The University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Organizational Sciences started out 53 years ago in a building originally donated by Queen Maria Karadjordjevic, mother of the last Yugoslav king. As one of the most popular faculties in Serbian higher education, it typically receives over 2 000 applications for enrolment every year and accepts only the most talented high-school graduates.
However, the Faculty needs to expand its existing capacities, introduce new, updated curricula, and offer better conditions for its 6 000 students and 270 employees.
In April this year, the Faculty received a modern, new 6 056m2 wing. It’s a major step in the modernisation of the Serbian education. The total investment of €9.3 million has been financed by the government and the European Investment Bank, a long-standing partner in Serbia’s education, research and development sectors.
Better facilities with Serbia higher education finance
The new facility features two 200-seat auditorium, a reading room with a library, laboratory, IT rooms and multifunctional halls, all equipped with computers and interactive whiteboards. Thanks to these improvements, the faculty will be able to increase the number of students it accepts each year by 25-30%.
“The new building obliges all staff members to keep abreast of continued improvements in our education and scientific processes,” says Professor Milan Martić, dean of the faculty. “Students will benefit from these renewed conditions, which will unleashing their full potential.”
The standard is already high, after all. In fact, the Faculty recently won the first prize at the prestigious international CBS Global Case Competition 2022, among 300 student teams from universities around the world.
Serbian higher education finance keeps pace with tech boom
Reflecting on a forty-year long tradition of raising generations of talented and prominent students, Serbian Minister of Education, Science and Technology Development Branko Ružić welcomed the construction of a new building that is levelled up to similar institutions from other European Union countries.
“I am confident that from now on it will be an even higher privilege for students, professors and scientists to work and study in this kind of environment,” Ružić said.
The faculty recently received accreditation for new courses form the ministry, such as information and software engineering, as well as artificial intelligence. This represents a significant contribution to the Serbian economy’s potential to develop its innovation and IT capacities.
Foundation for prosperity and competitiveness
“Without investing in higher education, there is no prosperous economy,” says Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić,
“This specifically relates to information and telecommunication technologies, which we defined as the sector with the highest prospects for growth”, Brnabić adds. “Our support for education, scientific and innovation infrastructure since 2016 led to about 39% increase in export from this sector 2021.”
The European Investment Bank will continue encouraging the modernisation of education systems in the Western Balkans, as a foundation for faster growth and better future for generations to come.
“Upgrading universities, laboratories and education facilities fosters prosperity, sustainability and competiveness,” says Alessandro Bragonzi, head of the EU bank’s Belgrade office. “It allows Serbia to address successfully global challenges that are having a profound impact on our everyday lives.”