The law on higher education establishes the following forms of higher education institutions:
- University [Universiteti] is a higher education institution that operates in the area of education, scientific research, creative and professional activities. It is composed of at least three main units and of other sub units . Universities conduct basic and applied scientific research activities in compliance with their study programmes, with the higher education law and with their statutes. A university offers study programmes in all higher education study cycles and programmes with a professional character for all cycles.
- Academia [Akademia] is a higher education institution that operates in profiled higher education, scientific research, creative and professional activities. It consists of at least one faculty. Based on its study area, an Academia can offer study programmes for all cycles and study programmes with a professional character.
- University College [Kolegji universitar] consists of main units, basic units and other units as provided in its statutes. It includes at least two faculties. It conducts basic scientific research activities in line with the areas of its study programmes and its statute. Such institutions offer study programmes in the first and/or second study cycle and programmes with a professional character.
- Higher Vocational College[Kolegj Profesional i Lartë] is a higher education institution of vocational nature. It consists of at least two departments. It offers teaching activities that last for 1-2 academic years and correspond respectively with 60 or 120 ECTS. It may be established in affiliation with universities and university colleges. In these cases, it is considered as a main unit of these institutions.