Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice

Republic of North Macedonia


Last update: 31 December 2023
On this page



Compulsory education: The legal age from which children are no longer compelled to attend school (e.g., 15th birthday). The ending age of compulsory schooling is thus different from the ending age of an educational programme.


Educational institution: An educational institution is an entity that provides instructional services to individuals or education-related services to individuals and other educational institutions. See Private institution and Public institution.


Intended instruction time: Intended instruction time refers to the number of hours per year for which students ought to receive instruction in both the compulsory and non-compulsory parts of the curriculum. For countries that have no formal policy on instruction time, the number of hours was estimated from survey data. Hours lost when schools are closed for festivities and celebrations, such as national holidays, are excluded. Intended instruction time does not include non-compulsory time outside the school day. It does not include homework, individual tutoring or private study taken before or after school.


Informal education / Non-formal education: Non-formal education is defined as any organised and sustained educational activities that do not correspond exactly to the above definition of formal education. Non-formal education may therefore take place both within and outside educational institutions, and cater to persons of all ages. Depending on country contexts, it may cover educational programmes to impart adult literacy, basic education for out-of-school children, life skills, work skills and general culture. Non-formal education programmes do not necessarily follow the ladder system, and may have a differing duration. It can be either intentional (e.g. participation in short lectures or reading books or journals) or unintentional (occurring by chance or as a by-product of everyday activities).


Student: A student is defined as any individual participating in educational services covered by the data collection. The term “student” therefore applies to pupils and students alike. The number of students enrolled refers to the number of individuals (head count) who are enrolled within the reference period and not necessarily to the number of registrations. Each student enrolled is counted only once


Autonomy of the University and of other higher education institutions: includes academic freedom, autonomous decision-making and governance, and inviolability of the University space.


Accreditation of a Study rogramme: adoption of a Resolution by the Higher Education Accreditation Board that approves the implementation of a Study Programme at a higher education institution pursuant to the law.


Higher Education: education that is implemented through Study Programmes at Universities and Autonomous Higher Vocational Schools.


Higher Education Qualification: formal result from the grading and verification process that learning outcomes have been achieved in compliance with the defined standards upon completion of the Study Programme in the first, second or third cycle of higher education, received at a higher education institution in the Republic of North Macedonia or elsewhere that has been accredited and has been approved to provide higher education.


Diploma: public document issued by the higher education institution that proves the higher education received in the first, second or third cycle necessary to continue the education or to commence practicing the corresponding profession.


Diploma Supplement: integral part of the Diploma providing details about the holder of the Diploma, information more closely identifying the qualification, the level of qualification (professional or scientific title), the system and content of studies and the outcomes achieved, as well as details about academic and professional opportunities that the qualification offers for further studying and professional status, additional information as to the nature of the Study Programme and its source, date and signature, as well as information about the national higher education system.


Lifelong Learning: a form of continuous learning throughout one’s entire life for the purposes of specialising, supplementing, expanding and updating one’s knowledge.


Evaluation of quality of higher education: includes procedures for evaluating the quality of higher education institutions, of academic staff and of their Study Programmes in compliance with the endorsed procedures and standards and with the quality assurance guidelines adopted by European higher education quality assurance institutions and other organisations and associations that play a role in introducing and applying the European standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European higher education area.


Unit of the University: the Faculty, Art Academy and Higher Vocational School in the capacity of a higher education institution that is a part of the University, with rights and responsibilities stipulated in this Law and in the Statute of the University. University units shall also include Scientific Institutes exercising rights and responsibilities stipulated in the Law on Scientific and Research Activity, in this Law and in the Statute of the University.


Joint Degree: a diploma that is awarded upon completion of a Study Programme that has been jointly endorsed and provided by two or more Universities in the country or a University in the country and an accredited higher education institution from abroad, or its Unit accredited and registered in the Republic of North Macedonia, in compliance with the requirements stipulated in this Law.


Credit System: system of accumulation and transfer of credits based on transparency of learning outcomes and learning processes in the higher education.


Credit Transfer System: common procedure established pursuant to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System – ECTS and shall constitute a numerical system of qualitative valuation of Students’ work that has been invested in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences set forth in the Study Programme, or in the specific course within a Study Programme, it shall include the points awarded for completing an entire course, all courses within a single semester, the academic year and the overall studies and their transfer from one higher education institution to another.


Credit: quantitative measure used to express the volume of learning based on the volume of work that a Student performs on average, which shall be the Student workload that includes lectures, seminars, exercises, other forms of organised study work and autonomous learning with the purpose of achieving the expected learning outcomes. The credits shall be awarded to the Student and shall be recorded in the Student’s file once the study assignment has been completed,


National Classification Framework: mandatory national standard that regulates the acquisition and the use of qualifications in the Republic of North Macedonia and an instrument for establishing a system of qualifications acquired in the Republic of North Macedonia that provides the bases for transparency, access, transfer, acquisition and quality of qualifications, regulated in the Law on National Framework of Qualifications.


Learning Outcomes: statements of what a Student knows, understands and is able to do, as the result from the learning process


Learning standards are concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. Learning standards describe educational objectives—i.e., what students should have learned by the end of a course, grade level, or grade span—but they do not describe any particular teaching practice, curriculum, or assessment method (although this is a source of ongoing confusion and debate).


Autonomous higher education institution: a University or Autonomous Higher Vocational School.


Study Programme: set of teaching components from one or several study areas, based on learning outcomes, which have been acknowledged for awarding of a specific qualification, which allows the person who has completed it to perform a professional activity or to continue studying.


Field of Study: one of the fields of education defined by the UNESCO International Standard Classification in Education (ISCED).


Higher Education Cycles: three consecutive cycles of higher education identified by the Bologna Process (the first – bachelor’s [graduate] degree, the second – master’s [postgraduate] degree, and the third – doctoral degree) that hold all the higher education qualifications that may be acquired under the single European Higher Education Area.


Tuition Fee: money required for covering the costs of studying that the Student whose education is not funded from the Budget of Republic of North Macedonia is obliged to pay to the private or public higher education institution.


The term proficiency is used in a variety of ways, most commonly in reference to (1) proficiency levels, scales, and cut-off scores on standardized tests and other forms of assessment, (2) students achieving or failing to achieve proficiency levels determined by tests and assessments, (3) students demonstrating or failing to demonstrate proficiency in relation to learning standards (for a related discussion, see proficiency-based learning); and (4) teachers being deemed proficient or non-proficient on job-performance evaluations.


Student outcomes typically refers to either (1) the desired learning objectives or standards that schools and teachers want students to achieve, or (2) the educational, societal, and life effects that result from students being educated. In the first case, student outcomes are the intended goals of a course, program, or learning experience; in the second case, student outcomes are the actual results that students either achieve or fail to achieve during their education or later on in life. The terms learning outcomes and educational outcomes are common synonyms.


Learning pathway refers to the specific courses, academic programs, and learning experiences that individual students complete as they progress in their education toward graduation. In its plural form, the term learning pathways—or any of its common synonyms, such as multiple pathways or personalized pathways—typically refers to the various courses, programs, and learning opportunities offered by schools, community organizations, or local businesses that allow students to earn academic credit and satisfy graduation requirements.


Assessment refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition or educational needs of students.