In January 2023, the Collective Agreement on the amendment of the Collective Agreement for the University of Montenegro was signed, which stipulated that the coefficients of complexity of the employees would be increased by 20% from 1 February 2023; from 1 January 2024 an additional 10% and from 1 January 2025 for an additional 10%. In case of changed macroeconomic parameters during 2023 and 2024, the complexity coefficients can be additionally considered. The scope of application of the Collective agreement refers to employees who work at the University of Montenegro, i.e. teaching assistants, administrative and technical staff of the University, who are not covered by the amendments to the Law on Salaries of Public Sector Employees, which were related to the increase of the coefficient for the titles of full professor, associate professor and assistant professor at the university.
In February, the Government of Montenegro approved the Draft Law on Confirmation of the Agreement on the Recognition of Qualifications in the Field of Higher Education in the Western Balkans and sent it to the Assembly for confirmation. The agreement on the recognition of qualifications in the field of higher education in the Western Balkans was signed on 3 November 2022 in Berlin, as part of the Berlin process, and is a framework document that is identical for all signatory countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro). The agreement defines the automatic procedure for the recognition of foreign educational documents obtained at public accredited institutions of higher education in the signatory countries.
In June 2023, the Ministry of Education adopted three regulations that improved student and student standards, namely: - Rulebook on detailed criteria, amount and conditions for awarding scholarships to talented primary and secondary school students, which prescribes detailed criteria and conditions for awarding a scholarship to a talented primary and secondary school student who shows special sense, interest, curiosity in certain teaching subjects, i.e. fields and the ability for thought and creative processes and achieves outstanding results, as well as scholarships for deficient qualifications to a regular student of a vocational school who is educated according to an educational program for deficient qualifications. - Rulebook on the criteria, manner, conditions and amount of compensation for exercising the right to a student loan and scholarship, which more closely prescribes the criteria, manner, conditions and amount of compensation for exercising the right to a student loan and scholarship for the best students. - Rulebook on the criteria, method, conditions and amount of compensation for exercising the right to accommodation and food in the dormitory and participation in transport, which prescribes the criteria, method and sequence for the admission of pupils and students, the price of accommodation and food in pupil and student dormitories, as well as the criteria for transportation participation for primary and secondary school students and students at higher education institutions.
In June 2023, the Ministry of Education licensed the Academic Program in Business and Economics at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Montenegro. This is the first study program at the University of Montenegro where teaching will be conducted in English. By licensing this study program, the mobility of students will be improved and higher education in Montenegro will be better recognized by foreign students.
On 28 July 2022, the Parliament of Montenegro passed the Law on Amendments to the Law on Higher Education, which established that the amount of the student loan cannot be lower than 25% of the minimum wage in Montenegro, that is, the amount of the scholarship for the best students cannot be lower of 50% of the minimum wage in Montenegro. This means that the minimum amount of the student loan will be 112.50 euros per month instead of the previous 37 euros, while the monthly scholarship amount for the best students will be 225 euros per month instead of the previous 86 euros.
At the end of July 2022, the Parliament of Montenegro adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on Vocational Training of Persons with Higher Education, which established that the beneficiary has the right to a monthly financial allowance during vocational training in the net amount of 450 euros.
At the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Montenegro, a new Mechatronics study program was established, which will integrate engineering in the fields of electrical engineering, electronics, mechanical engineering and computer engineering. A total of 50 students will have the opportunity to study in this study program.
The drafting of the new Law on Higher Education, as well as the Strategy of Higher Education, which will further regulate and apply new provisions in order to ensure the quality in higher education, is ongoing.
In 2021, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports provided licenses for three higher education institutions, i.e. four study programmes. The total number of students at public higher education institutions, who enrolled for the first time at studies applying the 3 + 2 model in the 2021/2022 academic year, is 3154 undergraduate students, while the number of students enrolled in the first year of master's studies at public institutions of higher education in the study year 2021/2022 is 912 students. At private institutions of higher education in the study year 2021/2022, a total of 1575 undergraduate students were enrolled, i.e. 287 students of master studies.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports has formed the Working Group for drafting the Proposal of the Strategy of Higher Education in Montenegro for the period 2021-2025, with the Action Plan 2021-2022. The proposal of the Strategy will define strategic goals for further development of higher education, key activities and success indicators, the manner of monitoring the implementation of the strategic document, the manner of reporting and evaluation and other issues of importance for the realization of strategic goals in the field of higher education.
The Working group fordrafting the Law on Higher Education is continuously working on the document, after which a public debate will be organized.
According to the adopted academic calendar, the academic year 2021/2022 will start on 27th September 2021.
The Government of Montenegro, at the session on 11 March 2021, adopted a Decision on nomination of members of the Ethics Committee. Pursuant to the Article 14 of the Law on Academic Integrity ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", no. 17/19), the Ethics Committee, at its session on 23 April 2021, adopted the Ethics Charter. The aim of adopting the Charter is to preserve, promote, protect and promote academic integrity and prevent all forms of violations of academic integrity. The Charter is binding on all members of the academic community made up of academic staff designated by special law and students. The Charter was drafted with the support and assistance of the Council of Europe.