Croatia was at the bottom of the European student mobility rankings for the academic year 2009/10, according to the Eurostudent survey conducted in 25 European countries, the Institute for the Development of Education said on Tuesday.
Only two per cent of students in Croatia said they had studied abroad, whereas in European countries the average was eight per cent.
Croatian students say additional costs are the biggest obstacle to studying abroad, the Institute said, adding that 74 per cent of those who had managed to do so were financially supported by their families.
Finland and the Netherlands had the highest student mobility rates in 2010, 14 and 13 per cent respectively, followed by Germany (9%) and the Czech Republic (7%), while Turkey, Poland and Croatia had the lowest rates - three, two and two per cent respectively.
Croatia has begun systematic work on the development of international mobility in university education, not only to increase the number of Croatian students and professors going abroad, but also to attract foreign students and professors.
Since the Eurostudent survey, Croatia has joined the Erasmus EU programme, enabling more than 500 students to stay abroad in the 2010-11 school year. More than 1,100 students in 2011-12 and more than 1,300 in 2012-13 are expected to stay abroad.
The education ministry has set up a task force to eliminate obstacles and increase international mobility in education by moving legislative amendments and recommending that mobility procedures be simplified.
On Wednesday, the Institute for the Development of Education will organise a scholarship and education fair to promote the importance of international mobility by presenting study and scholarship options in nine countries.