Bosnia and Herzegovina joined Erasmus + in 2014 reacted to requests of the academic community, society, students, youth and other stakeholders to be part of EHEA. The fact is that the student mobility is the main point of all coming activities and that the recognition procedures aren't in accordance with international documents within EHEA. This was the main reason why the consortium wants to undertake this project. Bosnia and Herzegovina signed and ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention in 2003, but the legislation concerning recognition of foreign higher education qualifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina hasn't been completely harmonized with the Convention yet neither the recognition procedures at higher education institutions are completely unique and harmonized with the Convention. The Consortium is also aware of the facts that without harmonized recognition procedures there isn't student and teachers mobility at appropriate way.
Fair recognition is now acknowledged to be the cornerstone of the internationalisation of higher education and of student mobility. Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn’t have Recognition Manual which should be direct and practical response to the challenges and expectations raised by politicians, policy makers, students, parents and employers. The aim of Recognition Manual should be ensuring that coherent institutional policies on recognition are based on the Lisbon Recognition Convention, which is UNESCO’s and the Council of Europe’s legally binding text concerning the recognition of foreign qualifications.
Emphasis on the internationalization and recognition of qualification should contribute to implementation of criteria for evaluation of foreign higher education qualifications that should be applicable in the recognition procedure with the purpose of employing, continuation of education, taking into consideration of higher education diversity, type of study, study program content and teaching methods. On that way, the cooperation B&H partners with EU countries partners should be stimulated, the continuation of study would be facilitated and the comparison of study courses, ECTS and qualifications should be facilitated.
Given that the accession to EHEA is the main aim for a long time in B&H, there wasn’t enough importance because real problems have never been perceived. They are key factors which slow down accession to EHEA. This project is trying to focus on national and institutional priorities.
This project will have to solve problem of positioning of international offices of B&H universities in the whole structure. These offices together with students offices will be strengthen on different ways.
Recent conducted accreditation process of HEIs in B&H addressed internationalization, as well as research, as the biggest problem in B&H. The creation of criteria for assessing of internationalization should contribute to the orientation of HEIs on the implementation of internationalized strategies and indicators that could point out on international character.
One of the main goals of internationalized higher education is to provide the most relevant education to students, who will be the citizens, entrepreneurs and scientists of tomorrow.
Main reasons for internationalizing an institution are, in order of importance, to:
With the infusion of internationalization into the culture of higher education, students and educators can gain a greater awareness of the global issues and how educational systems operate across countries, cultures and languages.
The involvement of governments in internationalisation is therefore twofold: supporting the expansion of internationalisation and safeguarding its quality. Government policy plays a key role as it can facilitate the internationalization of HEIs. National higher education internationalisation strategies or policies can impact national competitiveness through attracting international research initiatives, corporate partnerships and facilitating the mobility of student and faculty talent.
Beside the 8 public universities which constitute Consortium, the project would have benefit of the Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in HE as the ENIC Centre of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance B&H, the Higher Education Accreditation Agency of Republika Srpska, The Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, the Federal Ministry of Education and Science and the international partners from Belgium, United Kingdom and Portugal which would assist with their expertise and experience. Such Consortium is a guarantee that the project would achieve the expected results.