Since independence in 1991, the education system has
undergone major changes. The Marxist ideology that
characterized the school and the teaching of Croatia as a
Yugoslav republic has been replaced by ideas of democracy
and human rights.
There is a free kindergarten/preschool for anyone
between 3 and 6 years. The 8-year primary school is
compulsory and free for all children between 7 and 15 years.
Special education programs are offered to all minority
groups, who have the right to learn their minority language.
Different types of high schools (4 + 4 years) are also free.
The country has 4 universities, in Zagreb (founded 1669),
Rijeka (1973), Osijek (1975) and Split (1974). See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Croatia.
In December 1991, Germany recognized Croatia as an
independent state and the EU followed suit. A few days
earlier, the Serbs in Krajina in southern Croatia, in
Slavonia, Baranja and Western Serm in the east had
proclaimed the Republic of Krajina as a new Yugoslav Federal
Republic or as a member of a federation of Serbian states.
Following mediation from the EU, in January 1992 Serbia
and Croatia signed a peace agreement in which 15,000 UN
soldiers were deployed to the war zone, but the
representatives of Krajina sabotaged the agreement. Nearly a
third of Croatian territory was occupied by the Federal Army
and Serbian, paramilitary corps. The parties accused each
other of breaking the ceasefire and of committing war
In February 1992, the UN Security Council unanimously
ratified the deployment of a peacekeeping force in Croatia,
following the opposition defeat in Krajina. The UN forces
had the task of monitoring peace and protecting the Serbian
minority in Croatia, which still had civilian resistance
groups. All parties agreed that the UN forces should remain
in the area for 1 year.
At the UN General Assembly in New York in May, the former
Yugoslav Republics of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and
Herzegovina were officially admitted as Member States Nos.
176, 177 and 178.
Following his re-election on August 2, 1992, President
Franjo Tudjman succeeded in reopening the road between
Zagreb and Belgrade in 1993, following the conclusion of an
agreement with the New Yugoslav Federal State of Serbia and
Montenegro, with the United Nations Deputy Representative,
the former US Foreign Minister Cyrus Vance, as a broker.
In October 1992, President Tudjman of Croatia and
President Cosic of the Yugoslav Federal State jointly
condemned the so-called "ethnic cleansing" and agreed to
give the refugees a humane treatment.
Bosnian Serbs leader Radovan Karadzic proclaimed in
November 1992 the Federation of his «The Serbian Republic of
Bosnia-Herzegovina» and «The Serbian Republic of Krajina» in