land and people
Library of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In 2011–12 there were nearly 153,000 students enrolled in higher education in Croatia, while more than 36,400 completed their second cycle of graduate studies. In addition, 1,229 graduated as university specialists and 1,072 obtained the title of doctor.

Education and science

In alignment with European standards, Croatia’s higher education system has adopted the best features of the Bologna Process, contributing to the growing integration of science and scientists in Europe. The modern Croatian education and science system is based on a tradition founded in 1396, when the first public university opened in Zadar. The University of Zagreb, which is today the largest, dates back to 1669. Among Croatian scientists and inventors, many have made particular contributions to international knowledge, especially Ruđer Bošković (1711–87) and Nikola Tesla (1856–1943). The former was a Jesuit mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, diplomat and poet, came to prominence by producing an atomic theory, and was one of the most renowned physicists of his day. One of the craters on the Moon is named after him. The modern system of transmitting electrical energy would have been unthinkable without the inventor Nikola Tesla, creator of the first hydroelectric plant on the Niagara Falls, and inventor of the electric motor which we find today in almost all household appliances. Other inventions which are now part of daily life, such as the tie, the parachute, the solid-ink fountain pen, the airship, the MP3 player and fingerprint identification techniques, are numbered among the products of Croatian creative minds. Scientific excellence is best recognised through the Nobel Prize, and two Croatian chemists, Lavoslav Ružička (1939) and Vladimir Prelog (1975), have been awarded it.

The education system

The beginnings of schools and education in Croatia date back to the 10th century, and up to the 18th century were linked to the Church and priesthood. Systematic education of the people began during the reign of Maria Theresa, who issued an Edict...


Scientific activities in Croatia are carried out by universities and their component departments, the scientific institutes (182 institutions in total), the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and other institutions registered to conduct such activities.

Inventions and inventors

Croatia is considered the home of many inventions which have transformed human existence, several of which are used in everyday life. Creative Croatian inventors, a century-old tradition of university technical education and science as well as...