High-level policy dialogue on dual education reform in Serbia

Local news, 23.10.2019

Serbian President Vucic met Prof. Dr. Ursula Renold of the ETH Zurich to discuss the future of the Serbian Vocational Education and Training system last week in Belgrade. Switzerland has been supporting the reform of dual education in Serbia since 2017 through a policy advice project.

President Vucic and the Swiss professor Ursula Renold
President Vucic and the Swiss professor Ursula Renold ©Office for Media of the President

President Vucic said that cooperation in dual education represents one of the most important segments of already good bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Switzerland. Development of dual education is one of the strategic priorities for the Government of Serbia as it will lead to further decreases in unemployment, support the sustainable development of the economy, prevent the brain drain and prepare young people to work in the best companies in Serbia.

President Vucic thanked the Government of Switzerland for the support and cooperation provided in the field of dual education and youth employment, underling that Switzerland has one of the best education systems and that is why Serbia would like to learn more about it.

“Ursula Renold is one of the smartest and most educated women whom I have had honour to talk to and I learned a lot form her on dual education. Dual education is the present of Switzerland, Germany and Austria, but is also the future of Serbia!” President Vucic said after the meeting with Professor Renold.

In the same week Professor Renold participated in the first Vocational Education and Training (VET) Week organized in Serbia. Professor Renold attended the opening of the renovated Aircraft Academy, but also a VET caravan organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia and Advantage Austria. The final event in the week was the conference organized by the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce on the involvement of the private sector in VET in Serbia. As a contribution to the VET Week promotion, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia (SCO) dedicated its yearly media working lunch to dual education and youth employment. SCO opened its doors for national media representatives and hosted Professor Renold and Yana Mihailova, CEO of Nestle South East Europe as guest speakers. On behalf of the Embassy of Switzerland in Serbia, the media representatives were addressed by the Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Jean-Luc Oesch and Director of SCO, Ms. Ursula Läubli.

“The Swiss engagement in the high level Policy dialogue on the reform of dual education supports a transparent and well-planned implementation of the reform and is highly appreciated by involved stakeholders. The final goal of this intervention is to have youth graduates benefiting from a fully-functioning and high-quality system of dual education in Serbia that is flexible enough to respond to economic trends”, stated Ursula Läubli, Director of SCO.

The Law on Dual Education (2017) came into force in September 2019 and involves today 35 profiles and 72 schools of 349 (20% of the total number of VET schools). The Swiss project “Policy advice for an efficient reform of dual education in Serbia”, implemented by the Serbian Centre for Education Policy with support of the KOF Institute under the lead of Professor Renold, is focused on three aspects of reform: legal, monitoring and evaluation and communications. So far the project supported development of the Masterplan for the new Law on Dual Education implementation, the establishment of the secretariat for the national Commission of dual education and the design of the necessary by-laws.

The total budget of the Policy VET project is 1,700,000 EUR, 830,000 EUR of which is contributed by the Government of Serbia, and 870,000 EUR by the Government of Switzerland.