Brussels, Belgium – 11-12, December 2017

Experts from 25 partner countries, as well as EACEA and EUA officers and EU officials attended the conference to promote the work of the HERE across different policy areas of the EU and optimise the participation of European policy makers. It was focused in particular on the regional, bi-lateral and bi-regional policy frameworks that shape and enable higher education reforms, exchanges and collaboration, which also contribute more broadly so social and economic development and have an important political and diplomatic function.

HERE have been tasked to contribute to higher education reforms in their specific countries neighboring the EU. BiH HERE experts actively participated and on the behalf of the Team Mr. Zlatan Buljko delivered presentation on EU-Western Balkans (WB) dialogue on higher education and research and spoke in detail about the ongoing dialogue in the context of all regional initiatives and WB PET ministerial meetings as well as all accession obligations.

The main conclusions and remarks of the conference are as follows:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is performing close to the EU average in Horizon 2020 (success-rate similar to the one of Hungary or Slovenia)
  • The main recommendations regarding research capacity and performance are:

(i). Increase investment into research (% GDP), but the research funding has to ensure performance oriented, competitive research selection and support to prioritize inter-and multidisciplinary research, while increasing collaboration within and among institutions;

(ii). research infrastructure has to be modernized and developed;

(iii). Support the development of more fit for purpose governance and management with appropriate levels of subsidiary and staffing,

(iv). Enhance learning and teaching (methods)–link with research - transversal & entrepreneurship training,

(v). Assess and value international collaboration and mobility alongside career development – build capacity;

(vi). The share of good practice has to be developed and activities to develop new leaders and motivate researchers has to be created.

Therefore BiH HERE experts appealed to the EC to increase research and infrastructure funds for WB countries.

  • Higher education institutions in BiH should systematically work on strengthening research capacities.

Some of the recommendations are:

  • Improving the language competences of the employees
  • Improving the curriculum of doctoral studies through the introduction of courses related to project management and teamwork, which would promote so-called soft skills of candidates.
  • Provide training for proposal writing and project management. and attempt to seek to involve the teams of personnel from various faculties within or outside the University, choosing the most competent staff
  • Involve as many as possible teaching assistants and other researchers in the project activities thus strengthening the personnel component for future projects.
  • BiH HERE team concluded that there should be urgently done something about unanimous voice and representation of students from Bosnia and Herzegovina in all European students’ activities and therefore appeal for urgent meeting of all competent authorities to address this issue.
  • Special emphasis should be placed on involving students in international projects. Members of the HERE Team and teachers from HEIs should, through their contacts, help students connect with potential project partners, and teachers should, along with them, work in the preparation of project proposals.



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