According to andyeducation, Croatia is home to a highly developed and comprehensive educational system. Primary education, which is free and compulsory, starts at the age of six or seven and is divided into two cycles. The first cycle consists of eight grades and lasts for four years, while the second cycle consists of four grades and lasts for two years. Secondary education has three levels: general secondary education, vocational secondary education, and higher education. General secondary education lasts for four years and prepares students for university studies. Vocational secondary education lasts three to four years depending on the chosen profession. Higher education includes university studies, professional studies, specialist studies, master’s degree programs, postgraduate doctoral studies and lifelong learning programs. Students can choose from a wide range of study programs offered by universities in Croatia such as medicine, law, engineering, economics, social sciences etc. In addition to these academic qualifications students can also obtain additional qualifications such as language certificates or computer certifications. The Croatian government has also created an extensive system of scholarships to make higher education more accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation. These scholarships cover tuition fees as well as other expenses related to studying such as accommodation or books. Furthermore there are numerous grants available which are aimed at helping students with their research projects or special initiatives in their field of study. Finally there are many student exchange programs between universities in Croatia and those abroad that allow students to gain international experience during their studies. All these measures have helped create a strong foundation for Croatia’s educational system that ensures that every student has access to quality higher education regardless of their background or financial situation. See educationvv for Croatia educational systems.