SSCC Conference on dual education October 18, 2018

Six hundred companies in Serbia express interest in joining the dual education system

Belgrade, 18 October 2018 – At 84 vocational secondary schools in Serbia the curriculum is implemented through at least one of 32 dual educational profiles. This means that 23% of schools are currently part of the dual education system, which will be fully implemented as of 2019/2020 school year – it was concluded at the conference Dual Education in Serbia 2018: Current Results and Future Challenges, organized by the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

In this school year, 12 new profiles were introduced to reflect the demands of the labour market – in the fields of information technology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, food production and processing, hotel management and tourism etc. Another important step taken was the development of the Rulebook on Student Cooperatives. Schools can use the Rulebook to establish a student cooperative with the aim of encouraging students’ positive attitude towards work and professional orientation, connecting classroom with the world of work, raising students’ awareness of their responsibilities, and developing a positive attitude to team work and entrepreneurship.

The National Dual Education system was modelled on the Swiss system and formulated to reflect the conditions in Serbia. We have received great support from Switzerland on the implementation of the system in the form of joint projects. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with domestic and foreign partners, is currently developing a methodology for the implementation of the dual education system as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework. All educational profiles are aligned to the qualification standard and curriculum, said Mladen Šarčević, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development.

Dr Ursula Renold, Head of Division for Comparative Education System Research at the Swiss Economic Institute, which is a part of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the only international honorary member of the Serbian Government Commission for dual education.

Based on the experience gained in 20 countries, I can say that the progress in Serbia is extremely fast. One of the contributing organizations is the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and the core of our plan is to determine the responsibilities of each stakeholder in the process. We need well-organized institutions that are ready to cooperate, and we have to understand the role of companies and how they can benefit from the system. Institutions, employers and their associations must work together throughout this process, said dr Renold.

The total number of students covered by the dual education system is 4,500, and this year 3,500 students enrolled for dual educational profiles. In addition, this year around 600 companies expressed interest in supporting the learning through work system and allowing their facilities to be used by students who enrolled for dual educational profiles.

By introducing the original model of dual education, and taking into account the models implemented by recognized leaders in the field in Europe – the Swiss, Austrian and German systems, we finally, as a country whose personnel are sought after, have completed profile capacities. This will improve the quality of employability of Serbian young people, help foreign and domestic businessmen to find collaborators for their projects more easily and, certainly, provide young people with chances so they would not leave in droves, but rather stay in the country that gives them more opportunities for professional development and better life than before. The Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce is satisfied with the role it has had as an active partner of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Swiss Embassy and all other important stakeholders to this exceptional project, explained Majo Mićović, President of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

His Excellency Filip Ge, the ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro, expressed his satisfaction that the topic of dual education had been initiated as it was extremely important for relations between Switzerland and Serbia:

Switzerland remains committed to promoting youth employment in Serbia and will invest about nine million euros in the next four years. In addition to these funds, Switzerland makes available its expertise and know-how to support reforms in Serbia. We are very committed to being part of positive changes in Serbia.

The conference was supported by Marko Čadež, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, who underlined the crucial role of the experts from Switzerland in this project.

The keynote speeches held by Dr. Gabrijela Grujic and Dr. Ursula Renold were followed by a panel discussion. Panel participants icluded Dr Gabrijela Grujic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological development of RS, Mrs. Mirjana Kovacevic, Head of Education Division CCIS, Mr. Dragan Tucakovic, Director of Technical School Uzice, Mr. Edin Dacic, President of Assembly, Standard Furniture Serbia, Mr. Majo Micovic and Dr. Ursula Renold.

Dr Ursula Renold interview

Dr Renold, Dr. Grujic and Mr. Dacić interview: