Gaso Knezevic

2005-06 International Policy Fellow
Developing Socially Responsible Elites and the Challenge of Higher Education Reform working group

One of the core objectives of modern states is to set up a powerful, efficient higher educational system. In Serbia, progressive laws on higher education have long been in demand, but not in place: the inherited education system was the most incapable instrument for generating and transferring knowledge. Against this background, the Ministry of Education set its own goals for reforming the system, and in early 2003, offered a Bologna-tailored Draft Law on reforming higher education. Although passed through parliament in 2005, the new Acts did not definitely solve the legal status dilemma, the problem of autonomy entitlement and the relations between financing and steering of the educational system.

In Serbia the position of the various stakeholders is unstable which poses a serious obstacle to Serbia's adoption of the Bologna Declaration, which, the author believes, represents Serbia's shortest path for escaping parochialism and achieving a knowledge-based economy with attendant GDP growth. After examining the aforementioned obstacle in further detail, a list of key incentives concerning the realization of the Bologna ideas is offered, in addition to policy recommendations for decision makers and lawmakers involved in this process which has a crucial bearing on Serbia's future.