The third day of the 9th international staff training week at the University of Sarajevo
To promote the Erasmus program and to network the University of Sarajevo with higher education institutions throughout Europe, the Department for International Cooperation of the University of Sarajevo organized the Ninth International Training Week for foreign teaching and non-teaching staff in the period from July 3 to 7, 2023. On this occasion, the University of Sarajevo hosts 70 participants, representatives of 39 higher education institutions from 13 countries (Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey).
On the third day of the 9th staff week, the participants stayed at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Sarajevo. After the welcoming speech of the dean, prof. Ph.D. Jasmine Selimović, and presentations about the Faculty and its achievements led by Assoc. Ph.D. Hatidža Jahić, a session on the challenges and problems encountered by Erasmus coordinators during the implementation of the Erasmus program called "Erasmus gone wrong" was opened. This session was led and presented by mr. sci. Adnan Rahimić, senior associate for international cooperation at the University of Sarajevo.
After conducting research with 100 institutions across Europe, which the International Relations Office of UNSA carried out, several of the most common challenges that coordinators face when implementing the program were singled out: (non)announcement of calls and transparency of selection, different forms of nomination and administration, the impossibility of implementation " Erasmus without papers", problems with visa and accommodation of students, language barriers that students face, drawing up study contracts for students, cross-cultural challenges and shocks that students experience when arriving in a new country and meeting them with a new culture, different interpretation of certain activities due to different laws (EU vs non-EU), tuition fees and inflation, (non)recognition of achieved results for students and staff, the impact of world events on mobility (coronavirus, wars, etc.) and other challenges that we face every day. On each item, participants could give a comment, opinion or recount their experience with the same or similar events.
This was an ideal opportunity to exchange experiences and gain knowledge that we share the same and similar challenges, regardless of whether it is an EU member or outside. In this way, a network of experts was created through which information was exchanged. Examples of good practice were presented, which will help in further and joint work to improve the Erasmus+ program and adapt it to world changes, thus satisfying the academic and professional needs of students and staff - the ultimate participants of this program.