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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Higher education

Republic of North Macedonia

7.Higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023




Higher education is of public interest for North Macedonia as part of European Higher education and research area. (EHEA and ERA). The country has joined the Bologna process at the Berlin Ministerial meeting in 2003, committing to start the major systemic reforms in higher education- the introduction of ECTS, three cycles of study programs of easy readable and recognizable degrees, diploma supplement, effective quality assurance system, promotion of social dimension and European cooperation, international mobility of students and teaching staff.

Currently, higher education study programs in the country are offered at total of 28 (public and private) higher education institutions (universities, faculties, art academies, higher vocational schools, scientific institutes and single higher vocational schools).

According to the State Statistical Office, a total of 53 677 students (30 352 or 56.54% of them are females) enrolled at Macedonian higher education institutions in the academic year 2018/19. This is a decrease of 5.73% from the previous year and 15 % decrease from 9 years ago. There has been an increase in the gross enrolment rate in tertiary education from 29.9% in 2009 to 35.35% in 2017/18), which is measured as ratio between all students in tertiary education and the population aged18–23. 87 % of the enrolled students study at public, while 12.4% study at private higher education institutions. 95% of the Macedonian students are enrolled in first cycle of tertiary education (ISCED 6), 6% at in second (ISCED 7) and only 0.46% in the third cycle programs (ISCED 8).

The new Strategy for Development of Education 2018-2015 has been adopted by the Government in February 2018 with the following key priorities for higher education, research and innovation: Source: Adapted from State Statistical Office (2018)

  • Ensure Quality and Effectiveness of Higher Education in accordance with European good practices;

  • Improve the Content of Higher Education;

  • Improve Availability and Enrolment System of Higher Education;

  • Improve Management and Funding of Higher Education;

  • Support Research and Innovation.

The new Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette 82/2018) stipulates the following 10 basic principles for higher education provision:

  1. Autonomy and academic freedom;

  2. Unity of the teaching, scientific and research activities;

  3. Openness towards citizens and the public;

  4. Respect for the humanistic and democratic values of the national and European tradition and values of cultural heritage;

  5. Respect of the human rights and freedom, assuring equality and protection from discrimination;

  6. Advancement of the academic mobility of the teaching staff and the students;

  7. Participation of the students in the university governance and decision making, particularly on issues related to quality of teaching and learning and the student standard;

  8. Strive for universal knowledge whose imperatives are science, freedom and truth

  9. Assuring of a system of lifelong learning;

  10. Quality assurance and efficiency of studying.


Support measures for learners from Ukraine in higher education

Currently, there are no large-scale measures that support the integration of Ukrainian refugees into Macedonian higher education. There are also no measures evaluated in external quality assurance procedures. The integration of refugees into higher education is also not subject to top-level monitoring.

The implementation of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (Article VII) is not legally required and procedures are still not in place. According to Article 199 of the Law on Higher education (Official Gazette no. 82/2018) automatic recognition of foreign higher education qualifications is possible and issued by the Ministry of Education and Science within eight working days, only in the case when the higher education qualification has been acquired in one of the 500 universities ranked in the most recent published list by the following institutions: Institute of Higher Education at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, US News and Report, and Times Higher Education Supplement – World University Ranking. Yet, it is done based on the filled official request for recognition by the holder of the foreign higher education qualification and the prescribed supporting documents. The Republic of North Macedonia has no bilateral agreement for mutual recognition of diplomas with Ukraine, but there is a Law on Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine on Legal Aid in Civil Cases that is relieving the Ukraine citizens from the costs of notarization and the need for an apostille stamp. This facilitates and easy the process of recognition of certificates and diplomas of Ukrainian citizens from all levels of education by the Macedonian Ministry of Education and Science.


Official websites and national documents:

Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of North Macedonia


National Qualification framework


Law on Higher Education


Law on Science and Research Activity


List of Accredited Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia


Results from university ranking in the Republic of North Macedonia


Bahtovska E. (2011)  Practical advices for writing Learning outcomes - Manual