Sunday, 18 August 2019

University of Zagreb Makes It to Top 500 Universities

ZAGREB, August 18, 2019 - The University of Zagreb has managed to be again among the 500 best universities in the world, according to the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the Jutarnji List daily reported on Sunday.

Zagreb's tertiary education institution is placed in the group of universities ranked between 401st and 500th place, after having dropped from the top 500 rankings in 2017 and 2018.

The 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy on 15 August.

"Since 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually based on transparent methodology and objective third-party data. It has been recognized as the precursor of global university rankings and the most trustworthy one," the consultancy stated when it published the latest ranking.

This year, the best 1000 universities in the world are published, and the University of Split has made its first appearance on that list, being placed in the group between 701st place and 800th place, the daily reported.

The rankings are topped by Harvard for the 17th year.

Universities from the United States dominate this year’s Top 10 list with 8 universities among them.

"Stanford University and University of Cambridge remain to be the No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. Other Top 10 universities are MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, Oxford, Columbia, Caltech and Chicago. In Continental Europe, ETH Zurich (19th) continues to be the best ranked university, and University of Copenhagen (26th) takes the second place," says the consultancy on its website.

Shanghai Ranking Consultancy introduces itself as "a fully independent organization dedicating to research on higher education intelligence and consultation. It has been the official publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009."

More news and info about the University of Zagreb can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Universities of Split and Zadar Included in European Universities Alliances

ZAGREB, June 27, 2019 - The European Commission has released a list of higher education institutions from across Europe that will be part of the first 17 European Universities alliances in a bid to promote cooperation between the institutions involved, their students and staff. The Croatian universities in the coastal cities of Split and Zadar are included in two such alliances.

The aim is to enhance the quality and attractiveness of European higher education and boost cooperation between institutions, their students and staff, the European Commission says.

Out of 54 applications received, 17 European Universities involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 member states were selected, based on an evaluation carried out by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, appointed by the Commission.

In total, a budget of up to 85 million euro is available for the first 17 "European Universities". Each alliance will receive up to 5 million euro in the coming three years to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow. Their progress will be closely monitored.

European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. They should become inter-university campuses that will pool their expertise, platforms and resources to deliver joint curricula or modules covering various disciplines.

These curricula will be very flexible and will allow students to personalise their education, choosing what, where and when to study and get a European degree. European Universities will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions where they are located, as their students will work closely with companies, municipal authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the challenges their regions are facing.

The University of Split is a member of an alliance called the European University of the Sea (SEA-EU), along with the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany, the University of Cadiz, Spain, the University of Malta, the University of Western Brittany, France and the University of Gdansk, Poland.

The University of Split says that their alliance's vision is to become an international reference point for addressing challenges of the sea and maritime matters through excellence in research based on creativity and innovation.

The aim of SEA-EU is to create joint undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, joint infrastructure and research and knowledge management, and the University of Split will be the lead partner for a work package that connects the university, public and business sectors, with emphasis on responsibility for society and the environment.

The University of Zadar is part of CONEXUS, the European University for Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability, along with the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, the Saint Vincent Martyr Catholic University of Valencia, Spain, the University of Klaipeda, Latvia, the Technical University of Bucharest, Romania and the University of La Rochelle, France.

The University of Zadar says that this project will make it possible for students from the partner universities to spend some of their time studying at one or more partner institutions, scientists will be able to collaborate with their colleagues from other universities and use joint infrastructure, while administrative staff will be able to exchange experience and good practice.

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "I am pleased to see the ambition of the first 17 European Universities, which will act as role models for others across the EU. They will enable the next generations of students to experience Europe by studying in different countries. I am convinced that this initiative, a key building block of the European Education Area, will be a real game changer for higher education in Europe, boosting excellence and inclusion."

The European Commission proposed this initiative in 2017, calling for the establishment of at least 20 European Universities alliances by 2024. For the next long-term EU budget running from 2021 to 2027, the Commission proposed to fully roll out European Universities under Erasmus+, with a significantly increased budget.

Each alliance is made up of, on average, seven higher education institutions from across Europe, which are open to new partnerships.

More news about Croatian universities can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

University of Zagreb Moves Up in QS World University Rankings

ZAGREB, June 20, 2019 - The University of Zagreb has moved up in the latest QS World University Rankings, placing between 751st and 800th position, up from #801-1000 in the previous report.

The QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings based on quality. Its 16th edition was released on Thursday by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British company specialising in education. The rankings cover the world's best 1,000 universities.

The University of Zagreb is the only Croatian university included in the rankings and is ranked 305th in Europe. Compared to universities in the region, it is included in the same group as the University of Maribor, while the University of Ljubljana is placed #591-600, up from #651-700. The University of Belgrade is ranked #810-1000, the same as in the previous rankings.

The top spot has been held for eight straight years by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by the US universities of Stanford and Harvard. The best placed European and British university is Oxford, ranking fourth, while its ancient rival Cambridge slipped to seventh place.

The highest ranked university in continental Europe is ETH Zurich, climbing to sixth place.

The two best Asian universities are again those from Singapore, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, both ranking 11th. The highest ranked university in Latin America is Universidad de Buenos Aires, placing 74th.

QS uses six indicators in ranking universities: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, the faculty/student ratio, the proportion of international faculty and the proportion of international students.

More news about the University of Zagreb can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

TEDx University Of Zagreb Returning to Stjepan Radić Campus

The centre of university student life in Zagreb, the Forum Cinema at the Stjepan Radić campus in Zagreb, will host TEDx University of Zagreb event on June 15. Over the past five years, the conference has presented more than 50 top speakers from Croatia whose achievements are remarkable even in international terms, reports on May 15, 2019.

TEDx is an independently organized event under the TED license, a day-long conference with TEDx speeches. What makes TED unique is the fact that a speech cannot last longer than 18 minutes, which means that the speaker has to convey his or her message in a short and concise form. Each TED speech is translated into more than 100 languages to make it accessible to everyone.

Participants will hear a lot of exciting concepts and witness testimonies from science, business, sustainable development, psychology, as well as practical tips on how to make the best of themselves and accomplish their goals. Last year's speaker at TEDxUniversityOfZagreb, Nikolina Sesar, who is a neurosurgeon, brought an actual brain to the stage and explained how it works. The purpose of the conference is to popularize topics that otherwise do not get enough space in the media.

TEDxUniversityOfZagreb recognizes people with great ideas and gives them space and attention they deserve.

Unlike other large conferences, TEDx sells only a hundred tickets. People interested in attending will have to fill out a short questionnaire and explain why they want to visit and how the TEDx experience could help them achieve their goals. The point is that participants can get to know each other in breaks between speeches, and also get in touch with speakers and organizers. At the end of the day, TEDx is about creating a community for better tomorrow!

People interested in attending should keep track of social networks because applications will start soon.

More info about speakers, topics, organization, team members and other information can be found at the social media profiles.

Translated from

More Lifestyle news can be found in the dedicated section.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Belt and Road Physical Education Forum Taking Place in Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 17, 2019 - Experts in physical education from China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries gathered in Zagreb on Wednesday for the first international Belt and Road forum to discuss cooperation opportunities.

A total of 120 participants - rectors, deans and senior officials of 35 institutions from 22 countries - arrived for the event, hosted by the Zagreb Faculty of Kinesiology.

The University of Zagreb, Beijing Sport University and Beijing Normal University signed an agreement on mutual understanding and cooperation and Zagreb University and Beijing Sport University signed an agreement on launching university sport games.

Beijing Sport University vice-president Gao Feng called on the forum to openly share education resources, research new ways of cooperation and approaches to cooperation and develop mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral long-term exchanges and cooperation in line with principles of mutual respect, learning and joint development.

He called on other universities to join the forum and become a host of the annual forum with Beijing Sport University and contribute to the development of higher education and sports science.

Zagreb University Rector Damir Boras promised that Zagreb University, where close to a half of all students in Croatia study, would promote cooperation and development of new projects.

The first Belt and Road Physical education Forum is taking place in Zagreb from 16 to 19 April.

More news about relations between Croatia and China can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Thousands Sign Letter against Honorary Doctorate for Zagreb Mayor Bandić

ZAGREB, April 15, 2019 - Over 3,100 professors, students and alumni of the University of Zagreb have signed an open letter against a proposal by the Zagreb Academy of Music to award Mayor Milan Bandić an honorary doctorate of Zagreb University, and three initiators of the campaign against Bandić's honorary doctorate on Monday informed a news conference about their future steps.

The open letter will be handed to the Academic Senate which is expected to hold a meeting on Tuesday.

We want to make them aware that a considerable part of the academic community disagrees with the decision to award an honorary doctorate and hope that this will serve as an incentive for the Senate to thoroughly analyse decisions of this kind, said Kosta Bovan of Zagreb's Faculty of Political Sciences.

"We believe that Milan Bandić does not fulfil any criterion for an honorary doctorate. He has made neither scientific nor artistic contributions," Bovan said, adding that the Academy of Music's new building, which the academy's dean cited as the reason for the honorary doctorate, had been paid for with money from the city budget, and was not a personal contribution by Mayor Bandić.

Furthermore, Bandić is still an active politician, his party has several lawmakers in the national parliament, and he is implicated in a series of scandals, with over 200 criminal complaints having been filed against him, Bovan said.

"He is arrogant and unprofessional towards everybody, including reporters who question his decisions, and we do not believe that he is held in high esteem, which is necessary for a recipient of an honorary doctorate," Bovan said.

In late March, hundreds of members of the academic community rallied outside the Zagreb University building for a protest against the proposal by the Academy of Music to award Mayor Bandić an honorary doctorate of Zagreb University.

Noting that the commission in charge of awarding honorary doctorates would probably cite in its decision regarding Bandić projects such as the new building of the Academy of Music, they said that it was not Bandić who had financially helped Zagreb University but rather residents of Zagreb, by paying local taxes.

More news about Zagreb mayor can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies Marks 70th anniversary

ZAGREB, April 5, 2019 - The Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies, the first and most important institution of higher education in the field of seafaring in Croatia, on Thursday celebrated its 70th anniversary, with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović attending the event.

The Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies was established in 1949 as a two-year college and in 1992 it changed its name to the Faculty of Maritime Studies.

More than 13,550 students from Croatia and 30 other countries have graduated from the faculty, and it has awarded more than 127 master's degrees and more than 100 doctorates.

"The Adriatic Sea gives Croatia geo-strategic importance, and Rijeka and its port are the shortest bridge to Central European countries and all the way to the Baltic. That was so in the past, when Rijeka was the most important Mediterranean port for the entire Central Europe, a natural point of access to the sea and the main maritime point of economic development," said Grabar-Kitarović, adding that this fact had not been valued sufficiently, which was why she participated in launching the Three Seas Initiative.

"We can use our maritime sector much better, primarily as a lever of overall economic development as well as a support to neighbouring and other European countries. Tourism is important but it must not be the only branch of our maritime sector," she said.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković, who also attended the event, said that maritime development and education enjoyed the unquestionable support of his ministry and the government, noting that his ministry awarded seafaring and naval engineering scholarships.

In the last five years, of a total of 370 scholarships for students of all maritime faculties, 100 went to students of the Rijeka Faculty of Maritime Studies, said Butković.

"By reforming the national maritime legislation, we are trying to improve the working and living conditions of our seamen, who are known for their professionalism and competence. With our measures we are sending a clear message of support to current and future students... and affirming the role and importance of the maritime sector," said Butković.

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Protest Held Against Zagreb Mayor Honorary Doctorate

ZAGREB, March 27, 2019 - Hundreds of members of the academic community rallied outside the Zagreb University building on Tuesday evening for a protest against a proposal by the Zagreb Academy of Music to award Mayor Milan Bandić an honorary doctorate of Zagreb University.

Speakers at the rally said that Zagreb University was going through one of the worst episodes in its history, adding that they were ashamed and that a turnaround would have to happen.

Stjepan Perko, a candidate for a doctor's degree at Zagreb's Faculty of Political Science, who organised the rally, said that it was shameful to honour Bandić, who had been indicted in a number of cases, in any way, let alone with an honorary doctorate.

The protesters carried banners with messages seeking Zagreb University head Damir Boras's resignation and ridiculing the university's earlier decision to grant an honorary doctorate to Dragan Čović, leader of the Bosnian Croat HDZ BiH party, and shouted "Stop violence against university".

A professor at the Faculty of Science, Damir Bakić, expressed solidarity with the members of the Academy of Music who opposed the academy's proposal to award Bandić an honorary doctorate.

More than 750 professors, students, Zagreb University alumni and other members of the academic community a few days ago sent a letter to the Academic Senate, urging it not to award Bandić an honorary doctorate.

Noting that the commission in charge of awarding honorary doctorates would probably cite in its decision regarding Bandić projects such as the new building of the Academy of Music, they said that it was not Bandić who had financially helped Zagreb University but rather residents of Zagreb, by paying local taxes.

The disgruntled members of the academic community also noted in their letter that Bandić was connected with numerous scandals and legal proceedings launched against him over suspected wrongdoing.

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said earlier in the day that the Academic Senate had to take into account the opinion of the part of the academic community that opposed the plan to award the mayor an honorary doctorate and that its responsibility in that regard was considerable.

More news about Zagreb mayor can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 25 March 2019

President Grabar-Kitarović visits Zadar University

ZAGREB, March 25, 2019 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Monday attended a ceremony marking Zadar University Day at which she recalled that the city's Dominican college of philosophy and theology, established in 1396, had been the first tertiary institution in Croatia, adding that that tradition was part not only of Zadar University but of the overall national identity and the history of Croatian education and culture.

The president sees universities as important stakeholders in the restoration of dialogue on the political and social scene.

"Our society lacks dialogue and understanding, debates in which strength is measured by arguments and competence, and that's why I see universities as drivers and stakeholders in shaping a culture of dialogue and a more constructive social atmosphere," she added.

The president underscored that she "is following all the changes and recommendations related to education, which is the foundation of development of any country."

"As such, I welcome the initiative by the Rectors' Conference and its president, Rector Dijana Vican, who are highly motivated to use EU funds to improve university infrastructure and equipment, which is essential for the work of students, professors and researchers and for the overall development," she said.

She underscored that she expected the academic community "to be more actively involved in social changes and not just education reform so that our nation can actively participate in European academic and scientific development processes."

More news about Croatian universities can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Croatian Universities Not Bad, Considering How Little Is Invested in Them

ZAGREB, March 1, 2019 - The head of Zagreb University, Damir Boras, said on Thursday that Croatian universities were not so bad considering how little was invested in them.

His comment came in response to the statement by Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak that the present system at the Croatian universities and scientific institutes stifled excellence and needed reforming.

Boras and Divjak attended a ceremony at which an agreement granting Croatia associate membership of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) was signed.

Addressing the ceremony, Divjak spoke of the situation in the Croatian science sector, saying that Croatia ranked 25th among the 28 EU member states in terms of obtaining funding for Horizon 2020 projects and at the bottom in terms of obtaining funding for projects funded by the European Research Council. She said that the present system at the universities and scientific institutes stifled excellence and needed reforming.

Asked by the press after the ceremony to comment on the minister's statement, Boras said that "Croatian universities are not so bad considering how little is invested in them."

"Zagreb University is the best and largest scientific institution in Croatia with by far the largest output, despite poor funding. We can't be expected to be the best in the world if we are at the bottom in Europe in terms of financing," Boras said, urging the minister to secure more funding for science and higher education.

"All relevant indicators show that Zagreb University is at the tail end of Europe in terms of financing, but is not at the tail end of Europe in terms of relative output. If we look at the amount of money invested, then we are actually very good," Boras concluded.

More news about the Zagreb and other Croatian universities can be found in the Lifestyle section.

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