ZAGREB, November 10, 2022 (Hina) — The number of foreign students enrolled in Croatian universities has increased by 20% to 1,715, even as Croatian universities are deteriorating in the most comprehensive global university index.
The Times Higher Education Index includes 1,600 universities from 99 countries, and the University of Split and the University of Zagreb are ranked between the 1001st and 1200th position and the University of Rijeka below the 1200th position.
According to the Ministry of Science and Education, citing data provided by the University Computing Center, 1,715 foreign students are currently enrolled full-time in higher education institutions in Croatia.
According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, the total number of university students in Croatia in the academic year 2020/2021 was 161,077. This is the lowest number of students since 2013, when their number dropped. stood at 166,061, showing a 3% decline over seven years.
Medicine is the most popular degree program
The ministry’s website lists 116 study programs that teach in English, including programs from public and private higher education institutions. Sixty-seven such programs are available in Zagreb, 20 in Split, 14 in Rijeka, seven in Dubrovnik and six in Osijek.
The largest number of foreign students is enrolled at the Faculty of Medicine in Split (247), followed by the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka (219) and Zagreb (186).
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb has 148 foreign students, while between 50 and 90 foreign students are enrolled at RIT Croatia in Dubrovnik, Faculty of Medicine in Osijek, Faculty of Economics in Split, VERN Zagreb , at Algebra Zagreb, at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management and the Faculty of Dentistry in Zagreb.
Germans, French and Slovenes account for almost half of foreign students
A total of 473 German students, 132 French and as many Slovenian students study in Croatia, which represents almost half of all foreign students enrolled in Croatian higher education institutions.
There are also 119 students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 93 from Israel, 66 from Montenegro, 54 from Italy, 50 from Spain, 37 from Norway and as many from Serbia, 30 from the United States and as many from the United Kingdom, 22 from Russia and 15 from Hungary.
Difficult adjustment, helpful teachers
Rajesh Rimal from Nepal recently completed a Masters in Automotive Computing and Communications from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Information Technology (FERIT) in Osijek.
“To be honest, I never even thought of studying in Croatia,” he told Hina.
His initial plan was to continue his studies abroad. Although he knows the Croatian university ranking, he opted for FERIT after finding himself in Croatia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As he does not speak Croatian, his biggest challenge was the fact that most of the resources available for the courses were in Croatian, even though the program he chose was in English.
The adaptation was difficult, but the teachers were at his service, motivating and encouraging him. This helped him finish his classes on time and with good grades.
Croatia weren’t Brazil’s Nicholas Andrade Muller da Silva’s first choice either. He opted for Croatia due to his financial situation and found his program of choice, Computer Game Development, at Algebra in Zagreb.
“It’s not expensive for students from poorer countries. Croatia is quite safe and there are a lot of student job offers,” he told Hina, adding that he plans to pursue a doctorate.
Unlike Rajesh and Nicholas, Norwegian Casper Venstad enrolled in medicine in Split because he had heard of Split before. He said admission quotas for medical study programs in Norway are rather low, so many Norwegians study medicine abroad.
“The image of the University of Split is growing year by year,” Casper told Hina while explaining why he chose a Croatian university rather than those in Poland, the Czech Republic or Hungary, which are closer to the Norwegians. .
“By comparing the experiences of my colleagues from different universities and countries, I realized that our university was doing well,” he said.
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