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In the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology one of the goals in the field of education is the internationalization of education.
The Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes Act (Zakon o Agenciji za mobilnost i programe Europske unije, NN 121/17) was adopted in 2007. It gave the Agency the responsibility of managing the mobility programmes of the European Union.
Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education
The main financial instruments of implementing mobility measures are international programmes (EU programme for education, training, youth and sport Erasmus+), bilateral agreements in the field of education concluded by the Croatian Government and regional Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS).
Erasmus+ is the largest EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, and it encompasses the 2014 – 2020 period. It enables the achievement of international mobility for the individual and international cooperation for organizations. The budget available to Croatia in 2017 amounted to 18.81 million euro.
The CEEPUS programme framework provides for the financing of a period of learning abroad on the basis of an international agreement signed by the governments of 16 Middle and East European countries. Croatia signed the CEEPUS Agreement in 1995 and there is also a National CEEPUS office that is a part of the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes. Croatia grants a total of 450 months of scholarship per year. The Ministry of Science and Education provides about 1 500 000 HRK yearly for the requirements of the CEEPUS programme with the purpose of financing the stay of foreign students and teachers, as well as the traveling expenses of Croatian students and teachers.
The Strategy of Education, Science and Technology, in the section pertaining to higher education, has a goal to: 7.1. Increase the mobility of arriving and departing students and teachers.
The proposed measures are:
- 7.1.1. Increase allocations for student and teacher mobility to ensure by 2020 a 10% mobility of departing students and a 5% mobility of arriving students, including mobility per semester and whole qualification mobility.
- 7.1.2. Remove internal obstacles to mobility in tertiary education institutions. It is necessary to remove the obstacles to mobility pertaining to recognizing ECTS points achieved through mobility and organize appropriate ways of encouraging students to be mobile.
- 7.1.4. Ensure a system of scholarships for arriving students of Croatian doctoral studies.
- 7.1.5. Ensure a system of scholarships for students departing for doctoral studies abroad.
The measures 7.1.1., 7.1.4., and 7.1.5. fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Education, while the measure 7.1.2. is the responsibility of the Croatian Rectors' Conference and the Council of Polytechnics and Colleges.
The Action plan to internationalize education 2015 – 2016 (Akcijski plan za internacionalizaciju obrazovanja za razdoblje od 2015. do 2016. godine) featured several measures to encourage mobility in higher education. Some of the measures are still ongoing despite the fact that the Action plan has been expired.
The planned activities included encouraging the mobility of departing students which enables them to acquire qualifications abroad by means of a single payment support for studying abroad, increasing the number of scholarships for priority countries by principle of reciprocity, the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes conducting informational and promotional activities, improving the Higher Education and Scholarships Fair, and encouraging participation in Horizon 2020 programme activities.
The Action plan also envisioned encouraging the mobility of departing students during their studies abroad through increasing funds allocated to the CEEPUS programme, AMEUP conducting informational and promotional activities, directly supporting AMEUP in projects aimed at the internationalization of higher education within the Operational programme Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020.
Also, the web portal Study in Croatia has been launched, offering information on the possibility of studying in Croatia. The portal was launched as part of the measures from the Action Plan for removing obstacles and enhancing international learning mobility for the period 2010-2012. (Akcijski plan za otklanjanje prepreka i jačanje međunarodne mobilnosti u obrazovanju za razdoblje od 2010. do 2012. godine).
In the fields of primary and secondary education, the Action plan to internationalize education 2015 – 2016 provides that the Ministry of Science and Education will provide systematic support to international mobility. An analysis to determine existing obstacles to mobility and preparations to implement certificates for the recognition of learning outcomes achieved during mobility are planned. However, international mobility in primary and secondary education is not mentioned in the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology.
Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work
The mobility implementation is performed through the Erasmus+ programme which provides a share of the funds for youth mobility.
The National Youth Program for the Period from 2014 to 2017 as a goal numbered 7.2 lists that it is necessary to increase educational, cultural, and tourist youth mobility on a national, European and global level. The following measures are proposed for achieving that goal:
7.2.1. Ensuring programme support for youth-led and for-youth associations promoting youth mobility on all levels.
7.2.2. Improving the system of European Youth Card utilization in Croatia.
The carrier of both these measures is the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy.
The Eurodesk Croatia (Eurodesk Hrvatska) was founded in 2014, within the AMEUP framework. It is a part of the European youth information network the purpose of which is to provide young people and everyone in youth work quality information on European projects and youth policies, with the purpose of promoting mobility for learning. The Eurodesk Croatia provides support to organizations which inform and advise young people on mobility possibilities. conducts local and participates in European info campaigns, cooperates with other information networks and partners, and participates in the process of structured dialogue in the National Workgroup.
In accordance with the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes Act (Zakon o Agenciji za mobilnost i programe Europske unije NN 121/17) the ministry in charge of education and the ministry in charge of youth are responsible for supervising the Agency’s work. The AMEUP Bylaws state that the Agency itself is required to perform studies, analysis, and research of programme activities on a national level. AMEUP has an internal Department of coordination and quality assurance for mobility programmes and publishes yearly reports (dokumenti - godišnji izvještaji) on its work.
AMEUP has commissioned an independent satisfaction survey (percepcija kvalitete usluga AMPEU) in 2017. Users were most satisfied with the work of AMEUP’s employees and when it comes to meeting their expectations (both statements had the average vote 4.3 of 5). Users where less satisfied with the usefulness of information on the AMEUP’s website (3.5 of 5).
among the users of Lifelong Learning Programme and the Youth in Action programme. In February 2013, an online questionnaire was sent to users who had in 2011 or 2012 signed a financing contract with AMEUP. Out of the 767 users, 44.58% completed the questionnaire. Also, an evaluation study titled Towards the internationalization of education – Croatian participation in the Lifelong learning programme (K internacionalizaciji obrazovanja – sudjelovanje Republike Hrvatske u programu za cjeloživotno učenje)was conducted, encompassing the 2009 – 2013 period for all sub-programmes.