Institutions for all levels of education may be state (public) and private. Educational institutions have equal status, regardless of ownership or founder’s identity.
Preschool and primary education state institutions are established in accordance with the Act on the institutions network which is adopted at the local level on the basis of criteria prescribed by the Government. Private institutions are not subject to the Act on the network and do not need to comply with these criteria.
Institutions for preschool, primary and secondary education have the same establishment procedure, whether it is a state institution, established by the Republic of Serbia, autonomous province and local self-government or a private institution, founded by the citizens or other institutions. Institution may also be founded by a foreign state, foreign legal or natural person, under the conditions provided for by international agreement.
Both state and private institutions which meet the establishment requirements (with prescribed facilities, equipment, teaching aids, teachers, educators, expert associates, provided sanitary and technical conditions, etc.) may perform educational activities. In addition to these conditions, the founder of a private institution, with guarantee of commercial bank, proves that he provided funds for a year's work of kindergarten or primary education cycle or secondary education programme. The founder of a private institution also must not be a person convicted of prescribed criminal offences or a person found to be prone to discriminatory conduct.
Establishment and operation of educational institutions, both state and private, is monitored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and competent authorities of the province, as competent local authorities. When the educational inspector finds compliance with conditions for the establishment of state or private institution, the Ministry of Education issues a decision on the verification, after which the institution is entered in the register.
Higher education institution can perform activities after obtaining a working license issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.
The founder of the state or private institution shall submit Articles of association to the Ministry and evidence of compliance with standards for initial accreditation. The founder of a private institution, in addition, shall provide the bank guarantee for the continuation of study in the event of termination of the institution or termination of performance of a particular study programme.
Establishment and operation of all higher education institutions is monitored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the competent body of the autonomous province, as well as the Commision for Accreditation and Quality Assurance, and the National Council for Higher Education.