Definition of the Target Group(s)
Law on Higher Education recognizes persons with disabilities as disadvantaged category of students. In accordance with the Law on Higher Education and the Law on Rights and Freedoms of Minorities, the University of Montenegro has increased the total number of places in each study program by 1% for people with disabilities and members of the of Roma and Egyptian community. Students with disabilities are exempt from paying tuition fees at all higher education institutions, regardless of whether these have the status of a public or private institution, and are entitled to accommodation in dormitory, student loans and scholarships. Institutions are obliged to provide adequate studying conditions for persons with disabilities, which implies undisturbed access to building, the right to take exams in a place and manner adapted to their abilities, as well as the implementation of the principle of affirmative action at enrolment.
Students of Roma population have the opportunity to exercise their right to scholarship through the Roma Education Fund. One of the measures in the 2018 Action Plan for the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro 2016-2020 is the increased enrolment rate of members of Roma and Egyptian population at higher education institutions in Montenegro, with special emphasis on girls/women, by provision of scholarships and free accommodation in student dormitories for these students.
The new Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians 2021-2025 is being drafted.
Specific Support Measures
Law on Higher Education lays down the principle of affirmative action for enrolment of students with disabilities at faculties, organizing instruction in accordance with the needs and conditions that enable students to acquire knowledge in an accessible, suitable and adequate manner, the conditions for testing knowledge (alternative communication, sign language, Braille alphabet, assistive technologies, etc.), and other associated and necessary services. As from the 2017/18 academic year, all students enrolled in the first year of first-cycle programmes at public HEIs are exempt from paying fees (state-subsidised).
Concerning the enrolment policy, a foreigner has the right to enrol in study programmes in Montenegro under the same conditions as Montenegrin citizens, in compliance with the Law on Higher Education and statute of institution. Students with disabilities at both public and private institutions are exempt from paying tuition fees.
In accordance with Rulebook on the criteria, method, conditions and compensation amount for exercising rights to dormitory accommodation and board, student loan, scholarship and transport allowance, higher education students who enrolled a semester of the relevant year for the first time and who have not changed their study programme are entitled to student loan. The criterion for granting loans is the performance accomplished in the previous year of studies. Under equal conditions with regard to the performance, advantage is given to students whose parents or guardians exercise the right to social security in line with regulations on social protection. The loan is given in monthly payments, not lower than the amount of students’ allowance for dormitory accommodation and board increased by 25%. Decision on the amount of loan is rendered by the Minister for each study year. The average loan amounts to EUR 45 per month, and is paid in ten monthly instalments. The loan beneficiary is obliged to start repaying the loan within one year from the day when, according to the statute of the higher education institution, the student was obliged to complete the studies, and 18 months the latest. A student who completes their studies within the regular duration of the study programme, as defined by a higher education institution’s Statute, with the average grade ranging from 9.00 to 10, is granted full loan remission. Each year a call is published for 3.400 loans (850 for first year and 2550 for other year students).
Students with disabilities, regardless of their performance and the length of study, are granted full loan remission.
There are no need-based grants in Montenegro. Grants are awarded in accordance with Rulebook on the criteria, method, conditions and compensation amount for exercising rights to dormitory accommodation and board, student loan, scholarship and transport allowance to the best performing students in the second and the succeeding years of studies, who enrolled a semester of a study year for the first time, and who have not failed any year during the studies, or to students who have shown particular interest in science or art in certain scientific disciplines and have won awards at international and national competitions. Grants are awarded in line with the criteria of the Call announced by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports at least one month before the beginning of academic year.
The maximum amount of grant is 86 EUR per month paid in 10 monthly instalments. Grants are awarded solely to the first-cycle students.
273 scholarships were awarded for the Competition for the award of scholarships to the best students for the 2020/21 academic year, out of which:
- 130 scholarships for students who extend the right to a scholarship,
- 103 scholarships for students, who are applying for a scholarship for the first time;
- 22 scholarships for persons with disabilities and
- 16 scholarships for deficient occupations (which are educated for teaching physics, mathematics and chemistry) and 2 scholarships for students who are educated for teaching in Albanian.
For students with disabilities, the former Ministry of Education has established a special quota for awarding grants starting from 2018/19 academic year. As for the 2020/2021 academic year, the public call envisages 20 scholarships for persons with disabilities, but 22 were awarded.
For the 2020/2021 academic year, the Ministry awarded 15 scholarships to students of the Roma and Egyptian population. The amount of the scholarship is 150 euros.
The best students are considered those who, in certain scientific disciplines, possess particular preferences for scientific or artistic work, have awards gained at international and national competitions, and who, according to the curriculum of the institution of higher education at which they study, have passed all the exams from previous years of study and have achieved success index at least 9.00.
In awarding grants, preference is given to applicants who have a higher average grade, ie index of success during their studies, as well as a large number of awards won at national and international competitions. Also, when awarding and determining the number of grants, consideration is given to the representation of study programs in the natural or social sciences and humanities.
Besides grants, in accordance with criteria prescribed by the annual call for co-financing tuition fee at master and doctoral studies in the country and abroad, and travel expenses for study periods abroad, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports co-finances tuition fee to master study candidates in the amount of 500 EUR, and to doctoral students in the amount of 1,000 EUR.
Accommodation in Dormitories
Students educated outside their place of residence, who have enrolled a certain grade of the ongoing school year for the first time, as well as higher education students educated outside their place of residence, who have enrolled a semester of the relevant year of studies for the first time and have not changed their study programme, as well as students attending one of the secondary schools in Montenegro, are entitled to dormitory accommodation.
Students of postgraduate master and doctoral studies who are unemployed and are educated outside their place of residence, and who have enrolled a semester of a relevant year of studies for the first time and have not changed their study programme, may also obtain the right to dormitory accommodation at an economical cost, provided that there is still room available in dormitories upon the allotment of places to students.
Students with special educational needs are entitled to accommodation, with consideration of their special needs.
Concerning accommodation, dormitories purposefully designate up to 5% of its capacities for accommodating students from the most vulnerable groups of society and social security beneficiaries in line with the social welfare regulations.
The right to accommodation and food in the dormitory is exercised by 5450 pupils and students, of which 1480 use accommodation services and 2970 use only food services. Also, by amending the Rulebook on criteria, manner and conditions and amount of compensation for exercising the right to accommodation, food and student loan, scholarship and transportation participation, it is possible for students of two-year master's studies to exercise the right to accommodation, which was acquired by 202 students.