The Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia (Ministry) and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) are awarding the Croatian Government Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate university study to young Christians from developing countries.
The National Strategy for Development Cooperation of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2017-2021 (Official Gazette No. 107/17: hereinafter: National Strategy) pays particular attention to the promotion of the interdependence of fundamental human rights, peace, security and sustainable development. Such an approach is contained within most sectoral priorities of the Croatian development cooperation policies and it is explicitly integrated into the first sectoral goal of the National Strategy: the dignity of every human being. It implies full commitment of international development cooperation programs and projects in achieving Sustainable Development Goals while simultaneously promoting dignity, fundamental human rights and well-being, developing human capabilities and realizing full potential, regardless of gender, status, affiliation, belief or place of residence. As a specific area of this sectoral priority, the National Strategy points out the right to education, based on the principle of equality, regardless of religious, national or other affiliation. There is a clear link and complementarity of the promotion of fundamental human rights in terms of protection of freedom of thought, conscience, opinion or religion with the development cooperation policies which, in relation to this Program, aim to ensure conditions for long-term sustainable growth and development of the community and the individual through the educational programs1.
Religious minorities, primarily Christians are one of the vulnerable groups in the world. The Republic of Croatia has recognized this negative trend on a global scale, and within its scope of work in the field of the international development cooperation is committed to respect and protect the rights of religious groups, as the vulnerable groups in developing countries. After completing their studies, the scholarship holders are obliged to return to their home countries. They are expected to contribute to the development of their communities and to building capacities and strengthening resilience at the local level with their knowledge acquired in Croatia upon return to their homelands.
Undergraduate university study typically lasts three to four years. Upon completion students are awarded an academic title of baccalaureus or baccalaurea with reference to a specialization, which qualifies a student for a specialized work in art or science. Graduate university study typically lasts for one to two years. Upon completion of graduate study, students are awarded an academic title of Magister or Magistra with reference to a specialization.
PROVISIONS COVERED BY THE SCHOLARSHIP
The awarded scholarship includes full board and lodging, a monthly allowance of 1.600 kuna, as well as basic health insurance coverage and costs of one-year preparatory Croatian language course. The student will be placed under supervision of the administrating chief at the dormitory and the Department for international cooperation at the Ministry of Science and Education. The cost of travel to and from Croatia is included.
The grant (monthly financial support) is meant to cover the living expenses for one person and there is no available financing or visa exemption for accompanying family members or any other persons.
For the 2021/22 academic year, the scholarship is announced for the citizens of the developing countries from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
AVAILABLE HOST INSTITUTIONS AND STUDY PROGRAMMES
Information about the Croatian higher education institutions and programs can be obtained on http://www.studyincroatia.hr/. The complete list of Croatian accredited academic institutions can be found on http://mzos.hr/dbApp/pregled.aspx?appName=ustanove_Z.
Selected candidates will be provided with a full academic year of Croatian language preparation course.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Potential candidates are invited to apply for the Scholarship by submitting their applications via the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The preliminary selection of applications will be performed by the end of May 2021.
Applicants should submit a write-up/letter of motivation with a minimum of 250 words concerning the first choice of study and append therewith the medical certificate of candidates. Applicants should also submit their Curriculum Vitae (in Europass format) and a scan of their high school or university diploma and report cards for the two previous academic years.
Applicants should attach a letter of recommendation from local parish or church community.
Applicants should submit their applications before 17 May 2021.
The results of the selection will be communicated in June 2021.
The scholarship holders are requested to start visa application process immediately after receiving the positive decision about the scholarship. Officially, it may take 30 days until a visa is issued. In order to apply for visa to Croatia, you need to contact the competent consular office. For more information please contact the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs http://www.mvep.hr/en/
Please note that the scholarship holder status does not automatically guarantee a visa.
The Scholarship Holders are expected to obtain their visa and arrive to Croatia no later than the date set by the Host Institutions. The applicant who is granted the scholarship must enroll to the Host Institution in the semester in which s/he was granted admission. If s/he does not enroll within one month after the beginning of the academic year/semester or the deadline provided by the Host Institution, s/he will be automatically excluded from the scholarship program. Please note that the Host Institutions have the right to require students to take a medical test at the time of enrolment, however it is free of charge for the Scholarship Holders.
Renewal of the Scholarships for full degree studies
A Scholarship for a full cycle of undergraduate (BA) or graduate (MA) in Croatia is granted for the full duration of the study programs but the Scholarships will be renewed every year depending on the academic success in the previous academic year. A scholarship holder must submit to the Ministry at the end of each academic year:
1/ Proof (certificate) about the exams and obtained ECTS credits in the previous academic year.
2/ Proof (certificate) about the successful enrolment in the next academic year.
For acquired ECTS credits in one (previous) academic year:
Additionally, upon request of the Ministry the scholarship holder is obliged to submit to the Ministry a transcript of records or a copy of the student identification document to present his/her study progression (exams and obtained ECTS credits).
OBLIGATIONS OF THE SCHOLARSHIP HOLDERS
The scholarship holders are obligated to submit to the Ministry by e-mail the signed Letter of Acceptance by which they accept the awarded Scholarship at least one month before the beginning of mobility. The scholarship holders should arrange visa and similar requirements and regulate their temporary stay in Croatia by acquiring a residence permit. The scholarship holders are strongly advised to be in regular contact with their Croatian host institutions and inform the host institutions and the Ministry if any changes to their mobility occur. Upon arrival to Croatia, scholarship holders should request an OIB (Personal Identification Number – Croatian Tax Number) at the local Tax Administration Office and after that open a giro bank account at any bank and send by e-mail a scan or photo of the documents containing the OIB and IBAN to the Ministry. Each scholarship holder is obligated to stay in Croatia throughout the scholarship program and be engaged solely in the program which has been approved by the Ministry. Absence is justified for three (3) consecutive months (during summer) for full degree studies. In case the scholarship holder needs to be absent for a longer period, s/he should inform the host institution and the Ministry. If the scholarship holder leaves Croatia without a valid reason and without notifying the Ministry, the Scholarship can be suspended/terminated and the grant can be reclaimed. The scholarship holders who plan to stay in the student residence hall in Croatian cities are required to bring the Health and Immunization Questionnaire after undergoing health examination in their home countries. Finally, scholarship holders should observe the Croatian legislation in force during the period of their residence in Croatia. They must also comply with the Ministry’s instructions, regulations concerning the residence for foreigners in Croatia and with the host institution regulations.
After completing their studies, the scholarship holders are obliged to return to their home countries. They are expected to contribute to the development of their communities and to building capacities and strengthening resilience at the local level with their knowledge acquired in Croatia upon return to their homelands.
Travel expenses to Croatia and back to the country of origin including expenses for visa application are covered by the scholarship package.
Entering Croatia and the COVID-19 pandemic
Before travelling to Croatia scholarship holders are advised to be sure to check if there are any restrictions to travelling set in force by their home countries or/and Croatia that would prevent them from leaving their home country or from entering Croatia. The following Croatian Government webpage koronavirus.hr contains the latest information in connection to entering Croatia as a foreign citizen and is being continuously updated. Physical mobility remains the goal of the program but if it is not feasible, blended or entirely virtual instruction will be available.