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Memorandum of Understanding for New Program 2007-2010 Signed in Montenegro

Podgorica. On the 7th of February, 2008, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Embassy in Montenegro (donors), the University of Montenegro (beneficiary) and World University Service – Austrian Committee (implementing agency) was signed.

This important event took place at 13:00 hrs in the Rector’s office and is an important sign of the continuation of the successful cooperation between the signatories in the support of Higher Education in Montenegro that lasts for almost 10 years.

Addressing the numerous journalists present at the event, the Rector of the University of Montenegro Mr. Ljubisa Stankovic stressed that during the past, WUS Austria helped the University in Montenegro through numerous programs. This constant in support placed WUS Austria on the first place in this field stating that more than 80% of total donations to the University of Montenegro are performed through WUS Austria. Commenting on the new contract for the next three years and the projects foreseen for implementation, he pointed out the excellent quality of programs created in accordance with the University’s needs for the future period of higher education development.

H.E. the Austrian Ambassador Florian Raunig also emphasized the successful cooperation, praising the partner institution (University of Montenegro) and the implementing agency (WUS Austria) which jointly undertake important steps in supporting Montenegro on its way not only to a better higher education system, but as a whole towards the European Union.

Vice Rector Mr. Sreten Skuletic mentioned that this three year contract will assist the University of Montenegro in its aims to successfully implement the Bologna Process, taking the opportunity to express his gratitude to the Austrian partners.

The event received large media coverage. All Montenegrin (state and privately owned) television stations have emitted this event in daily news. On most radio station news the signing was mentioned, while all newspapers informed their readers. The event also appeared on web pages of respected newspaper companies in Montenegro.

World University Service Austria in Montenegro has a lot of experience in implementing programs in supporting higher education. In December this year the 10th anniversary since the opening of the office in Montenegro will be celebrated. Four employees working in this office will implement the new program, hopefully leaving all partners satisfied as it was the case so far.

Florian Raunig, Austrian Ambassador in Montenegro;
Ljubisa Stankovic, Rector of University of Montenegro;
Sreten Skuletic, Vice rector for international cooperation at University of Montenegro;
Gerhard Schaumberger, Head of Austrian Coordination bureau in Montenegro;
Mladenka Tesic, Program Manager WUS – Austria Podgorica office;
Goran Drakul, Business Manager WUS – Austria Podgorica office.

The New Program:

Montenegro 2007-2010: Support to Higher Education in Montenegro
Graz-Podgorica. We are pleased to announce that WUS-Austria in Podgorica with the support of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) will realize a number of projects. A three-year contract was signed in November 2007. Financed by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), WUS-Austria is granted the amount of EUR 728,282.00.
Over the following three years, WUS is going to realize a few projects aiming at successful implementation of Bologna Process at the University of Montenegro, advancing academic mobility of students and professors, and preparing students for the European Higher Education System.
With the aim to provide, reform and democratize the highest educational institution in Montenegro, WUS Austria, with the assistance of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), will realize the following projects:

Labor Market Oriented Curriculum
The Connection of higher education with labor market demands are the focus of the new three-year project, which will be implemented by World University Service (WUS Austria). It is planned to establish four new or modified curricula at different faculties. Chairs of the faculties will realize these curricula in accordance with defined corporate partners and/or national and international companies in Montenegro, depending on the market demand. In addition to four basic courses, five new modules will be introduced, adjusted to the market demand. Each module will be adjusted to the course, with the possibility of bringing back professors from abroad, including study visits of Montenegrin professors to EU Universities, as well as provision of equipment aiming at improving practical courses. Through this project it is also planned to connect the University of Montenegro with the labor market and the private sector, which will increase the number of employed graduates from the University of Montenegro, as well as strengthen links and cooperation between the University and private sector in the field of research.

Quality Assurance Project
With the aim to introduce European standards at the University of Montenegro, and due to the University’s demand to include quality assurance, WUS Austria in cooperation with the University of Montenegro will implement the first project of its kind titled the Quality Assurance Project. The aim of the Quality Assurance Project in Montenegro is the establishment and complete equipping (technical and communicational) of three self-sustained Quality Assurance Centers at the Faculties in Montenegro. The first center will be seated at one of the coast faculties, the second one at the Faculty in Niksic or Cetinje and the third one at one of the Faculties in Podgorica. Centers for quality assurance will have one full-time employee and trained expert who will be supported by twenty representatives of the Faculty, who will promote quality assurance on their Faculties.

Brain Gain Program+
This program is aimed to invite mainly emigrated professors, assistants or experts from special fields to come back to the region in order to teach as guest lecturers at the University of Montenegro. The aim of financing our experts from abroad from different fields (especially to fill the gap in the local teaching and research capacity) to teach courses at our University is to exchange experiences and knowledge. Two objectives are achieved when it is taken into account that these courses are intended primarily for students of the University of Montenegro: The transfer of knowledge, research techniques, as well as contemporary methodologies in the academic process learnt abroad, is of great importance for the students of the University of Montenegro.

Cooperation between Austrian and Montenegrin Higher Institutions

The three-year student exchange project will improve students’, researchers’ and professors’ mobility between the University of Montenegro and Austrian Universities, with the aim to enable exchange that is not covered by other projects at the University of Montenegro. This project will be available to all Faculties from the University of Montenegro, as well as to all Austrian Universities. Eligibility criteria will be established on the basis of coordination with the Austrian Embassy in Montenegro.