Higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The higher education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Recent policy updates and reforms

HERE events

Erasmus+ and former Tempus Projects involving Bosnia and Herzegovina

Relevant links

 

The higher education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), responsibilities for education policies are delegated to entity levels. Within the Entity of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), responsibility is further delegated to 10 Cantonal Ministries of Education[1] coordinated through the Federal Ministry of Education and Science. In the Entity of Republika Srpska, higher education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and in Brčko District higher education policy is the responsibility of the Department for Education. At the state level, the Ministry of Civil Affairs is responsible for coordination of entity education policies, and the definition of strategies at the international level.  Altogether, 14 institutions are involved in shaping and coordinating higher education policies. The systematic reform of the HE sector in BiH began with the adoption of the Framework Law on Higher Education (FLHE) in 2007, with corresponding laws on Higher Education adopted in Brčko District (2009), in Republika Srpska (2011), and in the cantons of FBiH between 2009 and 2012. HE reform has involved changes in governance of HE institutions. Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified Lisbon Recognition Convention in 2004. International actors have supported HE reform, while national stakeholders have stressed that they are devoted to modernizing the HE system in BiH and bringing it closer to European standards.

The Agency for Higher Education and Quality Assurance (HEA), Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (CIP; ENIC BiH) were established at the state level by the FHLE in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The coordination bodies of the education sector have also been formed including the Conference of Ministers of Education in BiH and the Council for General Education in BiH. The Rectors' Conference of BiH has also been established and it defines and represents the common interests of public universities in BiH, cooperates with education institutions in BiH and acts as an advisory body for the implementation of the reform of higher education. In the entity of the Republika Srpska, there is the Rector’s Conference of the Republika Srpska which sets out and represents common interests of public and private universities in the Republika Srpska. In Republika Srpska there is also the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska (HEAARS) and the Council for the Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance.

The 2007 FLHE  incorporated the main principles of the Bologna Declaration, introducing three cycles of studies and the corresponding European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits for each degree of studies (Article 5 of the HE Law). Within academic HEIs, Bachelor studies provide from 180 or 240 ECTS (for three or four year programmes, respectively), Master studies either 60 ECTS (pre-Bologna studies accounted for 240 ECTS) or 120 (pre-Bologna studies accounted for 180 ECTS), and PhD studies provide 180 ECTS credits. Therefore, regardless of how a study programme is organised, after completing Bachelor and Master studies a student ought to have a total of 300 ECTS (180+120 in the case of 3+2 years, or 240+60 in the case of 4+1 years). Students enrolled in HEIs can be either full-time, part-time or distance learning students (Article 9 of the HE Law).

 

Recent policy updates and reforms

Document “Priorities for Development of Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period 2016-2026” was adopted by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Official Gazette of BiH 35/16.

 

HERE events

  • HERE Dissemination conference

The conference was held in Mostar on March 16, 2016. The aim of the Conference was to  transfer the knowledge, skills and experience gained in international HERE training seminars and study tours held in 2015, as well as enhancing cooperation between the HERE experts and relevant institutions in the field of higher education.

  • TAM Workshop "Higher Education Short Cycles and Their Introduction into the BiH Qualifications Framework"

Workshop was held at the University of Sarajevo on April 14, 2016. The event was organized by the National Erasmus+ Office in cooperation with a team of Experts for Higher Education Reforming (HERE) and the University of Sarajevo. The workshop leader was Prof. Dr. Stefan Delplace, an EU expert from the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE). The workshop aim was transferring of European knowledge and experience to academics, government representatives and other key stakeholders involved in this process in BiH.

  • TAM Workshop “Development and running of (internationalized and multidisciplinary) PhD programmes”

Workshop was held at the University of Banja Luka on June 7, 2016. The event was organized by the National Erasmus+ Office in cooperation with a team of Experts for Higher Education Reforming (HERE) and the University of Sarajevo.

 

Erasmus+ and former Tempus Projects involving Bosnia and Herzegovina

Short description of TEMPUS projects involving BiH (1997-2013) can be seen at the official web page of the National Erasmus+ Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

http://www.erasmusbih.com/index.php/projects

 

Relevant links


[1] These are the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of the Una-Sana Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of the Posavina Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Tuzla Canton, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Zenica-Doboj Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Bosnia-Podrinje Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of the Central Bosnia Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the West Herzegovina Canton, Ministry of Education and Science of the Sarajevo Canton and the  Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Herzegbosnia Canton.