RCC-supported conference discusses higher education in Western Balkans

A two-day international conference in support of higher education reform in Western Balkans ended in Petrovac, Montenegro, today.

The event discussed the role of professional administrators and public-private partnerships in developing higher education systems in the region, as well as new institutionalised arrangements for regional cooperation.

The conference dubbed ‘Towards Joint Regional Roadmap in Higher Education Structural Reforms’ also explored possibilities of accelerating the region’s convergence towards European Higher Education Area and the EU policy in this field.

It was organised by the Ministry of Education and Sport of Montenegro, in cooperation with the Universities of Montenegro and Novi Sad. The event was held under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat and Novi Sad Initiative.

The participants were greeted by Deputy RCC Secretary General, Jelica Minic, who emphasized a vital role of higher education institutions in creating smart, sustainable and inclusive economies as they are the only institutions to provide for all sides of the triangle of education, research and innovation.

“Petrovac regional conference is being organised under the scheme of Tempus Project – Building Capacity for Structural Reform in Higher Education of Western Balkan Countries, a project firmly supported by the Regional Cooperation Council from its initial phase, in compliance with recognized importance of its main task to find feasible joint solutions for current challenges and facilitate further advances in effective higher education structural reforms in the Western Balkans”, said Jelica Minic.

Welcome address was also delivered by Deputy Minister of Education and Sports of Montenegro, Mubera Kurpejović, followed by introductory remarks of other partners.

The meeting gathered representatives of the ministries of education from the RCC members from the Western Balkans and the EU, rectors, vice rectors and professors from the Universities in the region, higher education authorities from the EU, as well as representatives of respective regional and European agencies involved in creation of policies in higher education.

Promotion of education reform in the region, with emphasis on higher education, including through integration with the European Higher Education Area, further convergence with European Qualification Framework and upgrade of sector’s management capacities  are priorities of the RCC Secretariat’s work, set in the organisation’s Strategy and Work Programme 2011-2013.