Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina – European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Skenderija 3a, 71000 Sarajevo
Directorate-General for Education and Culture, European Commission,
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgiu
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA),
European Commission, Avenue du Bourget 1/Bourgetlaan 1
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgium
SUBJECT: Accreditation Data of Higher Education Institutions
On behalf of the Government of Republic of Srpska, I would like to inform you about the urgent matter related to the political obstruction of reacreditation process of two public universities from Republic of Srpska.
After meeting held on 10.04.2019. and organized by the Delegation of the European Union in BiH, among Deputy Head of the EU Mission Khaldoun Sinno and directors of the Higher Education Accreditation Agency Republic of Srpska and the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH, Biljana Vojvodić and Enver Halilović, there were concerns raised again on the progress in agreement with the registration of accredited institutions from Republic of Srpska into the Registry that is being conducted at the BiH level.
Since during this meeting it was stated that there are no substantial obstacles or obstacles in terms of fulfilling the requirements of criteria and standards by the institutions of Republic of Srpska, but only an artificially constructed bureaucratic obstacles, we call on the European Union Delegation once again to also use as referential data source the registers of institutions run at the level of Republic of Srpska as the competent education authority, as well as the Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education of BiH, which represents the ENIC / NARIC Centre of BiH.
We recall that this is in accordance with the spirit of the Lisbon Convention, which stipulates that in cases of recognition of the higher education system, it should always be done in the best interest of the party, in this case tens of thousands of students from the universities of Republic of Srpska, as well as the academic community and higher education institutions themselves.
We also point out that BiH is a country of complex administrative order and that in this case good European practices in the countries with number of quality assurance agencies in higher education such as Belgium, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, should be referred to.
This is even more important because a number of evidences show that the refusal of registration in the Registry of Accredited Institutions at the level of BiH is not the official position of the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH as an institution, but only of one person, the Director of the Agency who made this decision without the consent of his deputies, thereby directly violating the Statute of this Agency.
Since the Agency's Statute provides for decisions to be made by director and deputies from the ranks of the other peoples by consensus, we also point out that all future meetings should be conducted solely with the presence of both deputy directors in order to make the possible agreements legitimate and legal.
Minister of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society
Government of Republic of Srpska