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Children's University in BiH – at the University of Banja Luka

The third phase of the Children's University continued the successfully implemented phase at the University of Sarajevo in 2011 and the University of Mostar in 2013. Children's University is a project that seeks from the earliest age to increase the interest of children in science, research and technology, and the arts, through exciting, interactive real life experiences. In this way children develop professional talent and knowledge, creativity, their personality and intensify their curiosity and critical thinking.

Children’s University in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an ideal instrument for the promotion of inter-ethnic cooperation through encouraging dialogue amongst children of ages 10-14. Yet again, the project brought together 90 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina for the purpose of promoting higher education between primary schools and universities across the country, through a variety of lectures and workshops held at the University of Banja Luka, with an aim to realize the importance of building a common future.

During the event, the participants from eight primary schools from Mostar, Sarajevo, Doboj, Krupa na Vrbasu and Banja Luka for the first time had an opportunity to enter the University buildings, to learn more about their further education opportunities, and to get the first-hand information about their potential future profession.

Within the busy five-day schedule of lectures, workshops and extracurricular activities, students were welcomed by faculty and staff from the University of Banja Luka: Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Agriculture and the Academy of Arts. As a guest lecturer, a special workshop on Non-conflict problem solving and a Simulation of an American tale “The Wizard of Oz” was held by prof. Arma Tanović- Brankovic from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, who has been engaged in the project since 2011. Through drama, dance and play children discussed about problems they face on a daily basis and ways in which the problems could be resolved in a peaceful manner.

According to children who participated in the camp, two of the most exciting extracurricular activities were an organized visit to the rafting center “Vrbas Canyon” where they attended a lecture about rafting, necessary equipment and methods of protection from possible accidents, and a visit to the cinema where they watched a 3D animated movie “Escape from the Planet Earth”.

The closing ceremony of Children’s University in BiH took place at the amphitheater of the Faculty of Political Science at which Vice-Rector for International Relations at the University of Banja Luka, Valerija Šaula PhD, Executive Director of World University Service Austria, Mag. Almir Kovačević, and Deputy Head of Banja Luka Branch Office, Mrs. Maria Stavropoulos, delivered Diplomas to 90 children and held closing speeches.

In addition to the Office of Public Affairs and close cooperation with the University of Banja Luka, the project was supported by Sparkasse Bank, Merkur Osiguranje, Hotel Palas, and Globtour Medjugorje.