Tag: Western Balkans

Thematic week: The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans.

bookThis final post in our thematic week is a brief background and introduction to one of the key project outputs, the newly published book: “The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans. The interplay between European ideas, domestic policies, and institutional practices”. The review is written by Jelena Brankovic (Ghent University) 

During last three decades, European higher education systems and institutions have witnessed dramatically changing socio-economic, technological and political environments, general public sector reforms aimed at modernizing public sector governance and management, and increasing demands for positive social and economic impacts of their education and research activities. However, the change dynamics experienced and challenges faced by some countries and regions have been essentially different than others.

The countries often described as “the Western Balkans” (former Yugoslavia, minus Slovenia, plus Albania) during the last couple of decades have faced two interrelated sets of challenges. First, they had to re-establish their own national higher education systems following the institutional upheaval of the break-down of former Yugoslavia or the fall of the autocratic regime of Enver Hoxha in Albania. This required the development of new laws and regulations, the establishment of new governance and funding systems, and the adequate handling of problems with respect to the quality, efficiency and relevance of higher education institutions. Second, the countries had to adjust these newly developed systems to European developments, not least the Bologna Process and more internationally oriented higher education institutions while maintaining national and regional relevance.

The book The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans. The Interplay between European Ideas, Domestic Policies, and Institutional Practices, is the 5th volume in the series Higher Education Research and Policy issued by Peter Lang Publishers.




Hedda podcast: Higher education transformation in the Western Balkans

Episode 45 of our podcast series features Martina Vukasovic (CHEGG, Ghent University). In the podcast, we discuss the recently finished NORGLOBAL funded project about higher education transformation in the Western Balkans. We highlight the key project results, including what she thought to be the most surprising research results. Further, we discuss challenges when working with capacity building and reflect on the plans for the future.

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Martina Vukasovic  (CHEGG, Ghent University)

Martina Vukasovic
(CHEGG, Ghent University)

Martina Vukasovic is employed as a post-doctoral fellow at CHEGG and is due to defend her PhD dissertation in June at the University of Oslo. She is also an earlier Hedda graduate, having completed her Masters Degree in Higher Education in 2007. Earlier, she has worked as the founding director of the Education Policy Center in Serbia, for the Council of Europe, as well as having been the chairperson of the European Student Union (then ESIB). She is also currently in the Council of the Magna Charta Observatory. Her research interests are primarily focused on higher education governance and policy, with particular focus on European integration processes.




Thematic week: Presentations from the conference on higher education in Western Balkans (2)

We are also delighted to now shar with you the remaining of the presentations from the final conference “European Integration in Higher Education and Research in the Western Balkans” that took place in Oslo on 27th of February 2014 at the University of Oslo. The conference gathered project members as well as invited people from the region and beyond.

Third session: Focus on public-private dynamics in higher education

Jelena Brankovic   (Photo: University of Ghent)

Jelena Brankovic
(Photo: Ghent University)

First we have for you a presentation by Jelena Brankovic (CHEGG, Ghent University) on the public and private higher education in the Western Balkans

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The presentation is followed up with a panel debate on public and private higher education in the Western Balkans, including Marek Kwiek (Adam Mickiewicz University), Pavel Zgaga (University of Ljubljana).The debate is moderated by Manja Klemencic (Harvard University).

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Thematic week: Presentations from the conference on higher education in Western Balkans (1)

We are also delighted to share with you presentations from the final conference “European Integration in Higher Education and Research in the Western Balkans” that took place in Oslo on 27th of February 2014 at the University of Oslo. The conference gathered project members as well as invited people from the region and beyond.

First session – Introduction to the project and book

Martina Vukasovic  (Ghent University)

Martina Vukasovic
(Ghent University)

In the first session, there are two presentstions:

  1. Bjørn Stensaker (University of Oslo) first introduces the conference.
  2. Martina Vukasovic (Ghent University) provides a presentation of the book: “The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans: The interplay between European ideas, domestic policies and institutional practices” and some of the basic core ideas.

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Second session – Focus on capacity building

The second session starts with a presentation by Antigoni Papadimitriou about the impact of the TEMPUS programme




Thematic week: NORGLOBAL project on higher education transformation in Western Balkans

herdataDuring the upcoming week, we will put focus on the main outcomes of a recently completed project on higher education in the Western Balkans called “European integration in higher education and research in the Western Balkans“.

During the coming week we will share with you recordings from the final conference, including sessions related to funding of higher education in the Western Balkans and panel discussion about capacity building, and much much more. In addition, we have for you a review of the book that was produced in the project as well as a new Hedda podcast with one of the key people in the project. In this post, we will give you a short main overview of the project in terms of the main focus and the project partners.

The project was coordinated at the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and knowledge cultures) at the Department of Education in the University of Oslo, and included partners in Norway (ARENA, the Centre for European Studies from the University of Oslo and NIFU, the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education) as well as in the region (University of Zagreb in Croatia, Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade in Serbia and Centre for Education Policy in Serbia).

The project was funded through the NORGLOBAL programme by the Research Council of Norway (NFR) and with funding from the University of Oslo. The project took place in the period of January 2011 – December 2013.

The key research questions that guided the research included:

  1. What is the current knowledge base for higher education and research policy in the WBC?
  2. To what extent can the changes in higher education and research in WBC be linked to European policies and initiatives in this area?
  3. How are current changes in higher education institutions linked to economic, social and political developments in WBC?
  4. What are the key indicators for analysing the change dynamics and impact of higher education and research on economic, social and political development in the WB region?

The geographical focus of the project will covered the entire Western Balkan region, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

More information can be found on the project website

With this post, we are delighted to call this new thematic week opened! Stay tuned for more!