, costs per student at public institution, costs of a study programme at public institution, costs per student at private higher education institution at study program of public interest.

Progression of students

On the occasion of enrolment in an institution a student shall opt for a certain study programme.

A study programme determines courses for an individual year of studying.

By passing exams from the courses a student obtains a certain number of ECTS credits in compliance with a study programme.

A student funded from the budget of Montenegro who has obtained at least 45 ECTS credits in an academic year enrolled for the first time is entitled to be funded from the budget in the next academic year as well.

A student funded from the budget of Montenegro who has obtained less than 45 ECTS credits in an academic year enrolled for the first time can continue studies with the status of self-funding student.

An institution may approve enrolment in the following study year to a student who failed to earn at least 45 ECTS credits if they did not pass one exam in a course worth more than 15 ECTS credits, in compliance with statute of the institution.

A student who fails to pass an elective course, may take the same course again or choose a different elective course.

Rules of studying is determined in more details by a general act of an institution.

Employability

In order to enable adequate circumstamces for practical training of students to prepare them for the labour market a study programme includes practical training.  Practical training makes at least 25% of total student’s workload by course, i.e. a year, depending on the learning outcomes for an individual study programme.

Practical knowledge, skills and competences, or practical training are acquired at the premises of the institution and outside the institution. Practical training outside the institution is provided by legal entities on the basis of agreement on practical training.

Also, 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.

In that sense on the basis of the prepared Feasibility Study for the establishment of the Tracer Study, a survey for students who obtained degree of completed studies in 2009 and 2013 was conducted and Data Analysis from Tracer Study has been done.

In 2012 Montenegrin Parliament adopted Law on Professional Training of Persons with Acquired Higher Education. In accordance with this Law Program of Professional Training of Persons with Acquired Higher Education has been implanting. The programme enables the persons with acquired higher education, and who are without working experience, to acquire knowledge, skills and competences, during these nine months that will help them in the future for independent performing of their activities. The programme beneficiaries are enabled to acquire appropriate working experience, while the employers in both public and private sector are able to recognize high quality staff, that would once the professional development programme is finished could be engaged at work. Nine-month professional development, during which beneficiaries get monthly net salaries in the amount of 50% of average net salary in Montenegro, is support to the education of the young and incentive to them to get employment. This Program is a very good indicator and good source of information, together with other important information, and contributes to improving the decision-making process on creating the enrolment policy at higher education institutions in Montenegro from the aspect of producing qualifications in accordance with the real labour market needs. Implementation of the Programme indicates the willingness of employers to be more actively engaged in the process of training of the future workforce. Financial resources for the realization of this Program are provided by the Government. Program is performing for the six consecutive years.

In accordance with analysis done by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with Tax Administration concerning four years of Program implementation, out of 14.252 Program users 6.865 i.e. 48,16% have continued their working engagement. 

Student assessment

A student takes an exam upon completion of instruction from that study course in a manner determined by a study programme, in compliance with statute of institution.

The success of students to master a course and overcome all forms of knowledge assessment before the exam shall be valued and expressed in points.

Total number of points a student can earn through all pre-exam forms of knowledge assessment, or study results ranges from 30 to 70, in compliance with the rules of studying.

On the basis of all pre-exam forms of knowledge assessment, or learning outcomes and by taking exams, a student can earn a maximum of 100 points, in compliance with the rules of studying.

Students’ performance on exam and other forms of knowledge assessment shall be expressed in letter grades, specifically: A, B, C, D, E and F.

Grade F is an insufficient grade.

Letter grades are equivalent to numerical grades, namely:

  1. A (excellent) is equivalent to grade 10
  2. B (very good) is equivalent to grade 9
  3. C (good) is equivalent to grade 8
  4. D (satisfactory) is equivalent to grade 7
  5. E (sufficient) is equivalent to grade 6.

Average grade during the studies is determined as quotient of the sum of numerical grades multiplied by ECTS credits for each course, and the total number of obtained ECTS credits.

Certification

After completing of undergraduate programmes students are awarded by diploma of undergraduate study programmes academic or applied and Bachelor degree of education. After completing of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy study program students are awarded by diploma of undergraduate study programe and Doctor of medicine/dentistry/ pharmacy education degree. As a part of diploma, a  Diploma Supplement (DS), based on the official European model, is issued to graduates. As of 2006/07, the DS was made mandatory for all degree programmes. The content of the DS is bilingual, in both Montenegrin and English. If the student studies in the language of minorities, then diploma and diploma supplement is issued in the language of minorities as well.

The content of diploma and supplement diploma is prescribed by the Rulebook on the content and form of diploma and supplement diploma, keeping the register of students, records and contents of public documents issued by the university and institutions of higher education

Qualifications acquired after completing undergraduate study program extent of 180 ECTS regardless applied of academic are accommodated in VI level of National Qualification Framework.  

Second Cycle Programmes

Branches of study

Second cycle study programs are provided by licensed higher education institutions in compliance with the Law on Higher Education from the following areas:

  • natural sciences
  • technical and technological sciences
  • medical sciences
  • social sciences
  • humanistic sciences
  • agricultural sciences
  • interdisciplinary sciences

Second cycle  study programmes are organized as two year courses – 120 ECTS.

Students who complete undergraduate study programmes such as Teacher training, Teacher training in Albanian Language, Architecture  and Pharmacy organized in duration of five years, 300 ECTS, as well as  Medicine and Dentistry organized in duration of six years, 360 ECTS,  can be enrolled  in doctoral studies directly.

Funding of public institutions for the implementation of 2nd cycle study programmes will begin in academic year 2020/21.

Admission requirements

Enrolment in Master’s academic and applied studies is carried out on a competitive basis, in accordance with the results achieved during undergraduate or applied studies comprising at least 180 ECTS credits and on entry exam, in accordance with the Law on Higher Education and Statute of institution.

Content, method and procedure of taking the entry exam and more detailed criteria and their evaluation, as well as the methods and procedure and the level of compliance of completed undergraduate studies for enrolment in the first year of Master’s academic and applied studies is laid down by an act of institution.

A foreigner is entitled to be enrolled into study programmes in Montenegro, under the same conditions as Montenegrin citizens, in compliance with this Law and statute of institution.

Curriculum

An institution is entitled to determine study programmes to be carried out and courses to be taught and independently develop and carry out study programmes.  

Studies at institutions are carried out on the basis of an accredited study programme. Higher education institutions offer second cycle programs or so-called postgraduate study programs. Master’s study programs can be academic and applied.

Until the adoption of the amendment and changes  to the Law on Higher Education in June 2017, when most of the study programs were organized according to the scheme 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 (undergraduate 180 ECTS + specialist 60 ECTS + master 60 ECTS + doctoral 180 ECTS), postgraduate studies were mainly realized  in two phases. The first phase relates to the program of specialist studies, while the second relates to the master program. Specialist studies last one year comprising 60 ECTS. Master study program last for one year, comprising 60 ECTS  or two years comprising 120 ECTS depending on the duration of the undergraduate  study program and the concept of the postgraduate studies.

The organisation and implementation of Joint Master’s study programmes with other higher education institutions that deal with scientific or artistic fields is understood to include accredited study programmes in the same scientific / artistic fields and a concluded agreement concerning the conditions and methods of organising Joint studies.

Teaching methods

Lectures at Postgraduate level can be delivered by academic staff with academic titles.

Along with the theme of master application, each student proposes a mentor with his/her written consent. Based on the submitted application, with the consent of the Commission for Postgraduate studies and the received opinion of the Board for Monitoring Master’s studies, the Council of the Faculty appoints a mentor and a Commission for the evaluation of the suitability of a topic and a candidate. The mentor guiding the writing of the Master’s thesis helps master candidate in choosing the methods for scientific research work, the choice of literature, preparing the structure of the paper, as well as provide them with other professional assistance.

Each mentor may simultaneously supervise a maximum of five Master’s students.

Progression of students

Master studies are organised and carried out in accordance with the Rules of Study based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).In accordance with ECTS rules, the scope of the Study programme amounts to 60 ECTS credits in one academic year, i.e. 30 ECTS credits in one semester.

The Master’s thesis at Postgraduate level amounts to a maximum of 30 ECTS credits.

In accordance with the amended and changed Law on Higher Education, from 2020/21 academic year begins the realization of two-year master’s studies, at all institutions of higher education in Montenegro. Until then master programs will be realized, at almost all study programs as one-year program, 60 ECTS credits.

Each student chooses the topic of their Master’s thesis after having completed the first semester. The topic of the Master’s thesis may be chosen based on the subject (course) taught as part of the Postgraduate study programme. The topics of the Master’s thesis are proposed by the teachers that are involved in teaching at Postgraduate level. Each student chooses the subject (course) in which he/she wants to complete Master’s thesis, and, in consultation with the teacher of the subject, proposes to the Council of the Organisational unit the topic for the Master’s thesis.

The teacher teaching the chosen subject provides students with the necessary help while the student prepares the justification of the Master’s thesis topic and the teacher signs their consent for it.

Each Master’s thesis can be submitted only after the candidate has passed all the exams and has met all other requirements envisaged by the study programme. Master candidate submits to the Council a request for the evaluation of their Master’s thesis.

The Board for monitoring the Masters studies that are carried out at the Organisational units of the University of Montenegro is established within the Centre for Studies and Quality Control at the University. The Board for montoring Masters studies gives its opinion on the application of the topic of Master’s thesis, from the point of view of the methodological principles of scientific research work.

Employability

This part is the same as for the Bachelor studies, please see Employability within Bachelor section.

Student assessment

The Commission for the defence of Master’s thesis, after the conducted procedure, makes a decision on whether the MA/MS candidate defended his/ her thesis successfully and with which grade. While deciding on the grade, the quality of the thesis and the defence are taken into account.

The grade is established by a majority vote of the Commission and must be in line with the ECTS scale:

GRADE A – outstanding performance

GRADE B – performance above the average standard

GRADE C- performance meets the average standard.

Each Master’s thesis can be defended only once.

If the Commission for the evaluation of the Master’s thesis or the Council of the Organisational unit decides not to approve a Master’s thesis, master candidate may submit a new application for a topic of the Master’s thesis.

Certification

By completing master studies the following degrees are acquired:

  • degree of applied master’s studies after completed applied master’s programme, comprising 120 ECTS credits, and after obtaining a degree of applied undergraduate studies and defending a master’s thesis or after completing an integrated undergraduate and master’s study programme of 300 ECTS credits and defending of a master’s thesis;
  • degree of academic master’s studies, after completed academic master’s programme, comprising 120 ECTS credits, and after obtaining a degree of academic undergraduate studies and defending a master’s thesis or after completing an integrated undergraduate and master’s study programme of 300 ECTS credits and defending a master’s thesis.

With the master degree Diploma Supplement is enclosed, as public credential issued by a higher education institution providing a more detailed insight into the level, nature, content, system and rules of studying as well as the results achieved during the studies by an individual to whom the diploma was issued.  It is prepared according to the basic model determined for the single European Higher Education Area.

Qualifications acquired after completing master study program regardless applied of academic are accommodated in VII2 sublevel of the National Qualification Framework. 

Degree Equivalence

Degrees acquired after completing four-year, five-year or six-year higher education, according to curricula adopted prior to entry into force of Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette of the Republic Montenegro, 60/03 and Official Gazette of Montenegro 45/10, 47/11 and 48/13) are equivalent to degrees of master’s studies in terms of the right to employment.

Degrees acquired after completing postgraduate academic and applied specialist studies under the Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette of the Republic Montenegro, 60/03 and Official Gazette of Montenegro 45/10, 47/11 and 48/13) and Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette of Montenegro 44/14, 47/15 and 40/16) are equivalent to degrees of master’s studies in terms of the right to employment.

The above noted degrees are recognized for enrollment in the second year of master’s studies in compliance with the Law on Higher Education.

Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Organisation of Doctoral Studies

Doctoral study programmes are carried out by licensed higher education institutions with university status in compliance with the Law on Higher Education, in the following areas:

  • natural sciences
  • technical and technological sciences
  • medical sciences
  • social sciences
  • human sciences
  • agricultural sciences
  • interdisciplinary sciences

Doctoral studies take three study years (six semesters), i.e. the total study programme comprises 180 ECTS points. The study programme of doctoral studies is divided into study years and semesters. The scope of the study programme is 60 ECTS in one study year, i.e. 30 ECTS in one semester. Doctoral study programme can be implemented solely at the higher education institutions that have the status of university.

Admission Requirements

Enrolment in doctoral studies is carried out on a competitive basis, according to the results achieved on master’s academic studies, in compliance with the law and statute of institution.

More detailed conditions, criteria, method, procedure and the level of compliance of master’s study programmes for enrolment in the first year of doctoral studies are prescribed by a professional body of institution.

Candidates who have acquired a diploma with the academic title of Master within suitable areas of science/arts, or an academic diploma of regulated professions after gaining at least 300 ECTS points are entitled to enter the competition for enrolment in doctoral studies. Each candidate is obliged to file an application and evidence of meeting the admission requirement. Enrolment in doctoral studies requires the candidate to speak one foreign language.

A foreigner may enrol in a doctoral studies programme under the same conditions and criteria as a Montenegrin citizen, after having their diploma from the previously completed cycle/grade/level of studies recognized.

Status of Doctoral Students/Candidates 

By enrolling in doctoral studies on the basis of a public call for applications announced by the university in accordance with the license, a person acquires the status of a PhD student. Both employed and unemployed persons have the right to apply for doctoral studies admission. PhD students are required to pay tuition fees. As an exception, PhD students who have been engaged by the university as associate staff on the basis of public call announced by the institution in accordance with the statute, are exempt from paying tuition fees.

If there are still available places in student dormitory after the admitting students of undergraduate studies, the right to accommodation and food at an economic price can also be acquired by PhD students who are not employed, who receive education outside their place of residence, and have enrolled the semester of the appropriate year of study for the first time without changing the study programme.

In order to provide support to students of master’s and doctoral studies, the Ministry of Education co-finances scholarships for PhD students that meet the criteria prescribed in the Public Call in the amount up to 1,000.00 EUR, in accordance with the criteria of the Call for co-financing tuition fees for master’s and doctoral studies in the country and abroad and the travel expenses for study visits abroad, which is published annually.

PhD students who are employed and those who have the status of unemployed persons are entitled to health care.

Supervision Arrangements

Study programme for doctoral studies is implemented through:

  • teaching process
  • scientific and research or artistic work
  • development and defence of PhD thesis or PhD artistic project.

The PhD study programme is implemented as follows: – Semester I includes four subjects; – Semester II includes one subject and research work that is relevant to the thesis (initial research); – Semesters III, IV and V include research work; – Semester VI includes the preparation and defence of the doctoral thesis. Lectures in Semesters I and II range from 12 to 20 hours a week during 16 (15+1) weeks of teaching and consultations, in accordance with the defined curriculum. Examinations are valued by maximum 40 ECTS points. PhD thesis is valued by maximum 140 ECTS points, out of which initial research is valued by maximum 20 ECTS points, application and thesis development by maximum 90 ECTS points, and the preparation and defence of the PhD thesis by maximum 30 ECTS points.

Teaching process is conducted through lectures, seminars, consultations and other determined forms of teaching. Teaching at doctoral studies can be performed by academic staff holding academic title, which has achieved adequate results in the field being taught.

As a rule, mentor is appointed from among the available associate and full professors, i.e. senior research associates and scientific advisors, within the narrow scientific/artistic field of the PhD thesis, engaged in the implementation of the PhD study programmes.  

Besides these, a mentor must meet the following additional requirements: 1) Within the area of natural sciences and mathematics, medical, technical-technological and agricultural sciences, a person who has published at least five original scientific papers in journals on the SCI/SCIE list can be appointed as mentor; 2) Within the area of social and human sciences, a person who has at least three original scientific papers in journals on the SSCI or A&HCI list can be appointed as mentor; 3) Within the area of arts, a person who has at least five representative references which have been determined as a condition for promotion to academic title at the University may be appointed as mentor. One mentor may work with maximum three students at the same time.

In case of a multidisciplinary theme, a student may have one additional mentor (two co-mentors in total).

Each mentor for PhD thesis or doctoral artistic project is obliged to assist the student in the selection of the methods of scientific or artistic research work, the relevant literature, preparing the structure of thesis, defining the research activities and planning the time frame for the research which can be used to monitor the progress of the student, as well as to provide him/her with professional assistance.

Employability

PhD students are mainly engaged at universities as teaching and research associates. Contracts with PhD students engaged as associates are concluded for periods of three years, yet not longer than seven years. If a teaching associate is a person who has gained a scientific title of Doctor of Science, the contract is concluded for a period of up to five years.

Through the development of PhD thesis, i.e. their scientific-research paper, students cooperate with the business sector, i.e. with business enterprises.

Certain number of PhD students is employed in scientific research institutes.

Statistical data on the number of PhD students and the number of students who have completed their PhD studies and obtained the title of Doctor of Science are recorded and kept by the Statistical Office of Montenegro – MONSTAT

Assessment

Knowledge, competences and skills of students are monitored and assessed during the teaching activities, whereas the final grade is formed on exam. The exam is taken after the lectures have been completed, i.e. after all teaching activities prescribed by the curricula have been carried out. Research work is assessed through each individual student’s activity as defined by the institutional rules on doctoral studies and the curriculum, which are expressed in ECTS points.

Certification

After completing a doctoral study programme, i.e. defending the doctoral thesis, student is awarded by diploma on the completed programme, acquiring thus a PhD degree.

At the end of the studies, along with the diploma of Doctor of Science/Arts, a Diploma Supplement is issued providing a more detailed insight into the level, content, system and rules of study and the results achieved during those studies.

The content of diploma and diploma supplement is bilingual, in Montenegrin and English language. If a student studies in the language of minorities, then diploma and diploma supplement is issued in the language of minorities as well. The content of diploma and supplement diploma is prescribed by the Rulebook on the content and form of diploma and diploma supplement, keeping the register of students, records and contents of public documents issued by the university and institutions of higher education

Qualifications acquired after completing doctoral studies comprising 180 ECTS points are classified in level VIII of National Qualification Framework.

Mobility in Higher Education

Student mobility

Montenegrin students are very motivated to use mobility schemes and scholarships to continue their studies abroad, especially in developed western countries. Academic mobility has been recognized as one of the strategic objectives of the Montenegrin higher education and research system.

The following exchange programs are available to Montenegrin students and academic staff:

  • Erasmus+ Programme

Montenegrin higher education institutions participate in 4 key components of the international dimension of the Erasmus + program:

  1. Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE)
  2. International Credit Mobility (ICM)
  3. Erasmus Mundus Common Master Programs (EMJMDs)
  4. Jean Monet Action (JMA)

As part of the Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) action, since the launch of the Erasmus + program in 2015, 27 projects have been approved, of which universities from Montenegro are coordinators in 6 projects, while the remaining 21 are involved as partners. Most of these projects are in the implementation phase. There is an evident increase in the number of projects and thus of cooperation with EU universities. The first call (2015) approved 4 projects, while the last call (for 2019) approved 9 projects. The total budget of these projects is EUR 22.3 million. A list of projects is attached.

Within the International Credit Mobility (ICM) action, 356 bilateral mobility projects were approved for higher education institutions from Montenegro, within which cooperation was established with around 200 universities in Europe. The number of projects is constantly increasing, and as an illustration I can compare the first competition for 2015, when 49 projects were approved and the last competition for 2019, when as many as 117 mobility projects were approved. Some 3200 outgoing and incoming student, teaching and administrative staff are planned for these projects. The total budget of these projects is EUR 9.8 million.

Within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus action, joint master programs (EMJMDs) of higher education institutions from Montenegro participate in 2 projects of development of joint master programs. Within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Action Joint Master Programs (EMJMDs) a student from Montenegro can apply for scholarships for these prestigious master programs. Students from Montenegro have so far received 62 scholarships for various joint master’s programs.

Within Jean Monnet, the organizations are currently involved in two projects. 

  • CEEPUS – Central European Exchange Program for University Studies

Beneficiaries: Students of all levels of studies and teaching staff from CEEPUS program member countries.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for:

  • minimum 3, maximum 10 months for students of bachelor and master studies; longer study period can be approved for students of doctoral studies,
  • shorter study period from 1 to 3 months can be approved to students working on master’s or PhD thesis,
  • students can apply for practical training at commercial enterprises, research centres, government institutions or other organizations in host country, provided that there is a clear and structured plan,
  • teaching staff can apply for at least 5 working days, with work engagement of 6 hours a week,
  • unused months for scholarships can be used for organizing coordination meetings,
  • the program also supports organizing short-term courses taking minimum 10 working days and excursions taking minimum 3 working days.
  • Mevlana Exchange Programme

Beneficiaries: Students of bachelor, master or doctoral studies and academic staff.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for shorter study periods of 1 or 2 semesters for students of bachelor, master or doctoral studies, and periods of 2 weeks to 3 months for teaching staff.

  • Visegrad Scholarship Program

Beneficiaries: Students of postgraduate and doctoral studies from countries taking part in the program, including Montenegro.

Scholarship scheme: Students may apply for a study period of 1 semester (5 months) or 2 semesters (10 months). A scholarship may also be approved for full degree of master studies taking 4 semesters (20 months).

  • “Go Styria” Program

Beneficiaries: Students of postgraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral studies from the countries of South-East Europe, including Montenegro.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for study periods of maximum 4 months. Scholarships may also be awarded for shorter research periods of 1 to 3 months.

  • Scholarships of German Academic Exchange Service DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauch Diens)

Beneficiaries: Students of bachelor, master, doctoral and postdoctoral studies and academic staff.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for master studies (up to two years), doctoral studies (up to three years), research period for faculty teachers and scientists (up to three months), summer courses for all students (up to one month) and two-month intensive courses.

  • The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program – Global UGRAD

Beneficiaries: Students of undergraduate studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for a period of one semester for studying at American universities, combined with community service, professional development and getting familiar with cultural content.

Scholarships of foreign governments are also available (Japan, China, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Great Britain), allowing students to acquire a full degree. The Ministry of Education is the contact point. The Ministry also supports academic mobility through the implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements in the field of education. Montenegro has signed several bilateral agreements, mostly with partners from the Region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Albania. Bilateral programmes provide exchange of students and researchers, in accordance with the selection criteria and priority fields.

Programmes of foreign governments, organisations and foundations

  • Korean Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Candidates who wish to enrol in master or doctoral studies and conduct research stays.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for master and doctoral studies, as well as for research programmes taking 6 months.

  • Hungarian Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Students of bachelor, master and doctoral studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for full bachelor, master and doctoral studies. For academic year 2019/2020 28 scholarships were awarded.

  • Slovenian Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Students of bachelor, master and doctoral studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for study periods of 3 to 10 months.

  • Croatian Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Students of bachelor, master and doctoral studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for study periods of 3 to 10 months for bachelor studies and 1 to 2 months for master and doctoral studies.

  • Slovak Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Students of the final year of bachelor, master, doctoral studies, university professors, researchers and artists.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for study periods of 1 to 2 semesters (i.e. 4-5 or 9-10 months) for students of bachelor and master studies, or of 1 to 10 months for PhD students, university professors, researchers and artists.

  • Italian Government Scholarships

Beneficiaries: Students of all study cycles

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for periods of 3, 6 and 9 months.

  • Russian Federation Scholarships

Moscow State Institute for International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation awarded 1 scholarship to a candidate from Montenegro to enroll in basic studies at this prestigious Institute, for the academic year 2018/2019.

  • Best of South-East Program

Beneficiaries: Students of final years and graduate students of economics and law who wish to acquire international work experience.

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for one-year internship at Steiermärkische Sparkasse Bank or another Styrian company, as well as for attending the selected courses at University of Graz with a view to completing the final year of studies.

  • British Scholarship Trust

Beneficiaries: Students of postgraduate studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for study periods in Great Britain of 1 to 3 months.

  • Scholarships of German foundation “Konrad Adenauer Stiftung”

Beneficiaries: Final-year students, students of postgraduate and doctoral studies

Scholarship scheme: Scholarships are awarded for complete study cycle at German higher education institutions, as well as for research periods of at least 6 months. In addition, this foundation awards monthly financial aid.

The procedure for the recognition of foreign educational qualifications and qualification equivalence is regulated by the Law on Recognition of Foreign Educational Credentials and the Qualification Equivalence which is in line with the Lisbon Convention.

The Ministry of Education carries out the recognition of credentials on acquired higher education for the purpose of employment through the National Information Centre – ENIC Centre, a special organizational unit of the Ministry. The recognition of credentials on acquired or initiated higher education, or part of it, for the purpose of continuing education is carried out by an adequate higher education institution where education is to be continued. The procedure for qualification equivalence is performed by an institution that carries out a comparable study programme in accordance with the relevant act of the institution.

The rules on mobility of higher education students regulate the basic principles of student mobility, type and duration of mobility, application procedure, required documents, students’ rights and obligations and other matters related to the implementation of the mobility programme. By signing a learning agreement, home institution approves the student’s mobility and the selected study programme, and host institution accepts and approves their study programme. The home institution also undertakes to recognize all the courses, marks and credits specified in the learning agreement and verify the results achieved, in the same manner as it does for students who have not participated in any mobility programme.

Academic staff mobility

Academic mobility is one of the key objectives of the Strategy for Development of Higher Education 2016-2020.

Academic staff mobility takes place under bilateral or multilateral agreements between the Government of Montenegro and other countries, as well as under cooperation agreements concluded between the institutions themselves and partner institutions abroad.

In order to promote mobility, as a segment of internationalization of higher education, staff holding the rank of full and associate university professor are entitled to a yearlong absence, i.e. sabbatical leave, every seven years, aimed at education and professional development. The decision on sabbatical leave is made by the Governing Board, following the prior opinion of the Senate.

Academic mobility is also supported through the strategic document on the internationalization of the University of Montenegro, which, among other things, emphasizes the need to increase the number of foreign lecturers, students and researchers participating in mobility programmes, as well as to increase the number of international projects.

Financial support for academic staff mobility is provided by the Ministry of Education which offers funds for co-financing travel expenses in accordance with the criteria of the Call for co-financing tuition fees for Master’s and PhD studies in the country and abroad and travel expenses for study periods abroad. In accordance with the criteria defined by the Call, the Ministry also co-finances tuition fees for students of Master’s and PhD studies.

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.