A meeting was held between the representatives of the business and academic communities of the Republic of Srpska on 10 June 2020 in the lecturing hall at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Banja Luka, at which they talked about the cooperation between higher education institutions and the corporate sector, shortage occupations and modernisation of study programmes.
This event was organised by the Ministry of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society of the Republic of Srpska and the Union of Employers’ Associations of the Republic of Srpska.
,,There will be no economic progress of the Republic of Srpska without the active cooperation of the academic and business communities, because the economy of the modern age is based on innovation, research and cooperation between these two sectors,“ Minister of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society Srđan Rajčević said.
Rajčević pointed out that they are working on the reform of higher education and that two laws have been submitted for the parliamentary procedure, which should serve as the legal basis for further reform.
,,It is a new law on higher education and a new law on ensuring quality in higher education. Both of these laws imply active cooperation between the academic and business communities", Minister Rajčević said.
Rector of the University in Banja Luka Prof. Radoslav Gajanin, PhD, stated that the University aims to enable the students to gain good competencies as for the practical part of teaching and practical knowledge through certain study programmes.
,,In order for this practical knowledge to be as good as possible, we must have close cooperation with representatives of the corporate sector", Rector Gajanin emphasized and stated that in the previous period certain activities were being undertaken in that regard, but they were not obligatory, and that he expects that the new law on higher education will stipulate that practical training be obligatory.
He said that employers take the view that students have a broad and quality theoretical knowledge, but are short in practical knowledge.
,,The share of practical classes must be significantly higher and it is increasing every year. In the last three years, in most study programmes at our University, the share of practical classes has shifted from 30 percent to close to 45, 50 percent,“ Rector of the University of Banja Luka said.
Rector of the University of East Sarajevo Prof. Milan Kulić, PhD, confirmed that businessmen are satisfied with the staff who study at the two public universities in the Republic of Srpska, but that more scientific research is needed.
He added that the University of East Sarajevo is adapting the curricula to European universities and the market.
,,I heard that there is a lack of wood processors at the faculties of forestry, and that should be one of the indicators that one of the two universities should license that study programme next year.", Kulić said.
President of the Union of Employers’ Associations of the Republic of Srpska Saša Trivić says that in the recent years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students doing internships in companies, but that this number could be even higher. He expects that in the future there will be more students in domestic companies, and that the Republic of Srpska will have an economy that is technologically much more developed.
The event was also attended by Vice Rector for Teaching and Student Affairs Prof. Strain Posavljak, PhD, Vice Rector for Material and Human Resources Prof. Dalibor Kesić, PhD, Assistant to the Minister for Higher Education Radmila Pejić, PhD, deans of the organisational units of the University of Banja Luka, representatives of the Students’ Parliament at the Unversity of Banja Luka, professors and representatives of the corporate sector.