The higher education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Recent policy updates and reforms
Relevant projects and initiatives
TAMs and SPHERE seminars organised in 2018
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state consisting of two entities (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska) and the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is under the jurisdiction of the Republika Srpska entity, the cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By signing the Bologna Declaration (2003) and ratifying the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Convention) (2003), Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the higher education reform process in Europe, known as the Bologna Process, with the purpose of being included in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Higher education reforms and the construction of new institutional capacities of higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina were determined by the Framework Law on Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007). The Framework Law on Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina stipulates the foundation of the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance and the Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education. Quality assurance of higher education institutions and study programmes is a shared responsibility which includes the participation of different stakeholders (higher education institutions, competent education authorities, experts and the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance).
Updates and other relevant news regarding higher education reforms in Bosnia and Hercegovina are the following:
- The implementation of “Priorities 2016-2026 Higher Education Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina” started in 2017. The Priorities cover the following fields: Good Governance and Management; Resources; Connection between Labor Market and Higher Education; Qualification Standards; Student Experience; Internationalization; Statistics.
- The implementation of the Strategic Directions of Higher Education Development in the Federation of BiH 2012-2022 and the Education Development Strategy of the Republika Srpska 2016- 2021 are ongoing and various projects are funded for their implementation.
- The process of programming of IPA II for the country in the field of Employment and Education took place with a focus on education for employment in accordance with the Reform Agenda for BiH.
- The Council of Ministers of BiH designated a coordinating institution and a contact point for the road map and implementation of the EU Directive on Regulated Professions 2005/36EC and 2013/55EU. Further actions on detailed learning outcomes for 18 different qualifications in the 3 cycles across 6 sectors (Social Sciences, Biomedicine and Health, Natural, Biotechnical, Technical sciences, Humanities) have been developed and were piloted at 6 public universities.
- A working version of a self-certification report has been developed that will be used in the referencing process. Activities on drafting a referencing report for LLL that include self-certification part are ongoing. Preparations for the establishment of the new Inter-sectoral Commission for the National Qualification Framework are ongoing. In the meantime its role is resumed by different working groups and SBs within projects dealing with development and implementation of the elements of the National Qualification Framework.
- The Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance in BiH (HEA) prepared a revision of some of the legal documents (e.g. Decision on the Norms for Determining Minimal Standards in Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina) related to the accreditation process within its competences and aligned them with revised European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance. The above mentioned Decision entered into force on March 8 2019.
- The European Network of Information Centers in BiH and the National Academic Recognition Information Centers (ENIC/NARIC) elaborated the Recommendations on Recognition of Foreign Higher Education Qualifications for the Purpose of Employment and published in the „Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina“, No: 81/17. The Recommendations are a result of the Centre's endeavor to facilitate recognition of foreign higher education qualifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to bring closer practices of recognition of the European Area of Recognition (EAR) to competent recognition authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The Foundation for Mobility of Students and Teachers in the Federation of BiH was established in 2018.
- Higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina participate in numerous Erasmus + capacity building in higher education projects. The list of projects involving Bosnia and Herzegovina is available at https://www.erasmusbih.com/index.php/projects.
There were two TAMs organized in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018:
- TAM ‘’Implementation of the Directive 2005/36/EC and the Directive 2013/55/EU’’ organized in Mostar, BiH on May 11, 2018.
- TAM ‘’Challenges of student’s life and work at HEIs in BiH’’ organized in Banja Luka, BiH on June 18, 2018.