Thursday, 27 May 2021

Summer Business School: A Chance for Entrepreneurs at Step-Ri Science-Technology Park

May 27, 2021 - This June, a five-day Summer Business School organized by Step-Ri Science-Technology Park and the American Embassy in Croatia makes Rijeka the place for entrepreneurs.

Science parks, research parks or technology parks or less intriguingly known as innovation centers, are a purpose-built cluster of office spaces, labs, workrooms, and meeting areas designed to support research and development in science and tech, says Bidwells, one of the UK's most reputable property consultancy companies. Common infrastructures worldwide and in Europe, the biggest city in Kvarner, Rijeka, is no exception in having one.

Step-Ri is a science-technology park, part of the University in Rijeka, and a place where science and economy meet to encourage entrepreneurship based on knowledge and new technologies.

„As one of the leading institutions in Croatia when it comes to entrepreneurship, Step Ri brings the newest knowledge in innovation and management from around the world through interesting education and business consulting. With our knowledge and experience, singlehandedly and with the help of the international network of partners and friends, we create projects and specialized programs to encourage entrepreneurship initiatives for both employed and unemployed, students, and the scientific community. With new services, business models, personal and organizational competencies, we make already successful entrepreneurs more competitive“, says Step-Ri's official website.
One example of such initiatives is the upcoming Summer Business Camp which will take place from June 23-27. And what's more interesting, this five-day program is brought to Step-Ri in collaboration with the American Embassy in Croatia.

„Summer Business Camp brings teams from all Croatia that want to improve or refine their business ideas and solutions through exercises, lectures, and individual coaching, “says Step Ri, promising extraordinary mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and investors.

This year, special attention will be given to the gaming startups, but other industries are also welcome. Regardless of whether you are already an entrepreneur or just aspiring to be one, you are welcome to apply if you have a developed business idea or a functional prototype.

Learning how to bulletproof your idea, experienced entrepreneur as a mentor, a chance to hear directly from investors what are they looking for and how to deliver it, valuable feedback and honest thoughts to accelerate your project, creating new opportunities, meeting other people in the business, and a having a good time- are some of the promises by Step-Ri for those who apply.

But, it would be best if you hurried, as June 6 is very close, and that's the deadline to beat. At least ten teams will be selected after a committee of experts evaluates project applications. Bed and breakfast accommodation for up to two team members, lunch at the venue, local bus tickets for getting to the venue, and a commemorative T-shirt await for those who are selected. And once in, a panel of venture capitalists, business angels, and business people will award the best with Apple iPad Pro (1st prize), Apple iPad Air 4 (2nd prize), and Apple iPad 8 (3rd prize).

Pieces of technologies such as the aforementioned above can certainly come in handy to entrepreneurs, but what about money? The actual finance for your projects?
„Many teams in the past received funding from participating investors and judges. However, nobody but you can answer that! Come and pitch your idea and see how far it will take you!“concludes Step-Ri regarding finance possibilities to turn your vision into a reality.

Learn more about Rijeka on our TC page.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 21 May 2021

E-Matematika: New Online Instruction Developing Business That Helps Pupils

May 21, 2021 - With math seeing more and more appreciation, it's still, quite rightfully, a challenging discipline that not everyone can comprehend. Quality lessons, additional instructions, and motivated lecturers and teachers are the obvious recipe to both help those who struggle with math and those who are good at it to achieve their best possible potential.

However, the coronavirus pandemic is still present and is still causing difficulties in the Croatian education system, forcing pupils and professors to switch from online to live lectures or a mix of the two, putting additional pressure on sharing knowledge on any imaginable subject. With math being a discipline that requires lots of practice and explanations, it's perhaps the subject which has suffered the most.

Still, as Srednja.hr reports, a great potential solution to this issue appeared back in October 2020 when Robert Pavlik started E-Matematika, a website, for online math instructions.

''The site is focused on all students that need help with math, whether it's about fixing a bad grade or preparing for an exam“, writes Srednja.hr.

E-Matematika currently offers 45 minutes of lessons, offering solved mathematical tasks with the procedure detailed, as well as a video explanation.

These instructions are paid for simply through the ''order instructions''check-out process, and it's all quite automated. However, phone and videocalls for arranging instructions are an option for the safety of kids so that parents can see with whom they'll be communicating. Reliable platforms for communication such as Zoom, Google Meet, and MS Teams are also used, and two conditions need to be satisfied for the instructions to work: easy platform access for the student and an uninterrupted video connection. Each instruction ends with the service sending a questionnaire to the students to see how happy they are with the whole experience, as well as a receipt. The questionnaire builds the personal rating of the instructor.

There are four levels of instructions: lower elementary classes, higher elementary classes, high schools, and faculties, which offer more effective services as some instructors prefer to work with teens, and others are specialised working with younger kids. The site so far boasts 100 instructors, and in addition to maths, Croatian pupils can also find instructions from the subjects of physics and chemistry. Srednja.hr adds that students from field-related faculties recognised the work of E-Matematika and want to participate.

The site welcomes anyone interested to apply to become the next instructor, as long as they satisfy the following conditions: two years of instructing experience as a minimum, excellent communication skills, reliability, flexibility in organising instructions, along with patience and the ability to focus on a student.

It's also worth mentioning that the first concept of online instructions in Croatia (again, for math, but also for statistics) appeared in 2011, when a mathematics professor at the Faculty of Science (PMF), University of Zagreb, Toni Milun, started posting videos explaining the curriculum online and for free. And you guessed it; it was a huge hit.

Despite Milun offering additional mathematics lessons for free, E-Matematika having more than 500 registered users and 2000 orders, it seems it can justify the paid offer with its value and use.

However, it will be interesting to see will this trend continue when the pandemic is over and the face-to-face instructions return as normal. Currently, the Croatian media landscape is seeing more and more pupils and parents stepping out and saying that nothing can replace face-to-face classes.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Instead of Waiting for a Job, Split Students Started Their Own Van Transport Business

January 27, 2021 – What is it like to be a student in Croatia at the beginning of 2021? Classes and exams are mostly online, there is no place to drink coffee or go out, and there are almost no student employment opportunities. Still, two Split students do not despair. Instead of waiting for a job to fall from the sky, they used this coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to realize a long-planned wish – to start their own van transport business.

Waitering, working the cash register, selling food and drinks, and stacking goods are just some of the most common student jobs that have, unfortunately, suffered a massive blow in the past year.

Due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many jobs are at risk, and students who are one of the most affected groups on the labor market are rarely mentioned. Working while studying is always challenging. For some students, such work is the only source of income, while for many of them, student work provides additional pocket money.

'We sent countless job applications, but without answers'

When the amount of work of many businesses reduced, especially in tourism and hospitality, students were the first to be hit by the dismissal. Thus, according to data from the Student Center in Zagreb, there were almost half as many employed students from March to September 2020 as in the previous 2019. Students hoped for a better situation in the fall and during the Christmas fairs last year, but due to cafe and restaurants' re-closure in early December, they were again left without earnings.

The situation is not better in Split either. Aware and disappointed with the whole situation, Split students Mario Veljača and Toni Šegović decided to start their own van transport business after many unanswered job applications. Since they could not find a student job, they created it. The lack of employment opportunities was a big blow to them because they financed themselves during all the years of their studies, and they also loved their work routine while studying.

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Mario Veljača / Private archive

"As one tries to save on everything in these times of crisis, including the workforce, it is almost impossible to find a job. As students graduating, we have a lot of free time, and we could work full time. We sent countless job applications, but without success, more precisely, without answers," says Mario, a business economics and management student at the Faculty of Economics in Split.

He and his friend Toni, a graduate student of nautical studies at the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split, fear that they will end up on the job market after graduating this year.

Despite their extensive work experience in the tourism sector, they could not find a job. As time went on, the savings dried up, and state aid for students was lacking. Mario and Toni did not want to sit at home and wait for the situation to pass but took matters into their own hands to not have to depend on their parents, who were also not bypassed by the crisis.

The key is in social media marketing

With almost no start-up capital, they were thinking about possible options, so they came up with the idea of van transport. Their only mitigating circumstance was that, due to a lack of his own business, Mario's girlfriend's father could lend them a van to use.

"We offered him cooperation where we would run all the business and slightly repurpose the original activity of his company. As his company was registered for the transport of goods and passengers, the idea could come to life. He agreed and gave us the green light. We agreed on all the conditions, withdraw the student contracts, and we were ready to start the business," says Mario.

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Van transport seems to be a good market niche for two Split students / Source: Pexels

The young duo from Split have been friends for over 15 years and have always planned to start a joint business. They have had some plans before, but they were disrupted by an unpredictable situation that shocked the whole world.

For furniture moving and transport services with their van, they are available in Split-Dalmatia County every day, at any time.

With a well-designed promotional campaign on social networks, they managed to reach their first clients very quickly. As they say, there is always a need for relocation and removal services for old furniture and similar bulky waste, so they have found their place on the market.

Low prices and high effort

"Our work is much more than just taking out and bringing in furniture and driving a van. We spend an entire 8-hour workday devising ideas, creating ads and planning. As we create graphics, pictures, hand out flyers, or do all the marketing, time really flies by," says Mario.

During their average workday, they don't go home until they do everything they can. They want to leave a good impression, be as fast, efficient, and careful as possible, but also more affordable because offering lower prices for their services makes them acceptable. They're aware that many people are currently in a difficult financial situation, so they started their business by offering lower prices for their services.

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Their services are available in the Split-Dalmatia County / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

This has proved successful for them so far. They earn enough for their needs and hope to be successful enough overtime to hire other students struggling with similar difficulties in finding jobs.

"After the physical work is done, we continue coordinating business for the next period, giving ideas and suggestions for new campaigns and designing a concept based on the mistakes we make," says Mario.

'You have to create opportunities for yourself'

On social networks, where they advertised from the very beginning, they received many supportive messages for their initiative. Their biggest reward, they say, is when clients promise to call them again and recommend them to a friend, neighbor, or godfather. And they are happy when they are greeted by kind and hospitable hosts and treated with some local delicacies.

Slowly but surely, they notice a positive business trend. People call them from Zagreb and even from abroad. Their next step is long-distance transport, outside Split-Dalmatia County, and in the future, they would like to try to organize transport outside the borders of Croatia.

"People are glad to see that young people are active and recognize that we fight to make it easier for our family, instead of sitting on a sofa and waiting for a job to fall from the sky. You can't cross your arms and expect opportunities. You have to create it yourself. Citizens appreciate that we are especially friendly to retirees for whom we have reduced transportation prices. We hope that you will hear more about us in the future if we succeed in other projects that we planned before the whole mess with the coronavirus," says Mario.

These two friends are a great example of how, with knowledge, resourcefulness, dedication, and hard work, it is possible to take control of your misfortunes and earn a few kunas in this unpredictable time.

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Croatian Female Postgraduate Students Outnumber Men 2:1

January 18, 2021 – Newly released figures examining further education demographics show that Croatian female postgraduate students account for a huge 66.3 percent of all those enrolled at this level in the country

Nobody is really sure for just how long women have lived in an imbalanced society. The patriarchal system stretches back thousands of years, favouring male authority and male heirs. It is only within the relatively recent past that we have rightly begun to question the social, legal, political, religious, and economic restraints placed upon women. Key to their continuing emancipation has been equal opportunities in education.

In Croatia, where some consider the patriarchal system to have stubbornly lingered for longer than in other parts of Europe, evidence of society's continuing shift can be seen in the latest figures for higher education. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), within the field of specialist studies in the academic year 2019/2020, Croatian female postgraduate students outnumber their male counterparts at almost 2:1.

Of 1429 students who enrolled in specialist continuing studies for the year 2000, some 948 of them were Croatian female postgraduate students. Croatian female postgraduate students account for 66.3 percent of all students enrolled at this level in the country, with their male counterparts accounting for just 33.7 percent.

Social sciences (cultural and social anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics) accounted for the largest area in which Croatian female postgraduate students chose to study, accounting for 43.7 percent of female enrolments. The next most popular areas of study for Croatian female postgraduate students were biomedicine and health (42.8 percent), followed by technical sciences (5.7 percent), interdisciplinary fields of science (4.5 percent) then natural sciences (1.1 percent). Less than one percent of Croatian female postgraduate students enrolled in the humanities (0.9 percent), biotechnical sciences (0.7 percent) and the arts (0.6 percent).

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Most postgraduate specialist students enrolled at the University of Zagreb (79.3 percent), followed by the University of Rijeka (10.5 percent), the University of Osijek (6.9 percent), the University of Split (2.5 percent), and Libertas International University Zagreb (0.8 percent).

Croatian female postgraduate students accounted for 81.8 percent of enrolments for this level of study at Libertas International University Zagreb, 77.8 percent at the University of Split, 68 percent at the University of Zagreb, 62.2 percent at the University of Osijek, and 52.6 percent at the University of Rijeka.

unizgggg.jpgThe University of Zagreb © University of Zagreb

Most students enrolling for studies at the postgraduate level were aged 30 to 34 years (36.1 percent), with 24.8 percent being in the 25 to 29 age group. 19 percent were in the 35 to 39 age group, 9.9 percent in the 40 to 44 age group, 5.7 percent in the 45 to 49 age group, 2.4 percent in the 50 to 54 age group, 1.1 percent in the 55+ age group and 1 percent were aged 24-years-old.

98.3 percent of all postgraduate students enrolled at universities in Croatia are citizens of the Republic of Croatia. Foreigners choosing to undertake their postgraduate studies at universities in Croatia accounted for just 1.7 percent of enrolments. Of the Croatian citizens, 97 percent had previously graduated in the Republic of Croatia, and 3 percent abroad.

97 percent of all postgraduate students are already employed and 3 percent unemployed. 42.8 percent are employed in the field of healthcare and social care. Employers paid for the greatest share of postgraduate course fees - 55.8 percent of postgraduate students had their course fees paid for by their employer. 43.7 percent of students paid for their own study fees.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

All Full-Time Osijek and Baranja Students Get Free Train Travel

January 9, 2021 – From this year, full-time Osijek and Baranja students can get free train travel any time throughout their own county and for travel to educational centres anywhere in Croatia, in a new deal struck by the county and the national train operator

Once a sea bed, the vast flatlands of Slavonia are perfect for farming. At one time, this area was the breadbasket for much of Yugoslavia. It really wasn't so long ago that many folks left dry and dusty Dalmatia in search of employment and new lives on this fertile ground. Now, it's the other way round - Slavonian youth travel to the coast each summer in search of seasonal work. Others move to Ireland, Germany, Austria. Slavonia is losing many skilled younger people at an alarming rate. Increased mechanisation has reduced the need for labour in the area's agriculture. And, besides, most Slavonian youths are these days educated to a degree where their ambitions are greater than joining local agricultural endeavours.

In an area with limited possibilities, limited opportunities, education lies at the heart of survival in Slavonia. Local authorities know this and try to facilitate education as best they can. It is to that end that those in the Slavonian county of Osijek and Baranja have struck a deal with Croatia's national train operator to offer free train travel to all full-time Osijek and Baranja students.

Agreed upon at the end of last year, the scheme was implemented on 1 January 2021. Osijek and Baranja County has agreed to co-finance journeys for full-time Osijek and Baranja students who study not only within the county itself but across the whole of Croatia.

Slavonija_OsijekTrainstation.jpgOsijek train station © Romulić & Stojčić

Monthly tickets for travel within the county already held a discount of up to 65 percent given to full-time students by the train operator, depending on the route. The County has now agreed to pay the remainder of the monthly ticket for all full-time Osijek and Baranja students. To meet the requirements of this deal, the departing and destination stations must both be in Osijek-Baranja County. The free monthly ticket allows an unlimited number of trips on the route, meaning that Osijek and Baranja students can also use the train for free on recreational journeys within the county.

The second deal sees the County co-finance 50% of journey costs for full-time Osijek and Baranja students who study elsewhere in Croatia, with the train operator HŽ agreeing to grant a discount to cover the other 50 %.

In order to obtain a free (monthly or individual) ticket, it is necessary to first obtain a certificate from their Administrative Department for the Economy. To get the certificate, Osijek and Baranja students must submit a copy of their identity card, a certificate of full-time study and two completed application forms (these can be found on the county's website www.obz.hr). Requests can be made in person or by mail (Osijek-Baranja County, Administrative Department for Economy, Županijska 4, Osijek or on the e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free tickets can thereafter be bought by Osijek and Baranja students at the box office, prior to travel, or on the train itself, upon producing the relevant and needed documentation.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb Celebrates 100 Years

ZAGREB December 5, 2020 – With over 9000 students currently enrolled, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb is the largest faculty in Croatia. In 2020, this internationally renowned institution celebrates its 100th birthday, so TCN decided to take a closer look.

Every other student you meet in Croatia seems to study economy. It makes you wonder where they all go to after their studies are complete. Are there really so many positions for economists in Croatia?

In 2020, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb celebrates its 100th birthday. The long list of its famous former students gives a clue to where all the Croatian economists go – the tourism sector, diplomacy and international relations, business, politics and government.

SG-council-of-europe-2020-42020.jpgMarija Pejčinović Burić, a graduate of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb and the current Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After graduating, like Savka Dabčević-Kučar, she became o doctor of economics and before taking her current position served as Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs © Council of Europe

Graduates of the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb have served as mayors of Zagreb and Split, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, Minister of Finance, Minister of the Economy, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Governers of the Croatian National Bank, Vice-President of the UN World Food Council, President of the Croatian Football Association, Minister of Environmental and Nature Protection, special advisors to the President of Croatia and countless university professors, including several former rectors of the University of Zagreb. Within its graduate professors, it has produced no less than 19 full members of the prestigious Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, more than any other single institution in the country.

wikiSlavka.jpgSavka Dabčević-Kučar, a graduate of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb. Born on Korčula, she became an anti-fascist in World War II, joining the partisans after her brother was beaten by fascists. After graduating, she continued to study at the faculty and became one of the first doctors of economics in Croatia, raising eyebrows by choosing to write her doctorate dissertation about a non-Marxist economic theorist (Englishman John Maynard Keynes). She became a professor at the faculty in the 1950s and despite her great advances in political life, remained a committed teacher at the faculty until 1971. In 1967, she was elected President of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. In 1969, she moved to an even more important position - that of president of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia. She was the first woman in Europe to be appointed head of government of a political entity and the first female in Croatia to hold an office equivalent to a head of government. In this picture, she addressed supporters on Ban Jelacic Square Zagreb during the movement called the Croatian Spring, which called for greater autonomy for Croatia. At the address, thousands cheered her as “Savka, queen of the Croats”. For her pivotal role in the movement, she was removed from her positions and public life and retired. She returned to politics in 1990 upon the collapse of communism in Europe and during the Croatian war of independence was one of the few politicians who visited the front lines of battle in Slavonia, Petrinja, Pokupski and the Dalmatian hinterland

The Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb is the largest faculty in the country. Over its 100 year history, it has established itself as an internationally respected institution. Today, it has around 9000 persons enrolled, caters for international students with some courses in English and has produced over 86, 000 graduates, including 856 doctors of science.

muo_zagreb_povijestmimara.jpgIn its infancy, students of the College of Trade and Transport were taught at the Technical College, which is today the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb © National and University Library in Zagreb

The history of the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb starts with the opening in 1920 of its forerunner, the Zagreb College of Trade and Transport. Its purpose was to educate in the areas of banking, domestic and international trade, transport, consular services, insurance and the education of teachers. Its courses lasted three years and it proved so popular that in the academic year 1923/24, some 1,125 students were enrolled.

The institution held college status until 1925 when Stjepan Radić became the Minister of Education. It must have been unusual for Radić to find himself as part of the government of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the state which preceded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today, Radić is best remembered as a politician outspoken in his advocacy of autonomy for Croatia. Before his appointment to the government, he had always done so in opposition. Indeed, he had been imprisoned several times for his views, which were proclaimed loudly in his writings or in person (he was a gifted public speaker). As recently as March 1925 he had been in prison but, when the political party of which he was a member officially recognised the monarchy and the state constitution, he was freed. In a remarkable turnaround, before the year's end, he was a minister in the government.

Stjepan_Radi_2.jpegStjepan Radić, pictured in the 1920s © public domain. In 1895 Radić was sent to prison for the public burning of the Hungarian flag in Zagreb – alongside Antun Dabčević, the father of Savka Dabčević-Kučar.

Stjepan Radić's desire for Croatian autonomy was not born from the ideals of the political class of Zagreb. The ninth of eleven children, born to a peasant family in a small village on the banks of the Sava river, just north of Sisak, Radić was very much a representative of the people whence he came. To him (and others in his family – his brother and nephew also being prominent politicians), education had the most important role to play in emancipation. He had lived in poverty in order to complete his own - after being banned from university-level educational institutions throughout the whole of the Austro-Hungarian empire for his protests against the state, he travelled penniless to Russia, France and Switzerland to complete his studies. In the latter, finance was one of his chosen subjects.

efzg_zvonimirovafirst.jpgThe first dedicated building of the Higher School of Economics and Commerce was located on the corner of Bauerova and Zvonirmirova © Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb

Under Radić's spell in office, the Zagreb College of Trade and Transport became the Higher School of Economics and Commerce. Its courses extended to four years, it attained university status. With no building designated to the increasingly popular institution, students had sometimes been taught at the Technical College (today's Museum of Arts and Crafts) and in parts of what is now the Mimara Museum. A dedicated home for the faculty was authorised and its construction started in 1927. Classes began at the faculty, located on the corner of Bauerova and Zvonimirova, in 1928, but within the decade the institution had outgrown its home and a plot of land in Svetice was acquired in order to build a new, larger facility. Its construction was interrupted by the Second World War and students would end up being taught on the Bauerova and Zvonimirova site all the way up to 1952.

efzg-1980-ihuniverz.jpgThe faculty's modern building, pictured in 1987. Today, the faculty has 17 departments - Finance, Demography, Economic Theory, Business Economics, Informatics, Macroeconomics and Economic Development, Marketing, Mathematics, International Economics, Business in Foreign Languages, Organization and Management, Law, Accounting, Statistics, Trade and International Business, Tourism, Physical Education and Health © Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb

In 1947, the Higher School of Economics and Commerce became the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb. In 1952, the faculty officially moved to the new site in Svetice. In 1968 it expanded once more when it merged with the 12-year-old College of Economics. Since then, the building at Svetice has received major upgrades and further facilities of the faculty can now also be found at the university campus in Borongaj, in Varaždin, in Koprivnica and in Bjelovar. After a century of existence, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb's longstanding difficulties to meet the popularity of its courses with the space available are now over. Not only can they accommodate every Croatian economy student who makes the grade, but they are also able to offer places to some of the best international students. It would surely come as no surprise if they are still educating the future elites of business, banking, finance and politics in another 100 years.

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The Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb site in Svetice, as seen from its garden © Wolf - Pidgeon

Friday, 23 October 2020

Croatian Dejan Nemcic The Best Geography Teacher In The World

ZAGREB October 23, 2020 – Croatian professor Dejan Nemcic is the best geography teacher in the world. He was awarded the status in the annual Global Teacher Awards for the vivid and imaginative way he engages students

Croatia has the best geography teacher in the world. Dejan Nemcic from Ivo Andrić Elementary School in Sopot, Zagreb was on Thursday 22 October named as the winner in his class by the annual Global Teacher Awards. He is one of the few winners this year from this part of Europe.

After he was named a recipient of the award, Dejan Nemcic was interviewed by Croatian media outlet 24sata. In the interview, he dedicated the award to his students.

Dejan Nemcic, who is originally from Garešnica in the south of Bjelovar-Bilogora County, was nominated because of the vivid and imaginative way he engages students in geography. Using online communications and multi-media he places students directly within the environments they're learning about.

IMG_8617.jpgIvo Andrić Elementary School in Sopot, Zagreb, where Dejan Nemcic teaches his inspired geography lessons © Ivo Andrić Elementary School

“I tell sixth-graders about the disappearance of the Amazon rainforest,” Dejan Nemcic detailed to 24sata as an example of his methods. “Then, my colleague Ana is waiting for us in a boat on the Amazon and we see everything as it really is. It’s the same with the favelas in Rio de Janeiro.” Using such collaborations and techniques he has allowed his students to travel the world from their classroom. He teaches everything that is included in the official curriculum but, with the blessing of the school administration, is free to teach it in his own inspiring way.

Around 150 members of the Croatian diaspora, located in the four corners of the earth, assist as part of the extended network of collaborators Dejan Nemcic has built over the last decade.

Educators from all over the world are included in the annual Global Teacher Awards. Teachers are nominated for inclusion by those who respect and admire their work. Dejan Nemcic was nominated by the EduBalkan platform.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Korean Culture and Language Course Launched at the Faculty of Croatian Studies

ZAGREB, Sept 15, 2020  - Korean culture and language course was launched on Monday at the Faculty of Croatian Studies (HS) of the University of Zagreb, the faculty informed on Tuesday.

Ninety-six students enrolled in the course, which is beyond all expectations, and for the next 16 weeks, they will attend free classes four hours a week. This course is due to last until 28 December.

The enrolment quota was filled in just five days, HS said and added that the greatest interest was by students (79), while other entrants are 13 working people enrolled in the course and four secondary school students.

The course is being conducted in cooperation between the University of Zagreb and Chung-Ang University in Seoul and the King Sejong Institute Foundation (KSIF) 

The course will be taught by EunGyeong Kim from Seoul, with administrative support by Lin Seonghyun Kwon, a post-graduate student of Croatian Studies.

HS Dean Pavo Barisic welcomed Ms. Kim and entrants and expressed his pleasure that in Croatia a King Sejong Institute was opened.

Barisic noted that the institutes of the King Sejong Foundation exist in 76 countries, 26 of which are in Europe.

More than 130 countries have applied for this year's call for cooperation and 30 new institutes have been approved, Barisic said. He underscored however that this is a great honor for the Croatian Studies Faculty.

The course will be available for at least three years and if interest continues the course may be extended in the future, according to Barisic's statement.

Once the students have completed the course they will be eligible for a student or working visa in South Korea.

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Monday, 7 September 2020

Students from Split Invented a Device to Combat Spread of Coronavirus

September 7, 2020 – As Dalmacija Danas reports, young students from the Center of Excellence (Centar za izvrsnost) in Split have designed a device to fight the spread of coronavirus. The multi-purpose device has a contactless disinfectant, LED screen, and an ecological tank for old batteries and mobile phones, and could soon be found at the entrances of approximately 20 high schools in Split.

“The project is called Greenbox, it is a 3 in 1 solution, it includes an informative LED screen, a hand disinfectant, and an eclectic waste disposal area. We perfected it within the Center of Excellence, and the device is currently in 11 schools in Split,” explained Antonio Nikolić, a student at III. Gymnasium high school.

“In the programs, we have 430 students and 109 mentors, and they deal with topics related to mathematics, informatics, new technologies, and science. We also have the Center of Excellence for Entrepreneurship,” explained Ivica Zelić, director of the Center of Excellence of the Split-Dalmatia County.

He emphasized that a public call for testing students for this school year has been published. What they want, he says, is that students practically solve the problems that are set up to them.

Ilija Krišto, the assistant headmaster, believes that gifted children, but also capable and hard-working professors in the regular system, do not have the opportunity to show their potential.

“That is why the Split-Dalmatia County created this Center of Excellence and gives gifted children the opportunity to turn their ideas and potential into a complete project. The concept of Greenbox is just one of their many ideas. They have so many that we can't follow them,” Krišto revealed.

“It's all a challenge. You have a task and you need to solve it,” Antonio explained why he is happy to deal with such problems.

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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Students From 13 Zagreb School Buildings To Be Relocated To Other Sites This Fall

ZAGREB, Aug 19, 2020 - About 6,500 children in Zagreb will not be able to return to their own schools once the school year starts on September 7 because of the damage caused to school buildings by the March 22 earthquake, the Jutarnji List daily reported on Wednesday.

Damage caused by the quake was identified on 175 school and kindergarten buildings with 91 buildings being repaired to date.

Works are continuing on an additional 82 buildings and 69 of these should be ready for the new school year. Twelve schools, however -- five elementary and seven secondary schools -- were seriously damaged in the quake and are not safe for use hence students from those schools will have to be relocated to other schools which until now had lessons in only one shift.

Another school that was being reconstructed in any case brings the number of schools that will be relocated to thirteen.

Some elementary school pupils will have to attend schools in other suburbs and the city authorities have organised transport for 1,923 pupils, however, a decision has not been delivered on seating arrangements in school buses, considering the epidemiological situation, the Jutranji List reported.

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