Monday, 13 June 2022

Islands of the World Conference Opens in Zadar

ZAGREB, 13 June 2022 - The 18th Islands of the World Conference - Islands: Nature and Culture, organised within the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA), has opened at the University of Zadar, bringing together 120 scientists and other participants from Croatia and nearly all continents.

The programme is extremely rich, University Rector Dijana Vican said in her opening remarks on Monday, noting that small islands would be approached from different scientific points of view.

According to most world classifications, all Croatian islands, which are rich in cultural heritage and various archaeological sites, are small islands. These areas are natural-geographical phenomena that have an important role in modern socio-economic development, especially tourism.

In the last decades, Croatian islands have undergone many negative processes, such as depopulation, population ageing and economic transformation, which have threatened their sustainable development and many important traditional cultural landscapes.

State Secretary Šime Erlić, who opened the conference on behalf of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, said that islands were of special interest to this government, which didn't mean that all island problems could be resolved easily.

Although the island population has been growing over the past 10 years, due to the pandemic and energy crisis we have reached a moment when life on an island is becoming unbearably difficult. The biggest challenge is to preserve natural heritage and the ecosystem on the one hand, and on the other hand to enable citizens to live in dignity, which means investments and attracting investors, says Erlić.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 10 January 2022

University of Zadar Develops Innovative Solutions for Ravni Kotar Tourism

January 10, 2022 - The project Take It Slow - "Smart and Slow Tourism Supporting Adriatic Heritage for Tomorrow" is a strategic project implemented within the operational program INTERREG Italy - Croatia 2014 - 2020, which is carried out by the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and the University of Zadar as one of the partners.

The total value of the project is €3,764,695.71, with the University of Zadar having a budget of €260,034.00. The goal of the University of Zadar, as one of the partners in the Take It Slow project, is to create preconditions for the development of innovative eno-gastronomic tourism products based on the concept of the so-called “Slow food” from Ravni kotari, reports

"This project is designed to strategically manage and promote the Adriatic as a sustainable, green, and smart European tourist region, through the establishment of a value chain in tourism based on the principles of smart specialization. The Adriatic Sea is surrounded by many small communities, both on islands and in coastal and inland areas, and the lifestyle of these communities is still mostly in harmony with the environment and has remained authentic and based on traditional knowledge and skills," concluded the University of Zadar.

The project will develop solutions for the management of micro-tourist destinations, to encourage local communities to actively engage in finding solutions related to the impact that tourism has on them, but also to preserve their natural and cultural heritage and lifestyle.

“The project will also develop tools that will help respond in a timely manner to the demands of the tourism market, in order to balance the seasonality of tourism activities in natural and cultural heritage sites. As the project is carried out in collaboration with scientists and the local community, it will be based on different lifestyles research and different aspects of tangible and intangible and cultural and natural heritage in micro areas. This is exactly the role of the University of Zadar, as a research-oriented educational institution that connects scientific research and projects", states the University of Zadar. 


Photo: Toni Opacic

The University of Zadar, through the Take It Slow project, decided to focus on the micro area of Ravni kotari, with special emphasis on tangible and intangible heritage and natural and cultural heritage related to the traditional gastronomy of the area. 

This tourist destination within Zadar County has an exceptional potential for growth, as it is characterized by a unique and very rich attraction base. The development of this area can contribute to reducing seasonality, but also relieving tourist destinations in the coastal area of ​​Zadar County, as there are opportunities for the development of various tourist products that are not based on sun and sea resources, especially in the form of so-called slow eno-gastronomic tourism.

Throughout this area, home-grown ingredients are grown and from which traditional dishes are prepared, whose recipes have been preserved since ancient times. Prisnac, priška, and vara are old dishes of this region.

Prisnac or shepherd's cake is a traditional dish made from ordinary dough - flour, water, and salt, and the mixture is cheese, eggs, and shellfish and baked under the oven. Ravni kotari also has the oldest tune "orzanje" (orcanje) sung and played on the oldest traditional instruments in the area of ​​Bukovica and Ravni kotari. Precisely such dishes and the experiences associated with them are the basis for the development of quality slow, green, and sustainable tourist offers, not only in the area of ​​Ravni kotari, but the wider Zadar region.

“Active involvement of the local community is the basis for achieving the defined goals of the project, so each project partner has created a database of key regional stakeholders involved in value chains in tourism and formed advisory local stakeholder groups relevant to the selected micro-tourist destination. In addition, a database of examples of good practice was created and a list of organizations operating in accordance with the principles of the so-called slow tourism at the project level”, the University of Zadar points out, whose working group developed a methodology for assessing cultural and natural heritage and analyzing the strategic framework, a methodology for developing smart action plans, which is adapted for use by all project partners. These documents serve to help develop a smart strategic framework in tourist destination management.

In order to strengthen the capacity of various stakeholders involved in the implementation of project activities in selected pilot areas, the University of Zadar organized three workshops on smart specialization in green, the so-called slow and sustainable tourism, in which over 200 participants participated. Participants were introduced to the concept of smart specialization, frameworks for business innovation, and many other concepts needed in the value chain in tourism, to be able to actively participate in the decision-making process in the destination and become a driver of competitiveness in their destination.

Preparations have begun for the implementation of thematic scientific research in the area of ​​Ravni kotari with the aim of determining the strengths and weaknesses of the eno-gastronomic offer of the area, as well as opportunities for the development of tourist offer based on such resources. After conducting the research, the necessary data analysis will be performed, and the obtained results will be presented to key regional stakeholders, the advisory local group of stakeholders from the practice of Ravni kotari, but also to other interested public.

In October, professors and students of the University of Zadar and their guests had the opportunity to get acquainted with the production and preparation of traditional food and beverages in Ravni kotari.

Since the Take It Slow project seeks to improve accessibility, but also to promote the slow tourist experience of tangible and intangible heritage, the program began with a tractor ride to the vineyards and olive groves of the Butić family, and students had the opportunity to show their competitive spirit in the grape harvest, pulling ropes and carrying eggs in a spoon. Students and professors then showed their agricultural skills in planting seedlings of one of the "three Graces of Dalmatia" - figs, fruits characteristic of this region.


Photo: Toni Opacic

The University of Zadar, as a scientific institution, also has an advisory role in the implementation of research conducted by other project partners. The definition and development of instruments and policies for the diversification of the tourist offer based on natural and cultural heritage, measures for testing these policies, as well as their monitoring systems, which will be implemented at the level of the entire project partnership.

Next year, cooking workshops are planned based on traditional recipes and foods from the area of ​​Ravni kotari, in order to strengthen the capacity of the catering tourist offer in Zadar County. A study trip to the Basque Culinary Center is also planned, with the aim of improving the knowledge of key stakeholders in the field of gastronomy in tourist destinations.

The goal of all planned events is to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders in the micro area of ​​Ravni kotari, but also the wider Zadar County so that the local community is actively involved in decision-making processes in these areas, and to develop these areas into sustainable, green and smart tourism destinations where a value chain in tourism will be established based on the principles of smart specialization.

For more about the Zadar region, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Croatia-Slovakia Scientific Cooperation: Conference in Zadar Continues Academic Friendship

June 30, 2021 - In 2019, an agreement was reached on the start of the Croatia-Slovakia scientific cooperation. The June 18 conference held at the University of Zadar presented the current progress in that agreement.

Along with countries such as Serbia, Slovenia, and Northern Macedonia, Croatia is a south Slavic country. The former Socialistic Federation of Yugoslavia got its name because of southern Slavs, a branch of Slavs, ethnolinguistic groups that arrived in Europe along with many other groups in what history remembers as the „Migration Period“, when Europe was dominated by the Western Roman Empire.

Other Slavic countries include Russia, Poland, Bulgaria (also south-slave, but not part of Yugoslavia), Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, and also West Slavic country, Slovakia.

Sharing ethical and cultural heritage and diplomatic relations (formed on March 1, 1993), saw the intellectual cooperation with Slovakia raised on a high level and produced so much material, it required an entire scientific conference.

As reported by Ivo Pilar Social Research website, June 18 saw Zadar University host a conference „Intellectual relations of Croatia and Slovakia“, prepared by Slovakian-Croatian Board for Humanistic Sciences lead b professor Martin Homza from Comenius University in Bratislava and Ivo pilar Social Research Institute headmaster dr. Željko Holjevac.

The conference was supposed to be held last year but was canceled due to coronavirus, and the 2021 edition was managed in a hybrid model of the event, mixing live and online ways for participants to meet. Twelve Slovakian and Croatian scientists reported on the theme, and key Slovakian and Croatian players on the subjects of education attended and made speeches at the opening ceremony. This includes professor Zvjezdan Penezić, Zadar University's vice-chancellor. Peter Susko, Slovakian Ambassador in Croatia, Marián Zouhar, dean of the Bratislava's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Staša Skenžić from Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, as well as Martina Klofáčova from the Slovakian Ministry of Science and Education.

„Slovakian-Croatian Board for Humanity Sciences is active since 2019 as part of the program of collaboration between two ministries for science and education with the goal of developing bilateral scientific and educating activities in the field of history, linguistics, Latinism, art history, ethnology, and archaeology“, informed Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute about the program goals.

Is there a Croatian diaspora in Slovakia? Yes. You can learn more about the Croatian diaspora on our TC page.

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

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Archaeological Remains of Oldest Liburnian Port Discovered in Novigrad Sea near Posedarje

June 7, 2020 - Mato Ilkić and Mate Parica from the Department of Archeology at the University of Zadar recently discovered a much older port in the western part of the Novigrad Sea, 22 kilometers northeast of Zadar.

Zadarski List writes that numerous ports from the Roman Empire have long been located and partly explored on the northern Dalmatian Coast. They are distributed along the main maritime route of the time, which, among other things, includes navigation on the Vir Sea, Zadar and Pašman Channels. But Mato Ilkić and Mate Parica from the Department of Archeology at the University of Zadar recently discovered a much older port.

It is located on a hitherto unknown route that was very navigable in the period before the Roman conquests. The archeological remains of this port lay in the western part of the Novigrad Sea, opposite Posedarje, 22 kilometers northeast of Zadar. It was built by the Liburnians, and, for now, it is their only port for which the exact location is known.

"Examining aerial photographs, we noticed that along the west coast of the Novigrad Sea not far from Posedarje, and directly next to the huge prehistoric hillfort Budim, there are some dark rectilinear outlines. We went there to dive and on the seabed, we immediately spotted a structure pointing to an ancient harbor whose archaeological remains are approximately 3 meters deep. For now, it is the oldest port in Liburnia, and perhaps in the entire Croatian part of the Adriatic. This is evidenced by the radiocarbon analysis of wood from the port structure, a sample of which we sent to Miami for testing. We recently got a result from Florida that made us quite happy, because it indicates an older time than we had assumed. Namely, the so-called C 14 date indicates that the port was built between 371 and 199 BC. Thus, it belongs to the period of the late classical phase and early Hellenism," Ilkić reveals.

The port is quite large and is not layered with later interventions. It is built partly of large stone blocks and wooden beams. This very demanding and complex construction undertaking at the time could only be carried out by the well-organized and economically very powerful Liburnian community, which was obviously oriented towards maritime and trade, directly or indirectly with very remote overseas regions. This included North Africa, that is, Carthage, Numidia, and Hellenistic Egypt, from which a great deal of money reached Liburnia through Japodia.

For now, it cannot be argued how the Liburnians and Japodes were enriched, but it is possible to reconstruct the sea routes and land routes that ended up in their hands. The topography of the finds of numerous and diverse numismatic materials originating from very distant monetary centers suggests that merchant ships sailed into Liburnian waters near Molat. From that island, a route led to the Vir Sea and the Velebit Channel and further through Novsko ždrilo to the Novigrad Sea, where the newly discovered and for now the only Liburnian port from the period before the Roman conquests is located.

The Liburnians developed a trade network that included the Trans-Velebit hinterland. Namely, after the money reached the southern Liburnian coast by sea, its further land flow can be followed even easier. They found their way in the direction of southern Velebit, where they descended to Lika along its edge and over mountain passes. Here the traffic branched off into two main directions. The northern one led towards the Una river basin and deeper inland towards southwestern Pannonia. The second traffic route is directed to the northwest and led to the pre-Alpine area. But this trade, in which the Japodes also profited, would not have been possible if the Liburnians had not turned to seafaring, as is now witnessed by their spacious port next to the huge fort of Budim near Posedarje.

It is an extremely important and complex archeological site, which is indicated by the finds of very early amphorae, Liburnian pottery, but also those painted that originated in Italy. In fact, the port near Buda sheds a whole new light on the maritime role of Liburnia.

Archaeologists from the Department of Archeology at the University of Zadar have just begun researching this unique northern Dalmatian underwater site from the pre-Roman period, thanks to donated money from Alan Mandić from Turanj and logistical support from the Municipality of Posedarje. Their goal, for now, is to get to know the only Liburnian port, and perhaps the oldest on the Croatian coast, as well as possible, and document and protect it for future generations. The money invested in the research would be returned many times over, because by presenting fascinating and valuable archeological remains of the ancient port of Liburnia, the tourist offer could be enriched.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


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.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Education on EU Projects for Croatian Students Advantageous for Job Market

Concrete steps are being made to better acquaint Croatia's students with the importance of knowledge about EU projects, knowledge which will be advantageous on the labour market.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of January, 2019, representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb signed a cooperation agreement worth three million kuna, which will enable students to acquire skills and knowledge in the field of EU funds for professional practice.

This is a project that has been being discussed in the aforementioned ministry for a long time, and now partnerships through signing this contract have been formalised by the dean of this higher education institution, Jurica Pavičić, and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, Gabrijela Žalac. Another partner of the project is the Department of Economics of the University of Zadar, whose representatives will subsequently sign the same contract.

"It's a great pleasure for our students to have the opportunity to improve themselves in something that is important for them, their careers, and to their future employers. Students have recognised the importance of knowledge about EU funds and have shown great interest in this area, aware that this will be an important component when they go out to look for a job. We're glad that we've partnered with the Ministry and that the University of Zadar is ready to join in with this project,'' said the Dean.

The cooperation agreement also concerns the strengthening of the Regional Development Academy, which has been in existence for many years within the ministry and cooperates with the University of Zagreb and faculties at the project level, in the interest of enhancing cooperation on the issue of student education, which is the backbone of regional development and the management of EU structural and investment funds.

"We want to strengthen our capacities at all levels so that through the professional knowledge and mentoring of our people in the Ministry of Economics, students from Zagreb and Zadar are able to train for the labour market. Our students have a decisive role in the dynamics of fundraising and the socio-economic progress of the coming period. The aim is to build a strategic partnership with healthcare institutions in the Republic of Croatia. We've been a full member of the EU for five and a half years and I think it's now time to allow students to acquire knowledge and skills in the area of ​​EU funds management and their use,'' said the minister, adding that European structural and investment funds make up 80 percent of public investments in the Republic of Croatia.

"Since we're the youngest member state of the EU, we're still at the beginning. This seven-year financial period, when we'll use European funds for the very first time, will certainly be a great experience for what follows in 2021,'' said Žalac, mentioning that MRRFEU and the Central Finance and Contracting Agency for EU Programs and Projects conducted research with results which show that there are 2700 experts missing in Croatia for the field of implementing EU projects.

"Therefore, we'd like to enable our students of economic orientation to provide professional practice with the help of EU funds, to provide new useful facilities for building a business career, with additional values ​​that strengthen their competence on the labour market," added Minister Žalac before thanking everyone who participated in the implementation process of this project.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for more information on EU projects and much more.


Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 30 November 2017

15.000 Year-Old Statuette Discovered on Dugi Otok

Meet Lili, the first Paleolithic depiction of the female form discovered in Croatia

Thursday, 26 January 2017

University of Zadar Approves 3m Kuna EU Project for "Blue Education"

The department of Ecology, Agronomy and Aquaculture at the University of Zadar and its partners for the project "Blue Education for Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources - BLUE SMART" has passed EU co-financing from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in the competition: "Blue Careers in Europe". The total project value is €399,493.00, and the approved EU funds amount to €319,593.00, or 80%.