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Conference “Austrian Support to Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Sarajevo. It is with great pleasure that WUS Austria announces the successful organization of the conference “Austrian Support to Higher Education in BiH” on May 23-24, 2011 in Sarajevo.


The Conference was organized within WUS Austria's programme „Austrian Support to Higher Education in BiH 2008 - 2011“, financed by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), as one of the final activities within that three-and-a-half year intervention. The Conference marked the end of a period of 15+ years during which the Austrian Government via ADC had continually invested in BiH higher education (HE) through WUS Austria projects. Its second part was a seminar aimed at introducing a number of models of doctoral education from around the world to the BiH academic community. The agenda of the Conference can be downloaded here.

The Conference was attended by more than 170 participants, primarily representatives of teaching staff, university management and students from all 8 BiH public universities and representatives of private higher education institutions in BiH, as well as representatives of public authorities, BiH companies, international organizations and the media.

The Conference was officially opened by the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to BiH, His Excellency Dr. Donatus Köck, Assistant Minister for Education at the Ministry of Civil Affairs BiH, Ms. Esma Hadžagić, Director of the Agency for Higher Education Development and Quality Assurance BiH, Mr. Nihad Fejzić, and the Executive Director of WUS Austria, Mr. Almir Kovačević


Appreciating the immense ADC assistance and recognizing its effects in BiH higher education, the first part of the Conference, entitled „15+ Years of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) Support“, was dedicated to apprising the numerous outcomes and impacts of the successful trilateral collaboration between ADC, WUS Austria and public universities in BiH. Representatives of all eight public universities in BiH addressed the Conference participants by giving their short presentations on this type of cooperation in the following order:

·  Prof. Simo Jokanović, Vice-rector, University of Banja Luka

·  Prof. Refik Šahinović, Rector, University of Bihać

·  Prof. Zoran Ljuboje, Vice-rector, University of East Sarajevo

·  Prof. Dražena Gašpar, Vice-rector, University of Mostar

·  Prof. Hazim Bašić, Vice-rector, University of Sarajevo

·  Prof. Naser Prljača, Vice-rector, University of Tuzla

·  Prof. Sabahudin Ekinović, Rector, University of Zenica

Furthermore, the Conference auditorium was presented with a selection of „success stories“ aimed at acknowledgement of the proactive institutions and individuals that have been pushing forward positive changes in BiH higher education on an everyday basis, despite the complex and difficult circumstance they were facing.


·  Distance Education – eLearning by Prof. Petar Marić, Dean, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Banja Luka

·  Telemedicine by Dr. Ozren Kordić, Faculty of Medicine, University of Banja Luka

·  CDP+ 2006 by Prof. Nijaz Skender, Dean, Faculty of Pedagogy, University of Bihać

·  Faculty of Information Technology by Jasmin Azemović, Faculty of Information Technology, University “Džemal Bijedić” in Mostar

·  Reform of Higher Education Area - Role of WUS Austria by doc.dr. Dejan Bokonjić, Faculty of Medicine, University of East Sarajevo

·  Quality Assurance at University of Mostar by Prof. Snježana Rezić, Quality Assurance Coordinator, University of Mostar

·  Importance and Effects of Austrian Support to University of Sarajevo and Higher Education in BiH by Zoran Selesković, Secretary General, University of Sarajevo

·  Balkan Case Challenge (BCC) experience by Maja Arslanagić, MSc, Faculty of Economics, University of Sarajevo

·  UCDED at University of Tuzla through the Prism of Implemented WUS Austria eLearning Projects by doc.dr. Samra Mujačić, UCDED, University of Tuzla

·  From Project to the Process Approach in Quality System Development at University of Zenica by Prof. Darko Petković, Vice-rector, University of Zenica


·  MA in Mechanical Engineering by Damir Hodžić, MSc, Faculty of Technical Engineering, University of Bihać

·  MA in Food Analysis by Prof. Esma Velagić-Habul, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sarajevo

·  MA in Quality Health Management by Kemal Kačapor, MSc, Faculty of Economics, University of Sarajevo


Having in mind that the issue of designing, managing and delivering doctoral education has been recognized as one of vital importance for higher education throughout Europe, as well as for BiH higher education, the second day of the Conference focused on the topic of “Conditions and Standards for Developing and Delivering Doctoral Programmes”. It was opened by a presentation of PhD in ICT, study program supported through WUS Austria Degree Development Structure (DDS) project, by Prof. Zdenka Babić, Vice-dean, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Banja Luka.

With the purpose of familiarizing the BiH academic community and higher education stakeholders with various “PhD models” from around the world, the seminar gathered a group of renowned expert lecturers who elaborated the doctoral education models employed by their home universities. As a result, the following examples were presented:

·  Doctoral Education in the Netherlands and Italy by Prof. Kemal Hanjalić, Delft University of Technology and Sapienza University of Rome

·  Conditions and Standards for Developing and Delivering Doctoral Programs: Australian Case Study by Prof. Ron Adams, Professorial Research Fellow, Victoria University, Melbourne

·  Austrian Experience: Doctoral education at Karl-Franzens University of Graz by Dr. Gerald Lind, Department of Educational and Student Services, Karl-Franzens University of Graz

·  Irish Experiences of Development of a New Framework for PhD Education by Prof. Alan Kelly, Dean of Graduate Studies, University College Cork

Representing of doctoral education models from around the world was followed by   demonstration of BiH Experience: Doctoral Education at Public Universities in BiH:

·  Doctoral Studies at University of Bihać by doc.dr. Atif Hodžić, Dean, Faculty of Technical Engineering, University of Bihać

·  Doctoral Studies at University of Mostar by Prof. Brano Markić & Prof. Slavo Kukić, Faculty of Economics, University of Mostar

·  Doctoral Studies at University of Sarajevo by Prof. Muharem Avdispahić, Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Sarajevo

·  Doctoral Studies at University of Tuzla by Prof. Fehim Dedagić, University of Tuzla


Most of the Conference participants expressed their high appreciation to WUS Austria for organization of this immensely important, but also emotional event.


(Please note that all available presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the hyperlinks.)


For further infomration on Austrian support in BiH see also the following article on the ADc website:

Österreich hat in Bosnien und Herzegowina viel bewirkt.