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How to master statistics: The numbers behind the Master, PhD and Chair Programs

Graz. MSDP, DDS, LMOCP – sometimes names imply that something is more complicated than it really is. WUS Austria wants to make you a little more familiar with its labour marked oriented study programs. Please read on, if you want to learn what’s behind these abbreviations and if you want to get to know the facts & figures of these projects.

The project “Development of Labour Market Relevant Master, PhD and Chair Programs” – a component of the “Support to Higher Education” program, financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation – supports interested Higher Education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia in the creation of tailor-made study programs. What is special about these study programs is that they focus explicitly on the needs of the local labour market. The project has different names according to its target country. In Serbia and Kosovo it is entitled “Master Studies Development Program – MSDP”, in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is named “Degree Development Structure – DDS” and in Montenegro it answers to the name of “Labour Market Oriented Chair Program – LMOCP”. Although the labels may differ, the goals are similar: First the project aims at enhancing the employability of graduates. Second it wants to support mutual cooperation between South Eastern European universities, Austrian universities or other EU universities as well as stakeholders of the private sector, like companies. The grantees of these programs are supported through several measures, such as: scholarships, teacher training activities; literature purchase and study visits just to name a few.

As for now, in Serbia, 4 out of 6 new Master programs started with lectures this semester. For instance, 25 out of 40 applicants were admitted to the course “Higher Education Management” at the University of Novi Pazar. Even more students - 33 to be precise - attend a lecture in “Electronics” at the University of Novi Sad. But these lectures sometimes are more exclusive. At the faculty of Chemistry, a charmed circle of 7 students enrolled in the newly developed Master course in Biochemistry.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 Master Programs and one PhD program are up and running. The Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences works in close cooperation with the University of Technology of Graz and the University of Vienna in order to offer their students up to date lectures. So far, 8 of them seized this chance. The two other Master programs – “Quality Management in Health” and “Mechanical Engineering” are realized at the University of Sarajevo and, respectively, the University of Bihac. At the University of Banka Luka they are even one step ahead, offering 7 PhD students the chance to follow lectures in the field of ICT that are developed in close cooperation with the University of Paderborn in Germany.

As far as it comes down to sheer numbers the Chair Program “Tourism” at the University of Montenegro has the lead with a total number of 114 students enrolled. Aside this course, taken together, 69 students participate in the three Chair Programs, with topics ranging from “Experimental Biology and Biotechnology” and “Advances in Marina Technologies” to “Professional Skills Development and Reflective Practice”.

Last but certainly not least let’s have a look at the numbers from Kosovo: The four Master Programs at the University of Prishtina have managed to all be accredited by the national Kosovan Accreditation Agency. The topics covered by these programs are very different. There is an “MBA in Health Management” that already attracted over 90 students of whom 36 are successfully enrolled. For the “M.Sc. in Mechatronics” 23 student applications have been granted. Taken together lectures in the frame of two “LL.M. in International Law” and in “Civil and Property Law” are attended by 46 students of the University of Prishtina.

To give you a rough overview: Over 400 students at 9 universities in 4 countries are enrolled in 16 Master, PhD or Chair Programs, with 2 more Master Programs on their way. If these numbers didn’t manage to already confuse you too much, you are very welcome to check out even more information at our project website. WUS Austria is very happy to offer the students of Higher Education institutions in South East Europe the opportunity to enrol in these new and labour market oriented study programs. We also want to take the opportunity to express our gratitude towards all involved partners in this project, notably the 8 universities from Austria and the universities from other EU member states that helped significantly to develop these programs by sharing their knowledge and experiences.