The 12th Scholarship Fair was held, a unique event of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Traditional, international and unique scholarship fair in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The International Relations office of the University of Sarajevo, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth of Sarajevo Canton and the Embassy of the Republic of France, Campus France and the French Institute, organized the 12th Scholarship Fair, which was held on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.
Prof PhD. Rifat Škrijelj, the rector of the University of Sarajevo, opened the Fair, emphasizing that the main goal and guiding idea of the Fair are the improvements of the quality of studies and learning outcomes but also the transformation of society because, as he stated, exchanges and scholarship programs are the processes that enable the faster implementation of good practices. He added that the already traditional combination of governmental and non-governmental organizations, as exhibitors at the Fair, contributes best to the diversity of the offer but also indicates the importance of all sectors necessary for improving the quality of life in Sarajevo Canton.
H.E. Mrs Christine Toudic, Ambassador of France to Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointed out that student mobility is one of the factors of personal and professional success of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and added that it is decisive for Bosnia and Herzegovina in facing significant challenges in the coming years. "France makes a strong contribution to the mobility of students and foreign students and is one of the first destinations for studying. The number of students from Bosnia and Herzegovina who choose France as a place to study is increasing", stated Ambassador Toudic and added: "BiH's future is in the E.U., and its youth justifiably aspires to take its place in the European area of higher education. The French Embassy, the French Institute and Campus France are here to help you".
All 47 institutions recognized the importance of this event from 17 countries. The present audience was also greeted by H.E. Mr Ito Makoto, Ambassador of Japan to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Gianluca Vannini, Head of the Operational Department for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation, E.U. Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Minas Ounanian, Chargé d'affaires, Embassy of Greece in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Lorenzo Donatelli, First Secretary of the Embassy of Italy in BiH prof. PhD. Aleksandra Nikolić, Minister of Science, Higher Education and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, and Mr Miroslav Brčkalo, Advisor in the Department for International Scientific, Technical, Educational, Cultural and Sports Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Japanese Ambassador Ito Makoto emphasized the importance of the Fair for all students and noted that every year since 1998, Japan receives 2-3 students from Bosnia and Herzegovina through the MEXT scholarship program. "To date, about 50 excellent students have visited Japan as scholarship recipients of the Government of Japan. After returning to their country, these students not only serve as a bridge for deepening bilateral relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Japan but also contribute to the development of their country through the various experiences they gained in Japan," said the Japanese ambassador.
Mr Gianluca Vannini said they are pleased that the EU is represented with several stands where information is provided to students about the possibilities of the Erasmus+ program. "We are satisfied with that program, especially since students and employees at higher education institutions actively participated in mobility; that is, more than 8,000 of them participated in those mobility programs. In the next round of this program, which takes place from 2021 to 2027, we have allocated 26 billion euros, and it is a program that is very useful and successful for students from the region to get to know students from the EU, exchange their knowledge and they develop their skills", said Mr Vanini.
Mr Minas Ounanian recalled that Greece traditionally participates in the Scholarship Fair every year and emphasized that this event helps improve the exchange of students and professors and strengthens cooperation between universities.
Mr Lorenzo Donatelli stated: "This is the first time that the Embassy of Italy has participated in the Scholarship Fair, and we consider this a big step in the plan of our cultural diplomacy." He added that the Embassy of Italy has been cooperating with the University of Sarajevo for many years and that many students from BiH study in Italy, and just as many students from Italy come to BiH through the Erasmus program.
Minister Prof. PhD. Aleksandra Nikolić emphasized that the Scholarship Fair is an important event for the University of Sarajevo, the City of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Speaking about the development of higher education and science in Sarajevo Canton, she stated: "Internationalization and events like this, which are part of the internationalization process, are essentially the goal of the work and high on the priority list of both the Ministry and every actor, especially the University of Sarajevo because, in this way, we ensure further modernization of the University and its visibility on the world stage, but we also provide students with a set of abilities that they could not get without mobility abroad".
Mr Miroslav Brčkalo stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina takes the importance of education seriously and that it has a coordinating role between the offer of scholarship programs and professional training and the interest of our students and experts from various fields in studying and professional training abroad.
The goal of the Scholarship Fair is to bring together all institutions that award and/or administer scholarships or provide other types of financial support for studying in BiH and abroad, and to enable them to present their scholarship and financial support programs and to allow visitors to provide all information about scholarship opportunities receive further education in Bosnia and Herzegovina or abroad in one place.
The 12th Scholarship Fair was attended by:
- OeAD, Austria
- Bosnia and Herzegovina American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities (BRAVO), BiH
- Columbus Travel and Consulting, BiH
- Erasmus Student Network, BiH
- National Erasmus+ Office in BiH, BiH
- Experience Work and Travel, BiH
- "VII Academy" Foundation, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Foundation Humanity in Action in BiH, BiH
- Konrad Adenauer Foundation, BiH
- Ideas W&T doo, BiH
- An incubator of social innovations, "MUNJA", Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Karavan International doo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, Sector for Education, State CEEPUS Office of BiH, BiH
- AIESEC, BiH
- University of Sarajevo (ERASMUS), Bosnia and Herzegovina
- University of Sarajevo (UPS), Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Western Balkan Alumni Association, Western Balkan Region
- Palacky University of Olomouc, Czech Republic
- Embassy of France in BiH, Campus France & French Institute, France
- CESI, France
- ESFAM, France
- Catholic University of Lille, France
- University of Le Mans, France
- Sciences Po University, France
- University of Artois, France
- University of Caen Normandie, France
- University of Avignon, France
- University of Lyon 1, France
- University of Poitiers, France
- Embassy of Greece in BiH, Greece
- Embassy of Italy in BiH, Italy
- Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
- Embassy of Japan in BiH, Japan
- Embassy of Hungary in BiH, Hungary
- DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Germany
- Internship Program of German Business for the Countries of the Western Balkans, Germany
- Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
- Saarland University, Germany
- Polytechnic Institute of Beja, Portugal
- Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
- US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA
- US alumni association in Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA
- University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia
- Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in BiH, Turkey
- Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University, Turkey
- University of Glasgow, Great Britain
Most exhibitors (institutions and universities) who presented their funding programs came from the Republic of France. One of the aims of the Fair is to intensify the cooperation and connection of the academic community of the University of Sarajevo with the academic community of the Republic of France.