News archive - Student mobility in the Western Balkans

“Students from the Western Balkans: The experience of EU countries regarding admission and misuse of procedures” . Highlights from an interesting research study in terms of student mobility.

The King Baudouin Foundation and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development published in October 2008 a study named "Students from the Western Balkans: The experience of EU countries regarding admission and misuse of procedures” . The study contends a collection of information, like statistics, estimates and assessments on the misuse of visa and residence permits by students from the WBCs in EU-member states. The third chapter addresses existing bilateral agreements regarding admission procedures between EU Member States and WBC, which we would like to highlight briefly.

A very important fact that can be drawn from this research is that only three, out of seventeen countries said that they have bilateral agreements with WBC regarding the admission of students: Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovenia.

Bulgaria has bilateral agreements on admission procedures with WBC, namely Albania, FYR of Macedonia and Serbia. These agreements imply a prearranged exchange of students between universities and other higher education institutions. Further, unique policies and procedures for minorities abroad enables student with Bulgarian nationality living abroad an easier access to Bulgarian educational system.

Hungary has several bilateral agreements with Serbia and Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the main objective to improve co-operation between all parties in the field of education. Hungary also provides special regulation to a Hungarian minority abroad, but do not apply any particular policies or procedures for admitting students from the WBC.

Slovenian universities have bilateral agreements on the admission of students with countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia.

Furthermore a number of student exchange programmes have also been established. For instance the “Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies (CEEPUS)”.

The study concludes that other countries, such as Lithuana, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands, referred to more general agreements and programmes on academic exchange, which partly cover WBCs as well. The research clearly states that such exchange and admission programmes as Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovenia implemented, could do a lot to reduce the obstacles for students from the WBCs who would like to study abroad, but are mainly the exception rather than the rule.

Source: ICMPD/ KBF (2008): Students from the Western Balkans: The experience of EU countries regarding admission and misuse of procedures: [12.02.2009]

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Entry created by Miriam Ebner on February 11, 2009
Modified on February 11, 2009