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Serbia

Overview

Република Србија/Republika Srbija (The Republic of Serbia) is a landlocked country of 10,150,265 people in southeastern Europe located between Macedonia and Hungary. Serbian is the official language, however Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukranian, and Croatian are official languages the province of Vojvodina, and Albanian is an official language in the province of Kosova. Literacy is 96.4%.

Serbia has its modern-day roots in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes that was formed in 1918. In 1929, its name was changed to Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was under Nazi occupation from 1941-1945. Following the end of occupation, Communists gained control of the country under the leadership of Josep Tito. In 1989, Slobodan Milošević became president and called for Serbian domination of the country. This led to extreme violence and Yugoslavia was divided along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia followed by Bosnia in 1992. In April 1992, Serbia and Montenegro formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A 1998 insurgency by ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo resulted in Milošević ordering massacres and expulsions in the region. The United Nations responded by sending in forces to maintain peace and safety in the regions. Milošević lost the election in 2000 and in 2001 was arrested and transferred to The Hague for an international tribunal. In 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro. A referendum on independence in Montenegro in May 2006 passed and resulted in the formation of two new countries: the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro.

Education

Compulsory education is eight years and begins at age 7. Education is overseen by Serbia's Министарство образовања, науке и технолошки развојa.

Primary Education

Primary school consists of two 4-year cycles. 96% of primary school graduates continue on to secondary school.

Secondary Education

Secondary school is 4 years and admission is based on a national examination. There are both general and vocational secondary schools. Gimnazije are the elite secondary schools and admission is very competitive. Students select a math/science track or a social science track, and all students in both tracks take a core group of subjects which include Serbian language, integrated science, mathematics, and social studies.

Stručna Škola (professional schools) prepare students for certain professions while offering a general education. Upon completion of secondary school, students sit for the Matura exam and are awarded the Diploma o Završenoj Srednjoj Školi.

There is also a 3-year zanatska škola (secondary school) that prepares students to go directly into the workforce. Students who complete this type of secondary school are awarded a Diploma o Treci Stepen. Students who hold this diploma are not eligible for admission to a university. If they wish to pursue university studies, they must complete the final year of secondary school.

Post-Secondary Education

Following secondary school, students have the option of continuing their education in više škole (higher schools) or universities. Više škole offer two- and three-year vocational and technical programs. Upon completion, students are awarded the Diploma Višeg Obrazovanja. There are six public universities in Serbia and six private universities that are recognized by the Ministry of Education. There are also 6 independent faculties and academies that are not affiliated with a university, but they are recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Admission to a public university is extremely competitive and is based on results of Diploma o Završenoj Srednjoj Školi and an entrance examination. Each university department has its own entrance examination. Private universities have more open enrollments and vary greatly in the quality of study. However, some private universities have increased their academic rigor and are rivaling the academic rigor of public universities.

First Cycle

The first level of university study is 4 to 6 years, depending on the area of study. Upon completion, students are awarded a Diploma Visokog Obrazovnaja.

Second and Third Cycles

Following first level studies, students can enter a post-graduate program that is a minimum of two years. Students must complete coursework and defend a thesis and are awarded a Magistar nauka or Magistar umetnosti. Doctoral studies require a Magistar nauka or Magistar umetnosti. There is no coursework required and students are evaluated on their published research and defense of a dissertation. Students are awarded a Doktor nauka.


THE CONTRIBUTORS
Ann Koenig

Associate Director, International, AACRAO

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