In 2001 Croatia had four universities—the Universities of Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, and Osijek—which together encompassed 55 faculties, four arts academies, three university departments, and one additional universityoperated course of study. Professional education was provided through seven polytechnics, six independent schools of professional higher education, one teachers' academy, and eight teachers' schools of professional higher education. Higher education institutions in the 2000-2001 academic year employed 1,133 full professors and 801 associate professors.
The Zagreb area had the highest number of students in tertiary education in 2001: 33,889 students in university programs and 14,640 students in professional studies, which was 58 percent of all tertiary students in Croatia. In the mid-1990s about 28 percent of the age-relevant population in Croatia was enrolled in higher education. Just 8 percent of Croatia's population over age 25 held a higher education diploma in 1995, but by 1996 approximately 17 percent of 18- to 22-year-olds were enrolled in tertiary studies.
Of the 84,088 students enrolled in higher education institutions in the country in the 2000-2001 academic year, 59,230 were following university courses of study at least 4 years in length that led to a Bachelor's degree while 24,858 students were enrolled in professional studies programs of at least 2 years that led to an Associate's degree. Of the students enrolled in Croatian universities in 1997, approximately 25 percent concentrated in the humanities, approximately 42 percent in the social and behavioral sciences, a little more than 2 percent in the natural sciences, about 9 percent in medicine, approximately 47 percent in engineering, and more than 10 percent in other fields. The Ministry of Science and Technology, whose responsibilities have included administrative oversight of the universities and professional training in Croatia, anticipated implementing the European credit transfer system early in the 2000 decade to facilitate transfers of Croatian students and other European students between each other's higher education programs.
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