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HERIC project completed: higher education and research noticeably improved

HERIC project completed: higher education and research noticeably improved
Published date 25.06.2019 18:05 | Author Ministry of Science | Source: Ministry of Science

Ispis Print


Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science

After seven years of successful implementation, the project of “Higher Education and Research for Innovation and Competitiveness” (HERIC), implemented through partnership of the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Education and funded from a World Bank loan amounting to EUR 12 million, has noticeably improved higher education in Montenegro, the Minister of Education Dr. Damir Šehović, Minister of Science Dr. Sanja Damjanović and World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro Emanuel Salinas concluded today.

Ministry of Science  Ministry of Science

According to Minister Šehović, numerous reforms in the Montenegrin higher education system relied on the HERIC project. The project was largely focused on quality assurance, human resource development and research environment creation. Finally, HERIC project contributed, in the most direct way, to the implementation of the mission of the Ministry of Education aimed at strengthening the Montenegrin economy through the development of human capital and a knowledge-based society.

“We can proudly state that many of the implemented activities could serve as an example to countries of the region and those beyond it. This is best illustrated by the Law on Academic Integrity adopted earlier this year, for which the initiative came from the HERIC project and a plagiarism analysis. By adopting this law, we have demonstrated our dedication to preserving academic honour”, Šehović said.

Furthermore, the Minister of Education indicated that the project also involved an external institutional evaluation conducted by the European University Association, which puts Montenegro in a small category of countries that have undergone the process.

“Finally, we should not forget the fact that we have adapted four faculties to the needs of persons with disabilities through this project, including the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Philosophy from Nikšić and the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management from Kotor. Overall these works are worth EUR 233,000”, Šehović indicated.

Minister Damjanović said that the level of investment in science and research was significantly lower before the HERIC project started, as well as that the project itself became the dominant source of funding for scientific research projects, for which the amount of about EUR 6 million was allocated.

According to her, the main reform element brought by the HERIC project was the targeted funding of large-scale multidisciplinary projects involving the business and the academic sector, as well as encouraging their commercial aspects to ensure their sustainability.

The minister added that HERIC project provided funding for the first Centre of Excellence (BIO-ICT) in the amount of more than EUR 3 million, as well as the funding of 8 large grants worth a total of EUR 2.6 million. In addition, capacity building work was undertaken by awarding scholarships to doctoral and postdoctoral students who had a chance to professionally develop in prestigious institutions.

Furthermore, the main design of the Science and Technology Park, established by the Government of Montenegro in partnership with University of Montenegro, was prepared thanks to the HERIC funds.

Finally, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro Emanuel Salinas stressed that he was always surprised when he saw the results of the HERIC project, because, as he assessed, a lot was done to improve the quality of higher education in Montenegro.

During the ceremony, a short film was shown about the results achieved within the project.