Policy area


Sustainable development goals and international commitments


At the international level, this policy is promoted through the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal “Quality Education” (SDG4). Achieving this goal aims to ensure that all boys and girls complete free, equal and quality primary and secondary education, have access to quality early development and preschool education, strengthen professional skills and knowledge among young people and ensure equal access for women and men. tertiary level of education including universities. It also wants to improve the quality and accessibility of educational institutions in relation to children, children with disabilities, to create a gender-sensitive, non-violent and inclusive environment. The focus is also on strengthening skills and increasing the number of qualified teachers by organizing training through international cooperation. In addition, this goal seeks to ensure the acquisition of all knowledge of belonging to the global community and respect for cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development. It should also be noted that through SDG 9 in sub-objective 9.5. encourages the development of scientific research and an increase in the number of researchers. SDG 17 envisages the encouragement of knowledge transfer, mobility of scientists, strengthening of scientific research activities and comprehensive cooperation in achieving the goals of sustainable development.


The National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2030 sets as one of the strategic goals (goal 1.3) the provision of inclusive and quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. This strategic goal is elaborated through measures aimed at strengthening the comprehensiveness of pre-school education and the quality of primary and secondary education, and further strengthening the scientific and research components of higher education. More specifically, the set indicators are in line with the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals and those formulated by the OECD and are aimed at the following: achieved coverage of preschool education of all children, especially 3 years of age before starting school, budget allocation is at the OECD average by 2030 for pre-school education (currently Montenegro 0.38% of GDP, currently OECD 0.5% of GDP), research and development expenditures are at the level of 2.5% of GDP, at least 1 university from Montenegro is ranked among the 3 most prestigious international ranking list, formed and put into operation the first Science and Technology Park, improving the results of PISA testing.

EU acquis chapters

Obligations in the EU accession process

An overview of obligations from negotiation chapters

Montenegro opened and temporarily closed the negotiating chapter 26 Education and Culture on 15 April 2013. There were no start and end benchmarks for this chapter, as well as transitional periods and permanent exemptions.

In the innovative methodology of EU accession, education policy is part of cluster 3 “Competitiveness and Inclusive Growth”.
The latest report of the European Commission for Montenegro (2021) highlighted several challenges for the coming period: further improve the quality and accessibility of education and training, with a focus on digitization; step up reform efforts to improve inclusive education and access to quality education at all levels of education; start implementing the new strategy on early and pre-school education 2021-2025, in order to improve pre-school enrollment and inclusion for all children; establish an adequate mechanism for monitoring and evaluating practical learning, both at higher and at the level of vocational education; the level of enrollment of children in preschool institutions, which is 52% in Montenegro, is significantly below the EU target of 95%.

An outline of the EU strategic framework

Since the Lisbon Declaration, the focus has been on the advancement and development of knowledge, greater investment in education and training, scientific and technological research and innovation.

In the Rome Declaration of 2017, EU member states emphasized their commitment to providing “the best education and training” for young people. In 2017, the European Council called for education and training systems to “adapt to the digital age”.

Of the five adopted goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, two were directly related to education, increasing the percentage of GDP allocated to research and development (R&D) from 1.9 to 3% and increasing the percentage of the population aged 30 to 34 with a university degree with 31% to 40%. The rate of early school leaving between the ages of 18 and 24 decreased below 10%. The EU shapes education, culture, youth, language and sport policies through the DG EAC Directorate. This directorate shapes and encourages the Creative Europe and Erasmus + programs.

In the political priorities of the European Union 2019-2024, the focus is on adapting educational knowledge and skills to the process of digital transformation, strengthening education systems so that all children at risk of poverty and social exclusion have access to education (European Child Guarantee), European Social Fund + to ensure the quality and accessibility of early education, achieving the European Education Area by 2025 through stronger networking, recognition of diplomas, strengthening mobility through tripling the Erasmus + budget, developing high-quality education systems and early childhood care to lay the foundations for later success in life, conditions for the automatic mutual recognition of diplomas and periods of study abroad in order to facilitate learning mobility in Europe and to improve language teaching and learning in order to ensure that more young people acquire knowledge of foreign languages.

The Gothenburg Agenda: increased mobility and exchange for young Europeans, the establishment of a network of European universities, the mutual recognition of secondary education diplomas.

The Digital Education Action Plan envisages better use of digital technology for teaching and learning, development of appropriate digital competencies and skills for digital transformation, improvement of education through improved data analysis and forecasting.

The Education 2030 Framework for Action provides guidelines for achieving SDG4 and can be a significant tool for shaping action plans in national education policy.

Osnabrück Declaration 2021-2025 – Montenegro signed the declaration in November 2020. The aim of the declaration is to strengthen vocational education and training as a driver of recovery and a fair transition to a digital and green economy.

Early childhood education and care: access to early childhood education and care, trained and professional staff to work with this population, defining appropriate curricula and sustainable funding of these programs.

School: reducing early school leaving, increasing the availability of schools for all, supporting students with special educational needs including migrant children, creating opportunities for teachers for constant professional development, development based on quality indicators, strengthening mobility.

Higher education: promoting excellence, strengthening an inclusive and connected higher education system, encouraging innovation in universities, encouraging mobility.

At the link you can find the entire strategic and legal framework governing this area.

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Politika obrazovanja u strateškom okviru Crne Gore

In 2020, the strategic commitment of the Ministry was to conduct, in cooperation with UNICEF, a comprehensive Analysis of the Education Sector of Montenegro in order to improve the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education reforms, as well as ensuring the quality of reforms by creating appropriate institutional and financial resources. The report based on the conducted analysis in its final form should be published during 2021. In the previous period, the system of studies 3 + 2 + 3 was introduced, which is harmonized with the European Higher Education Area. Practical classes have been introduced in the amount of at least 25% of the total student workload per subject, the first generation of students who do not pay tuition is enrolled in 2017.

During the covid-19 epidemic, the relevant ministry established a distance learning system for primary and secondary school students in a very short time. Innovations are present in the way of recording and processing thematic units for all classes, as well as in designing special platforms such as website and application Learn at home, e-diary, distance testing and assessment, availability of online tests for preparing for semi-graduation and graduation exams, online enrollment in kindergartens and schools, etc.

The fourth priority of the Government’s Work Program for 2021 “Education and knowledge-based society” strives for a quality and efficient education system as a key element of life and development infrastructure of each individual, with special emphasis on young people with new knowledge and skills. Provide conditions for the full realization of the rights of the individual in every educational cycle, from pre-school to higher education, as well as to improve the entire educational system and enable quality management and its democratization. In addition, activities will be dedicated to the valorization of practice and career guidance and training in order to strengthen the skills and knowledge of young people needed for the labor market.

The economic reform program 2021-2023 envisages the establishment of a system of continuous monitoring of the quality of practical education among employers. It is planned to train 200 teachers, organizers and instructors of practical education by 2022. Also, it is predicted that by 2023, 45% of students will be employed after completing dual education. Also, the Program envisages the reform of programs in undergraduate and master studies in order to strengthen practical teaching. The number of unemployed university graduates is projected to be reduced by 10% by 2023.

Each of the levels of education has its own strategic document that shape that segment of educational policy.

Thus, the Strategy of Early and Preschool Education until 2025 envisages an increase in the coverage of preschool education and education of all children, especially 3 years of age before starting school in accordance with international standards to the level of total coverage of children of 60%; improving the quality of preschool education services; Improving the existing system for providing support for early development of children from vulnerable groups by providing support to parents, which will be considered by increasing the Early Development Index (ECDI) of children from the poorest families from 75 to 86.

The Strategy for the Development of Vocational Education in Montenegro until 2024 envisages the strengthening of the dual education system, with special emphasis on the employability of 75% of students with employers with whom they completed the practical part of classes in the first 6 months of completion; training of 80% of practical education instructors and 2000 teachers in accordance with the procedures and rules for the development of key competencies and digital literacy; harmonization of enrollment policy with the needs of the labour market in order to achieve that the percentage of students who are educated in educational programs for three years is at least 25% in relation to the total number of students in vocational education.

The Higher Education Development Strategy 2020-2024 envisages harmonization of the education system with the needs of the labour market, with better recognition of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, based on a changed study system that fully reflects the system valid in the European Higher Education Area. Continuation of sustainable financing of higher education institutions, along with strengthening the passability and harmonization of secondary and higher education, strengthening practical classes, as well as increasing the share of persons aged 25 to 64 participating in lifelong learning programs, are some of the priorities set out in this document. In this period, special areas of importance are the adjustment of quality with the requirements of the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area.

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