On November 7th, 2017, an observance marking the 42nd anniversary of the University of Banja Luka was held at the Banski dvor cultural centre.
At the event, the audience was addressed by Prof. Milan Mataruga, Rector of the University, who pointed out its significance for all the students, staff and administration of the University.
‘Although I feel that I am expected to label our University as the greatest and the best one, I will designate it as a small one in global terms, but, at the same time, a university striving to make up for whatever the turbulent past of the region deprived it of as fast as possible, at the cost of greatest efforts,’ said the Rector.
‘Seen through numbers, there are 17 faculties at the moment, with 58, 65, and 11 study programmes organized in the I, II, and III academic cycle respectively. There are more than 18,000 students in the I and II cycle combined, with more than 40,000 students having completed their BA and MA studies, along with 643 PhD degree holders’, added Prof. Mataruga.
Reminding the present of the most prominent events and projects related to the University in the past academic year, Prof. Mataruga boasted of the fact that the University had expanded its capacity, with the College of the Interior making its full-pledged membership as the Faculty of Security. That this was a justified decision is confirmed by the harshest competition at the university level during the entrance exams in June this year. In addition, an event fully dedicated to students, entitled ‘The Days of University of Banja Luka Students’, was organized for the first time. As an integral part of this event, there was the ‘Open Day’ event organized, aimed at promoting the activities of the University to forthcoming candidates, when more than 2,500 final-grade secondary school students visited the faculties of the University. Not breaking with the tradition, the University also organized the ‘First public convocation’ for the first-year students, with the students being addressed by Prof. Vladimir Kostic, the Chairman of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts. Furthermore, there have been a number of lectures and addresses by prominent academic and public figures from the country and abroad throughout the year.
The aforementioned addresses and lectures are complemented by numerous international agreements, conferences, meetings, attended by members of our staff and students.
As one of the most important steps taken in the past year, the Rector pointed out ‘The 2017-2025 Development Strategy of the University of Banja Luka’ and ‘The Book of Graphic Standards of the University of Banja Luka.’
As far as capital investments are concerned, the Rector mentioned the BAM 1,000,000 worth of project of adaptation and energy efficiency improvement of the facilities of the Faculty of Science, financed by the UNDP and the Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund of the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska.
As the Rector maintained, there are firm strategic goals at the University, one of which is dynamic international cooperation, as well as self-viable financing.
Following the Rector’s address, the President of the Republic of Srpska, Mr Milorad Dodik, added that the institutions of the Republic of Srpska had always respected the autonomy of the University and its efforts to create a quality academic atmosphere.
The audience was also addressed by Prof. Vlastimir Nikolic, who was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of the University of Banja Luka, as well as by Prof. Dragan Antic, Rector of the University of Nis (Serbia).
Since there is no university without its most valuable assets, students, Prof. Strain Posavljak, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Students’ Affairs, awarded the Golden Badge with the Image of Nikola Tesla to the 17 best students coming from their respective faculties, in recognition of their results and endeavour in the 2016/2017 academic year.
The observance was also attended by the ministries in the Government of the Republic of Srpska, MPs in the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, Mayor of the City of Banja Luka, Mr Igor Radojicic, Chairman of the Academy of Science and Arts of the Republic of Srpska, Prof. Rajko Kuzmanovic, Consul-General of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Vladimir Nikolic, as well as other prominent public figures.