News archive - Event Announcement: Dubrovnik Conference on Higher Education Reform

The University of Novi Sad in Serbia and the University of Zagreb in Croatia have joined forces to host a European Conference on higher education development. It will be co-organised with the University of Vienna, the Stability Pact and the Council of Europe, and is strongly supported by EUA. The Dubrovnik Conference on Higher Education Reform takes place October 29-31, 2007.

The positive societal role that universities can play through cooperation, dialogue and development is perfectly illustrated by this conference in Dubrovnik.

This conference builds on foundations laid by the Novi Sad initiative in 2005 – a platform of higher education institutions and partners from both within and outside the Western Balkans region that gives particular emphasis to regional cooperation in higher education development.

The main focus of the Dubrovnik conference will be on the challenges of higher education in South East Europe but set in a wider European context. The Novi Sad Initiative is largely the brainchild of Professor Ladislav Novak from Novi Sad University, who comments:

“There are so many ways that Europe's universities can provide the intellectual and creative energy in creating the EHEA and in developing the forthcoming knowledge based society. They can also learn from each other, and so our hope is that this initiative gives added value to the European reforms taking place around the continent. Our aim is to support institutional reform initiatives such as professionalisation of public management of higher education and standardisation of student experience across the EHEA, which are already recognised as global European issues, and at the same time to work on the potential of regional cooperation in further stimulating internal integration of universities into single legal entity, as a rather local issue, related to the SEE, the region which has been facing socio-economic challenges and shared a recent troubled history.”

The Conference will be the first in a series of biannual conferences devoted to the process of the HE institutional reform in SEE.

Subject to available space, the conference is open to representatives of the ministries from SEE and CEI countries (Deputy Ministers / Director Generals for Higher Education / BFUG representatives), representatives of the International organizations with responsibility in higher education (Council of Europe, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, EUA, UNESCO, UNESCO-CEPES, ESU, … ), chief executives of a number of national higher education authorities from Europe, higher education experts, students and rectors.

The main idea behind the Conference:
Having regarded to:
- the fundamental importance of higher education to personal, social, cultural and economic development,
- the commitment of governments, higher education institutions and students to the creation of a European Higher Education Area by 2010,
- the recognition that European knowledge societies and economies can only be realised through strong and socially responsive higher education institutions,
- the public responsibility for securing a higher education system able to meet the demands of society and in particular to educate an increasing number and broader range of students,
- the growing expectations placed by governments and society on higher education institutions, and the ever-increasing functions that these institutions are expected to perform,
- the increasingly competitive domestic and international environments in which higher education institutions operate,
the Dubrovnik Conference on Higher Education will address the questions of HE institutional reforms in creating the European Higher Education Area and particularly the questions that have not yet been properly embedded in the Bologna Process.
The main focus of the conference will be on higher education in South East Europe but set in a wider European context.
Governments in the region are encouraged to continue to amend higher education legislation in order to ensure that higher education institutions are able to respond to European, national and local needs.

Conference topics
I. Higher Education System:
1. professionalisation of public management of higher education e.g., to create competent intermediary bodies/agencies between universities and government for specific tasks such as funding of teaching and research, quality assurance, strategic policy development and long-term vision and planning of HE system.
2. diversification of university legal status (to place much more faith in the capacity of universities to determine their own development by empowering them with real functional autonomy and to ensure that non-state/private higher education institutions will be established for excellence, not for profit)

II. Integrated university:
1. acceleration of HE institutional reforms e.g., to integrate university into single legal entity as a prerequisite for the genuine implementation of Bologna agenda, to improve central university services and to ensure institutional authority of central university bodies including executive power of the Rector.
2. standardisation of student experience across the EHEA concerning students' organising and representation e.g., to create a proper framework for students' organising and representation within integrated university in order to provide students’ representation through democratic procedures, support & services for various student academic, social and other needs, a platform for student groups to organise themselves in various forms, such as student unions, clubs, societies and associations and a legal framework through which government and university funding may be channeled to students' organizations.

For more information and registration details visit this /link/2265.html.

Entry created by Elke Dall on September 8, 2007
Modified on September 8, 2007