Serbia started preparations to become a Programme Country in 2016. By becoming an Erasmus+ Programme Country in 2019, Serbia is now a country that fully participates in the programme. This new status allows Serbia to participate in more actions in the fields of higher education and youth, start its involvement in sport, vocational education and training as well as in actions for school and adult education staff. Moreover, the status of Erasmus+ Programme Country allows Serbia to develop internationalisation on all education levels. Foundation Tempus is responsible for promoting and implementing the Erasmus+ programme in Serbia.
Mobility and international cooperation in ECEC and school education started in 2015 when the eTwinning internet platform (also part of the Erasmus+ programme) became available to teachers from preschool, primary and secondary education employees in Serbia. At the end of February 2022, 4495 teachers from 1380 schools in Serbia used the platform to cooperate with their peers from other countries. eTwinning has encouraged international cooperation at the pre-university levels of education. Through it, teachers can connect and interact with colleagues across Europe with the aim to jointly design and implement virtual projects, share ideas and examples of good practice.
Internationalisation in VET sector has a particularly important place in the context of further strengthening of the European Education Area. In addition to mobility, as one of the types ofinternationalisation, students and teachers' acquistion of different qualifications, the development of curricula and theimprovement of teaching methods are also important aspects. Regarding mobility and internationalisation in higher education, almost all universities and many colleges in Serbia have established bilateral and multilateral cooperation with universities in the EU countries, the USA, Canada, Asia and other regions. This cooperation focuses mainly on the mobility of students, study visits, exchange of teaching staff and research.
In the last few years, higher education institutions from Serbia have worked on setting up the conditions for the development of cooperation with the institutions from other countries in the Erasmus+ programme.
Other programmes and projects alsooffer mobility to students and academic staff in Serbia. One of them is CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Program for University Studies). This programme provides opportunities for student and teacher mobility with the focus on improving education at higher education institutions. The main forms of exchanges are a credit mobility, research visits, teaching provision, and the so-called summer schools. The main activity of CEEPUS are networks of eligible universities of the CEEPUS member states operating joint programmes.
There is no national strategy dealing with Internationalisation and mobility in Serbia, but the overall Strategy for Education Development in Serbia by 2030 integrates internationalisation and mobility in education as some of the most relevant aspects of education development in the future.
The Strategy for Education Development in Serbia 2030 provides a general framework for internationalisation of higher education in Serbia. It defines two general goals:
- Increasing the number of incoming mobilities of staff, students and researchers and
- Increasing the number of outgoing mobilities of staff, students and researchers.
Some specific targets and measures have also been defined in this context:
- the number of reports on finished trainings for application on international mobilities of teaching staff and researchers,
- the number of financial resources (allocated amount) for incoming and outgoing mobilities of staff, students and researchers.
In addition to the Strategy for Education Development in Serbia, the most relevant laws in education also define some aspects of internationalisation and mobility.
According to the Law on Secondary Education, every teacher can teach abroad during the school year, as defined in the international mobility agreement.
The Law on Higher Education defines harmonization with the European higher education system and enhancement of academic mobility of the teaching and non-teaching staff and students as one of the principles of higher education.
Some higher education institutions have developed their own Internationalisation strategies, and others have developed rulebooks by which mobility of students is regulated.