According to andyeducation, the education system in Laos is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Sports. Primary education is free and compulsory for all citizens of Laos, starting at age six and lasting for five years. Students who successfully complete primary school move on to lower secondary school which lasts for three years. At the end of lower secondary school, students take the National Exam which determines their eligibility for upper secondary school. Upper secondary school includes both academic and vocational programs, each lasting three years. Academic programs focus on general education topics such as mathematics, science, foreign languages, and humanities while vocational programs provide specialized training in trades such as engineering or agriculture so that students can enter the workforce after completing their studies. Higher education in Laos includes universities, institutes, academies, conservatories, and specialized higher educational institutions. Programs can last anywhere from two to five years depending on the level of study and specialization chosen by a student. Students must take a special entrance exam in order to be accepted into higher educational institutions in Laos. Upon completion of their studies students receive a diploma or certificate confirming their qualifications. See educationvv for Laos educational systems.