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European Future of the Balkans, Bilateral Seminar held at the Austrian Embassy in Paris, February 7, 2012


Building the human infrastructure is necessary for a prosperous country and region. Although there have been important initiatives and contributions, both from the national as well as the European side, schools and universities in the region are still not at the necessary level. We are still confronted with out-dated curricula, ex catedra teaching methodologies, which do not stimulate analytical skills, the lack of opportunities for practical experience (partly addressed by the clinical education programme supported by USAID), the lack of relevant masters programmes and Ph.D-studies, generally of quality education although some efforts have been made, like the creation of accreditation agencies, which, however, have difficulties to deal with the mushrooming of private universities often lacking minimal standards. Often, universities lack a meaningful research component necessary to allow for research-based teaching and they also lack the administrative capacities to participate in research opportunities on the European level. The lack of capacities is also one of the reasons why the universities do not benefit fully from existing Tempus-programmes or from the few IPA-projects in the field of education, which, however are also limited by the particular IPA-approach.

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