With an eye on the EU, Serbia reforming its schools


The European Commission is urging Serbia to harmonise its labour market and education system to ensure that citizens will be able to find jobs.

By Bojana Milovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 14/04/14


Serbia’s education system will be reformed to meet EU standards. [AFP]

As Serbia undertakes the education system reforms necessary to join the EU, the European Commission is urging special attention on students' practical knowledge and the production of education profiles fitting the demand of the labour market.

Education officials recently announced changes to the content of education programmes, as well as to the manner of teaching and passing on knowledge. The new measures are designed to stop the drain of highly qualified personnel from Serbia to other countries.

"We are, unfortunately, a country that educates personnel in order to export them," Minister of Education Tomislav Jovanovic told SETimes. "The education system in the country is not as bad as we make it out to be."

The minister agreed, however, that changes need to be made and the system needs to be adapted to EU requirements and standards.

"Teachers at all levels of education should make classes more accessible and interesting to school and university students," Jovanovic said.

Serbia cannot enter the EU uneducated, he said, adding that the objective should be reaching the top European education standards.

Among the problems in Serbian education, the minister listed the lack of an adequate information system and databases, and the need to categorise faculties based on what employment probability they offer students.

University of Belgrade President Vladimir Bumbasirevic said co-operation and more efficient communication between faculties and employers is necessary.

Related Articles


"That is the point of successful careers for young experts and greater employment possibilities," Bumbasirevic said.

Maja Mihajlovic, a Serbian language teacher from Novi Sad, said the progress of Serbia's education system requires more investment and better working conditions.

"The goodwill and energy of teachers is important, but quality working conditions are also necessary, as well as higher salaries for teachers. A teacher must be materially secure in order to be able to fully commit to their job, and that is not possible with a salary of 350 euros a month," Mihajlovic said.

What types of reforms would you like to see in the education sector in order to align it with the needs of the labour market? Share your thoughts below.

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
  • Email to a friend
  • icon Print Version
  • Share/Save/Bookmark

We welcome your comments on SETimes's articles.

It is our hope that you will use this forum to interact with other readers across Southeast Europe. In order to keep this experience interesting, we ask you to follow the rules outlined in the comments policy. By submitting comments, you are consenting to these rules. While SETimes.com encourages discussion on all subjects, including sensitive ones, the comments posted are solely the views of those submitting them. SETimes.com does not necessarily endorse or agree with the ideas, views, or opinions voiced in these comments. SETimes.com welcomes constructive discussion but discourages the use of copy-pasted materials, unaccompanied links and one-line slogans. This is a moderated forum. Comments deemed abusive, offensive, or those containing profanity may not be published.

SETimes's Comments Policy

Focus on Ukraine


Region, Turkey optimistic about new EU leadersRegion, Turkey optimistic about new EU leaders

Regional officials say the recent personnel changes in the EU will have a positive impact on their countries' relationship with Brussels.

SETimes logo

Most Popular



Should Greece change how it handles illegal immigrants?

I don't know