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Serbia 2007-2010: Contract signed for New Program for Support to Reforms of Higher Education in Serbia

Graz-Belgrade. It is our pleasure to announce that the new program of WUS Austria for Serbia has been accepted by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) - “Serbia 2007-2010: Improving Quality, Knowledge & Skills for Economic Development; Support to Reforms of Higher Education in Serbia”. The contract for 3 years was signed in November 2007 and the budget of the program is € 1,903,800.

The project aims for the support of further development of higher education institutions in Serbia based upon the relevant economic and social needs of Serbia, in order to develop a more efficient, competitive and modern higher education system.

The program includes the following components:

Master Studies Development Program (MSDP) aims at supporting the development of new and adaptation of existing master programs focusing on the relevant needs of the labour market, and therefore aims at enhancing the employability of graduates, to support mutual cooperation between Serbian Universities and the labour market, and to support further development and modernization of Serbian HE as well (throw improving curricula in terms of content and methodology in line with EU standards).

The supporting measures for MSDP and an instrument of quality assurance at the same time will consist of two proven programs of WUS, namely Brain Gain Program (BGP), now BGP+ project and Life Long Learning and eLearning Program (LLL, eLP). The BGP+ project aims at opening up the higher education sector in Serbia and other SEE countries by inviting – mainly emigrated – academics from Austrian and other European institutions (regardless of their citizenship) to lecture courses or conduct research, which are not available at the university faculties of Serbia, thus filling the gaps in the local teaching, research and mentorship capacities. Life Long Learning and eLearning program component supports implementation of modern teaching methods and modernization of the training system and university infrastructure for both students and adults through capacity building and transfer of know-how in this areas.

Additionally, the program for 2007-2010 will also support the newly founded University of Novi Pazar with the aim to set the institution’s competencies through contributing to institution and capacity building by supporting measures in quality assurance and infrastructure. Also, the program will include a component of financial support to the Accreditation Agency for Serbia.

At this phase Belgrade office is preparing MSDP documents, application form and guidelines, defining rules and procedures for the selection phase, and is starting on promotion of the program.