- Basic information about the main systems or policies currently implemented, plus any points of interest specific to this country.
Croatia has a century-old tradition of institutional adult education; after World War II an outline was established, which in the mid-fifties acquired all the characteristics of a system and was incorporated at the local and state level. A great number of adult education institutions exist (e.g. people´s universities, workers´ universities, primary schools for adults, secondary evening schools and two-year evening colleges), with quite a number of students. Together with a constant improvement of andragogic (learning strategies focused on adults) workers, this has allowed the Croatian education system to become very well developed, and not only oriented in former Yugoslavia. 
The Croatian system of education is under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports . The system encompasses preschool, primary, secondary, higher and formal adult education. The authority of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports also includes the systems of science, technology and information society, which provide significant support to the system of education. Various levels of the education system are also supported by professional agencies and expert advisory bodies.
Politics and Law
- Basic overview of the political background for the country's attitude towards Adult Education, including key legislation, any legal issues or political directives etc, and any points of interest specific to this country.
A number of education policy documents recently adopted in Croatia can be divided into general education system documents but with a special reflection on adult education, and those focusing on the education of adults in particular. Among the documents covering the field of education in general, the following can be listed as the key policy documents :
• 2001 - Croatia in the 21st Century - Education, White Paper on Croatian Education, Government of the Republic of Croatia, National Competitiveness Council;
• 2002 - Declaration on Knowledge; 2004 Croatia Based on Knowledge and the Application of Knowledge, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts;
• 2004 - 55 Recommendations for Increasing Croatia´s Competitiveness, National Competitiveness Council;
• 2005 - Education System Development Plan 2005-2010, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports;
• 2006 - Strategic Development Framework 2006-2013, Central State Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of EU Funds;
• 2004 - Croatian National Educational Standard
• 2007 - National Programme of Measures for the Introduction of Obligatory Secondary Education, Croatian Parliament;
• 2007 - Strategy for the Development of the National Curriculum, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, National Curriculum Council.
• 2008 - Development Strategy of the VET System in the Republic of Croatia 2008-2013
• Croatian National Qualification framework 
In Croatia, adult education is highlighted as an important component of the education system, which is confirmed by a number of strategic documents. The most important steps in the development of the adult education system are the adoption of the Strategy for Adult Education by the Croatian Government (in November 2004), the establishment of the Agency for Adult Education by the Government's Decree (in May 2006), and the Adult Education Act in February 2007 .
The Adult Education Act has established a normative framework and created legal prerequisites for further development of adult education as an integral part of the Croatian education system as a whole. In the field of formal adult education, standards are defined through one of four by-laws complementing the Adult Education Act 
According to the Adult Education Act, adult education in Croatia is the entire process of adult learning with the purpose of exercising the right to personal development, training for employability (earning qualifications for a first-time career, professional retraining, acquiring and expanding vocational knowledge, skills and abilities), and for civic participation. Adult education in Croatia encompasses all forms of education for those over 15 years of age. As stipulated by the Act, adult education is based on the following principles:
- lifelong learning, including the good use of educational opportunities, proximity and accessibility of education for all in accordance with different individuals´ abilities;
- liberty and autonomy in the choice of style, content, form, resource and method; respect for diversity and inclusion;
- professional and moral responsibility of employees working in the field of andragogy (adult learning);
- guarantee of the quality of educational choices;
- respect for the personality and dignity of each participant. 
The Act also decrees that adult education may be conducted as formal, non-formal, informal and/or self-guided learning.
Formal education is any activity conducted on the basis of programmes approved by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports with the purpose of acquiring vocational knowledge, skills and abilities. It includes the primary education of adults, secondary education of adults (includes acquiring a secondary school degree or qualification, low-skill professional qualification, professional re-training, training and supplemental training), as well as tertiary adult education. According to the Adult Education Act, formal adult education may be provided by local adult learning institutions (pučko otvoreno učilište similar to Folk High School), primary schools, secondary schools, higher education institutions, language schools, institutions for the care of persons with special needs and disabilities and other institutions, if they fulfil the requirements stipulated by the Act. Formal adult education leads to the acquisition of a formal certificate.
Non-formal education refers to organised learning processes directed at educating and training adults for work and meeting the needs of the labour market, participation in social activities and personal development. It is conducted in adult learning institutions, commercial enterprises, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, political parties, sports clubs, and various centres. 
Non-formal education covers a broad range, from education for democracy and peace, health, environmental protection and active citizenship to foreign language learning, business, management and leadership skills and IT literacy programmes. It is conducted independently of the formal education system and does not lead to the acquisition of a formal certificate. Informal adult learning refers to activities in which adults acquire views, values, skills and knowledge through everyday experiences, as well as a range of other influences and sources from their environments, while self-guided learning implies the learner´s control over the learning process as well as his or her responsibility for the end results.
Adult education institutions deal with formal adult education, and implement programmes for the acquisition of an initial qualification, in-service training, continuous training and re-training. 
Future trends/key concerns/directions
This section allows for a speculation of the way the country is progressing, current future trends emerging, ‘gaps´ evident etc, and any points of interest specific to this country for the future.
There has been a big step forward during the period from 2004 to 2007 when the Strategy on Adult Learning and the first Adult Education Act were adopted. However, there are still important issues related to their implementation in practice, for example:
- the improvement of adult learning provision to reach the individuals´ and labour market educational needs;
- developing sustainable partnership between relevant stakeholders at all levels: local, regional and national;
- developing sustainable financing mechanisms from public sources;
- to improve adult teachers' and trainers' competencies, to recognise prior learning outcomes; and to develop quality management system in adult learning.
Currently, Croatia is a candidate country currently preparing for EU accession. Croatia has, in January 2011, entered the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), which enables Croatian students in high, vocational, school and adult education the possibility to benefit from Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius and Grundtvig, grants respectively. 
1. A Strategy for Adult Education, 2011, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports Republic of Croatia http://public.mzos.hr/lgs.axd?t=16&id=15674
2. Ministry of Science, Education and Sports Republic of Croatia, 2011, http://public.mzos.hr/Default.aspx?sec=2428
3. European Adult Education outside the EU, DVV International , 2011, http://www.iiz-dvv.de/files/ipe_63_inhalt_internet.pdf
4. The Adult Education Act - Official Gazette, no 17/07
5. The Development of National Qualifications Frameworks in Europe, CEDEFOP, 2011< http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Files/6108_en.pdf
6. Agency for adult education, 2008, http://www.aoo.hr/en/Page.aspx?id=25
7. The Development and State of the Art of Adult Learning and Education, National Report of the Republic of Croatia, 2008 http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/INSTITUTES/UIL/confintea/pdf/National_Reports/Europe%20-%20North%20America/Croatia.pdf
8. The Development and State of the Art of Adult Learning and Education, National Report of the Republic of Croatia, 2008 http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/INSTITUTES/UIL/confintea/pdf/National_Reports/Europe%20-%20North%20America/Croatia.pdf
9. The Development and State of the Art of Adult Learning and Education, National Report of the Republic of Croatia, 2008 http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/INSTITUTES/UIL/confintea/pdf/National_Reports/Europe%20-%20North%20America/Croatia.pdf
10. Croatia joins EU Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action, 2011, http://www.obessu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=700:croatia-joins-eu-lifelong-learning-and-youth-in-action-programmes&catid=41:latest-news&Itemid=70 Programmes, 2011