А programme of the EU, Erasmus+, offers possibilities for HEIs to participate, among others, in the mobility parts of the Programme. The Republic of Serbia has fully participated in the Erasmus+ programme as a programme country since 2019. Consequently, HEIs have the opportunity to participate in exchange projects with programme and partner countries.
Students from any study field and cycle (short cycle, bachelor, master and doctoral levels) can participate in the mobilities. They can:
- study abroad,
- participate in a traineeship (work placement, internship) abroad,
- participate in combined mobilities for studies and traineeship,
- participate in doctoral mobility (study or traineeship),
- be part of blended intensive programmes.
Under mobility projects (KA1), institutions can send their students for shorter or longer periods of study, training or internship in one of the programme countries or they can organize various incoming mobility activities for partner institutions. Physical as well as blended mobility projects are available for students in higher education institutions with the aim of strengthening the quality of teaching, the European dimension in teaching and the contribution to the European Educational Area.
Erasmus Mundus projects aim to encourage excellence and internationalization of higher education institutions through master’s study programmes, which are jointly conducted and jointly recognized by higher education institutions in Europe, and are also open to institutions in other countries around the world.
HEIs are also participating in the Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies - CEEPUS. This is an exchange programme for students and teachers that aims at improving education. The programme is based on international agreements signed by the following member states: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. The Universities of Pristina, Prizren, Peja et al. are also participating. Student exchange is organized within university networks.
The outgoing mobility of students studying in Serbia is promoted and funded through the Fund for Young Talents. It was founded by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. It is being administered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The main goal is to support young talents’ achievements and their professional development. The Fund annually awardsscholarships for top university students in their final year of first-cycle studies and scholarships for top master students studying at public HEIs.
Higher education institutions have been participating in a significant number of Erasmus Mundus projects, especially in the part of the programme that supported the establishment of exchange networks between iHEIs from the Western Balkans and the EU. These networks resulted in acquiring valuable experience within the common European academic and cultural context and were considered to be a good preparation for Serbia’s participation in mobility programmes in the future. It could also be said that the Erasmus Mundus exchange networks have had a systemic impact on the international cooperation of universities during the five years of their implementation.
Academic staff mobility
Until 2018 the academic staff employed at HEIs in Serbia participated in mobilities within the Erasmus+ programme as partner country HEIs’ representatives. Additional possibilities opened in 2019 when Serbia became a programme country and HEIs from Serbia had the opportunity to participate in mobility programmes with other programme countries.
Academic staff mobility is also carried out through bilateral agreements between HEIs from Serbia and HEIs from all over the world. These mobilities are primarily funded by higher education institutions.
Institutions responsible for the organization and coordination of mobility in the education system of Serbia are the HEIs.
Under mobility projects (KA1), institutions can also send their staff for shorter or longer periods of study, training or internship to one of the programme countries or they can organize various incoming mobility activities.
Under the Higher Education Partnerships (KA2) institutions are able to participate in international cooperation projects, strengthen their capacities and produce innovative results.
Academic staff can also participate in Erasmus Mundus projects, Erasmus+ academies for the improvement of teacher education, Jean Monnet activities and Alliances for education and companies. Jean Monnet actions are divided into three types of projects: Jean Monnet modules, Jean Monnet chairs and Jean Monnet centres of excellence.
The improvement of the system for recognition of foreign degrees is one of the most important processes in higher education.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia founded the Qualifications Agency, in accordance with the Law on the National Qualifications Framework of the Republic of Serbia. Some key roles of the Agency are ensuring comparability anddistinction of national qualifications in the European context and recognition of foreign qualifications. The ENIC/NARIC Centre is an organisational unit of the Qualifications Agency which implements the recognition procedure of foreign primary and secondary school documents and also the recognition procedure of foreign higher education documents for the purpose of employment – professional recognition.
The recognition for the purpose of continuing education is conducted by higher education institutions.
The possibility for distance learning is envisaged by the Law on Higher Education. Some universities have reached the accreditation standards for conducting these lectures, but the number of students attending them is still very low.