Education is compulsory for eight years, between the ages of seven and 15. Primary school lasts for four years and is followed by two tiers of secondary education, four years at the first level and four more years of upper secondary education at the second level. In 1997, there were 437,780 students enrolled in primary schools and 815,029 students in secondary schools. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 20 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 51% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school.
Serbia has six universities (at Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pristina, Nis, and Kragujevac) with 76 academic departments. Some 172,313 students were enrolled in tertiary academies and schools in 1997; teaching staff totaled 12,273. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.2% of GDP.