The University of Novi Sad hosted the First Rectors’ Forum of the Western Balkans entitled Science and Higher Education in the Western Balkans – Current State of Affairs and Prospects that was organized in the Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad, September 24-25, 2018. The Forum gathered 30 rectors of the universities from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and Slovenia, as well as a representative of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
The Forum was officially opened on September 24, 2018, in the Amphitheatre of the University of Novi Sad Rectorate Building, with the welcome address and introductory speech given by the Rector of the University of Novi Sad Prof. Dr. Dušan Nikolić, followed by the keynote speeches by the rectors of other universities from the country and the region. During the two-day conference, the participants of the Forum discussed different topics of mutual interest, within the four working sessions in the field of higher education, interinstitutional cooperation, joint capacity building and cooperation with the institutions outside the region, especially within the Berlin Process and the Jagiellonian Initiative.
Furthermore, in honour of the First Rectors’ Forum of the Western Balkans, a Festive Concert was organized for the participants of the Forum, with the musical performances by young pianists from the region, introducing students from the universities in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Novi Sad. Piano performances were given by: Helena Herman, Academy of Music of the University of Zagreb; Lejla Nurković, Music Academy of the University of Sarajevo; Viktor Radić, Faculty of Music of the University of Arts in Belgrade; and Ivana Damjanov, Academy of Arts of the University of Novi Sad. The programme of the concert encompassed compositions by Ravel, Messiaen, Schubert, Liszt and Korsakov.
As it was announced at the international conference The path is the goal: Convergence, Cohesion and Cooperation in South East Europe, which was held in the framework of the Berlin Process at the end of May 2018 in Rome, in the Italian academy of sciences (Accademia nazionale dei lincei), the University of Novi Sad organized, on the 24th and 25th September 2018, the 1st Rectors' Forum of the Western Balkans entitled Science and Higher Education in the Western Balkans – Current State of Affairs and Prospects. The Forum gathered rectors of universities from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia and Slovenia.
Elaborately prepared introductory lectures and open discussions at the Forum aimed at enabling an objective, comprehensive and transparent insight into the problems and challenges that the region faces in the above-mentioned areas, but also its potential and its top achievements that are often neglected or unfoundedly disputed by institutions from other parts of Europe and the world.
The Forum enabled the institutions to get to know one another and thus create the conditions for the strengthening of capacities in the region by intensifying mobility, jointly procuring equipment and publications, jointly conducting research and development projects, introducing joint study programmes, etc.
Furthermore, a part of the Forum was dedicated to the initiatives that were proposed by other institutions, with the intention of supporting the advancement of science and higher education in the Western Balkan area. In this context, the Berlin Process and the so-called Jagiellonian initiative were particularly discussed.
More detailed information is available on the website of the First Rectors’ Forum of the Western Balkans: www.rfwb.uns.ac.rs.