The analysis of data time-series on the number of enrolled students in the last six academic years shows overall decrease of the number of students at state and at private higher education institutions. More specifically, in the last six academic years from 2010/11 to 2015/16, the total number of enrolled students has decreased by 5.4%, i.e. by 3,385 students. The most dramatic drop is observed in the academic year 2012/13. As of next academic year 2013/14, the number of students is marked by mild increase, but is still below the 2010/11 level.

Such drop in numbers is especially high among private higher education institutions which have enrolled by 26.4% students less within the period of six years. The number of enrolled students at state higher education institutions has decreased by 1.3%. Single increase in terms of enrolled students is observed among faculties of religious studies, accounting for 6.1%.

Increased number of students at faculties of religious studies is mainly due to enormous surge of students enrolled at the Faculty of Islamic Studies accounting for 46.4%, compared to the major drop by 38.1% among students enrolled at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology. Hence, if five years ago, the difference between students enrolled at these two faculties accounted for only 12 students more at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, today it accounts for 124 students more compared to students enrolled at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology.

More detailed analysis of the number of students enrolled at state higher education institutions throughout the years shows that the biggest drop in enrolled students is observed at vocational colleges, which only in the last six academic years have by 62.5% students less, i.e. from 1,853 in 2012/11 to 694 in 2015/16.

At the level of faculties, the number of enrolled students has increased minimally by 494, i.e. by only 1%. Hence, in the academic year 2010/11 there were 50,761 students enrolled at state faculties, but their number was 51,255 in last academic year 2015/16.

Trends at private higher education institution are opposite to those observed among state institutions. More specifically, the number of students enrolled at colleges within private institutions is increasing, but their number is decreasing among private faculties.

**Number of students at private higher education institutions **

Analysis of the number of students enrolled at the five state universities shows that the two oldest and biggest universities, i.e. University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje and University “St. Clement of Ohrid” in Bitola, have lost the highest number of students. In the analysed period of six years, the number of students enrolled at the Skopje University has decreased by 3,062, i.e. by 10.5%. In the case of the Bitola University, this decrease is even higher. More specifically, the number of students has decreased by 3,669, accounting for 39% of the number of enrolled students within a period of only six years.

On the contrary, the three new universities are marked by higher growth. The highest number of new students is observed with the State University in Tetovo where, over a period of six years, there are 4,208 more students, representing a surge of 92.8% in 2015/16 compared to students enrolled in 2010/11. In this period, the University “Goce Delcev” in Stip has enrolled as many as 2,793 more students, representing a surge of 36.6%. As regards the number of enrolled students, the highest surge, as percentage, is observed at the University “St. Paul the Apostle” in Ohrid, which has enrolled by 164.7% more students last year compared to their number in 2010, which in absolute numbers accounts for 224 students.

The two state colleges, i.e. the Medicine College in Bitola and the Health College in Stip together, have 1,159 students less, i.e. in the last six years they have lost 62.5% of their students.

**Number of students enrolled at state higher education institutions**

In the last six years, a total of 2,762 less students were enrolled at private faculties, representing a decrease by 27.3%. Nevertheless, the situation at individual faculties and universities is different. The highest loss of students is noted with the Southeast European University, i.e. 2,684 students less or decrease by -57.5% over a period of only six years, and the highest increase is observed at the International Balkan University in Skopje, which increased its number of students by 672, i.e. by 214%.

**Number of students enrolled at private higher education institutions **

Finally, the number of students enrolled at private colleges has been increased by 26, i.e. from 249 students in 2010/11 to 275 students in 2015/16, and represents an increase by 10.4%.

*Methodology clarification*

*Baseline data used for development of time series as part of this research and analysis were taken from the State Statistical Office’s publication “Students Enrolled at Vocational Colleges and Faculties in the Republic of Macedonia (first cycle of studies) in the Academic Years 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016”.*

*Data presented in Excel format are available **here**.*