Croatian Studies of University of Zagreb: A New Opportunity For Croats From Diaspora

Picking up university studies in Demography and Emigration and enrolling in a university degree covering these studies is surely something that is likely to attract many young (as well as mature) students and people of Croatian descent living outside Croatia. This new strand of university studies – “Demography and Croatian Emigration” – developed having in mind to also attract Croatians living in the diaspora and Bosnia and Herzegovina is innovative and attractive, and enrollments are already in progress as the first generation to study this new undergraduate course “kicks off” at the beginning of 2019/2020 Academic Year.

A quota for enrollment of people of Croatian descent living outside Croatia has been set and hence, if enrollment criteria are met, a number of places is guaranteed by quota for Croats from the diaspora as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although summer enrollment deadlines have now closed, applications are still possible, and enrollments will be announced in September this year.

Demography and Croatian Emigration university course will be studied as a double-major course, combined with Philosophy and Culture, Latin, Communication, Croatology, History or Sociology.

Over the course of five years, students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills related to population and emigration issues. It is envisaged that on the basis of these studies they will contribute to the development of the entire Croatian population.

Overall, understanding of the population as the most important factor of every society and space will enable the graduate employment in national, regional and local government systems, Croatian representations abroad, scientific research institutes, security systems and the like. The study of demography and Croatian emigration is an innovation in tertiary education and sciences by subject of interest, theoretical approach, methodological elaboration, multidisciplinary idea, importance and general interest in demographic and emigrant issues.

Negative demographic indicators in Croatia need to be an incentive for different institutions to do what they need to be doing – developing a stronger connection with many Croatian emigrants of different generations.

The study program of Demography and Croatian diaspora is a novel concept in science and higher education in Croatian universities in terms of subject matter, theoretical approach, methodology employed, multidisciplinary elaboration, and in terms of importance and general interest for researching applied demography and emigration.

This study program is founded on the idea that the population is key factor in all subsequent human activities, from children and young people as the carriers of the future development of Croatia, and it also acknowledges the Croatian diaspora as a cultural capital, to the adverse effects of cultural decadence upon the civilisation in general, and Croatian in particular (especially since all of the major demographic indicators and trends have turned negative). Following this, the decision to establish this study program in Croatia originates from major academic, social, economic, cultural, and national necessity. This necessity is only compounded by the cumulative adverse effects of negative demographic trends on key government systems of the Republic of Croatia.

Emigration waves in the 20th and early 21st century have resulted in a larger number of ethnic Croats abroad than in the Republic of Croatia, which makes the study of Diaspora not just a key academic field, but also an important contributor to the demographic survival.

By acknowledging the complexity of demography, Diaspora and migration in general, with its natural socio-spatial constraints and the need for a new developmental conception based on Croatian diaspora, a new study program is proposed at the University Department of Croatian Studies of the University of Zagreb with lecturers coming from the best Croatian scientific institutions.

In 2017, the University of Zagreb signed an agreement with the Central State Office for Croats Abroad.

According to the agreement, this year a special quota for enrollment from Croatians abroad for Croatian Studies at the University of Zagreb was approved. It should be emphasized that the Ministry of Science and Education of Croatia will subside tuition fees in full for 100 full-time students who enroll.


The agreement with the Central State Office for Croats Abroad which stipulates the issuance of enrolment quotas for Croats located outside of Croatia with the aim of returning Croats and Croatian descendants to Croatia as well as taking positive action to assist Croatian youth to stay in Croatia. The aim focuses on positive long-term demographic and economic progress as well as the positive general progress of Croatian society.

This is new in the Croatian higher education strand, and by introducing this, Croatian Studies department of University of Zagreb now stands alongside faculties in Western Europe and North America, which in their offer of academic programs have studies on immigration, immigration communities and demographics. The studies will become one of the bridges between Croatians abroad and the homeland of Croatia through its future – young people and students.

More details about Croatian Studies on the website

Ina Vukic (part text taken from Croatian Studies Website)