Elementary education is free and compulsory although this is not strictly enforced and many children are not able to attend due to their families need to have them work. Communities located on the Atlantic Coast have access to education in their native languages in both Spanish and the languages of the native indigenous tribes that live in the more rural areas of Nicaragua. Higher education has financial, organic and administrative autonomy, according to the law. Also, freedom of subjects is recognized. The school year runs from February through November.
The oldest institution of higher education in Nicaragua is the Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua, which was founded in 1812, which also dates
back to the Spanish colonial period.
Nicaragua became a part of the Central American Federation in 1821
and also declared its independence from Spain. It left the Federation in 1838 for full
independence. There are many commercial schools and eight universities throughout the
country. Between 2002 and 2003, a total of 100,363 Nicaraguan students attended
universities and other institutions of higher learning. The National Council
of Universities is the body responsible for strategic planning in
Admission to higher education is on the basis of the Bachillerato, the
school qualification. Students are also subject to an entrance examination.
The Licenciado, the main undergraduate degree, is a four or five year
course of study. A professional title may also be awarded depending on the
subject. Following the Licenciado, the first postgraduate degree is the
Maestria, which lasts two years and culminates with the submission of a
Institutions of higher learning also offer two or three year courses in technical and vocational
education. The main qualification studied for is the Tecnico Superior