Vatican City is unique when it comes to education. The country has no primary schools, but the adult education rate is 100%! The Vatican is essentially a centre for higher Roman Catholic studies, in particular for training of clergy to hold important posts around the world.

Around fifteen institutions of higher education have been given the Pontifical standing by the Pope. Majority of them however are not found inside the Vatican City State limits. Most are located in different parts of Rome. These institutes train seminarians for ordination and clergy in advanced studies like canon law of the church, spirituality, marriage and family and theology. Students can earn graduate degrees or doctorates through these institutions.

The only school that falls inside the Vatican City State limits is the Ethiopian College. When started, its mission was to train males from Africa for priesthood. Many of the currently serving African cardinals and bishops graduated from this school.


Other scholarly institutions found inside include the Vatican School of Librarianship. The Secret Vatican Archives, which is no secret at all, conserves correspondence of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State since 1660. It is responsible for overseeing the Vatican School of Palaeography, diplomacy and Archivistry. The Lynx-Eyed, now known as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is also located inside the Vatican. Its roughly 80 members are selected by the Pope from around the world. 

The education provided by the Holy See is very specialized, focused, and generally reserved for the most serious minded students. 


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