News and events

Modernisation of the VET System in Serbia is the latest, fourth phase of the VET Reform Programme, during which, the results of the activities implemented in the past six years should finally become fully visible.

The VET Reform Programme has been implemented since 2003, and administrated by the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the European Union. The aim of the reform is the development of vocational education and training based on the needs of the economy and the labour market. In other words, the reformed VET system, planned as such, will educate students who will, after graduation, find employment easily and quickly or go on to further education - higher school or university.

After six years, during which the changes were piloted, the process of systematisation of former pilots is planned to start in September 2010.

VET Reform Programme - Phases I, II and `Bridging`

During the first phase of the implementation of the Programme, as proposed by the MoE, the Project was focussed on five sectors: Agriculture, Food Production and Processing, Health, Mechanical Engineering and Metal Processing, Civil Engineering and Surveying and Electrical Engineering. New curricula were developed and old ones were refined for a total of 20 profiles, which were then implemented in 50 selected VET schools all over Serbia, with five more schools receiving support for implementation of additional activities related to training of adults.

Over two and a half years, the Project covered a large number of areas: the Strategy for the Development of the Vocational Education and Training was developed, and endorsed by the Government at the end of December 2006; 1000 teachers were trained for the implementation of pilot curricula through various seminars, trainings and study visits; 2 million Euro worth work for rehabilitation of 49 schools included fixing  roofs, replacing worn out joinery, repairing water and sewage facilities, renovating heating systems and electrical installations; 37 projects were funded through the Innovation Fund, implemented by schools, faculties and other institutions, and activities in these projects were mainly focused on teacher training, introduction of new teaching methods, development of teaching material and modernisation of curricula. IT equipment was provided and installed in 55 schools, as well as specialised equipment specific for each sector. The total value of the project was around 13 million Euros.

The second phase of the Vocational Education and Training Reform Programme was implemented from December 2005 to May 2008. Similar to the first phase, the Programme was realised through several key areas aiming at the development and implementation of new strategies for vocational education and training based on the partnership with the economy, professional development of employees in education, implementation of new curricula, provision of high-quality trainings for adults, continuous innovations in teaching process and modernised school infrastructure (new equipment and teaching aids). 22 pilot schools from three sectors (Wood Processing, Tourism and Catering and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering) were involved in the second phase of the Programme.

New or modernised curricula were developed for 8 pilot profiles in 3 sectors; over 1000 teachers were trained through more than 10 different seminars on implementing new curricula and modern teaching methods. More than 200 representatives of pilot schools and the Ministry of Education participated in 28 study visits to educational institutions in EU countries. Within the Programme, 98 VET schools were equipped with 2 million Euros worth IT equipment, consisting of 2000 computers with supporting equipment. Along with that, specialised equipment necessary for the implementation of pilot curricula, worth about 1 million Euros, was provided and installed in 22 pilot schools. In 5 RTCs (in Zrenjanin, Nis, Belgrade, Bor and Kragujevac) 95 (re-qualification and additional qualification) training courses for more than 1600 participants were organised. For the implementation of the second phase of VET Reform Programme the European Union provided 3 million Euros.

Third phase of the VET Reform Programme, also referred to as `Bridging`, was aimed at providing smooth continuation of the reform, before the start IPA programmes.  The Project was primarily focussed on the support to schools in which new pilot profiles exist or where schools have sectors in which classical profiles will be replaced with modernised ones in the years to come.In line with the decision of the Ministry of Education, the Project included additional 74 vocational schools. For the implementation of this phase of the Programme, the European Union provided 800.000 Euros.

Results of the reform in pilot schools
Increased attendance and higher average marks are among the first results of modernised curricula. Students express greater interest in learning/teaching contents, and through practical training classes they quickly and easily develop necessary skills, which has been evident on final exams attended by representatives of employers acting as members of the examination commission. Follow-up studies in metal processing and agricultural schools have shown that up to 70-80% of students have found employment within three months after graduation. Interest of students for pilot profiles is increased – for example, profiles in agricultural schools are now on the 5th place of the most popular profiles for enrolment, compared to a few years ago, when they were on 13th place, which means that better students are coming to these schools.

Modernisation of the VET System in Serbia

The latest phase of the VET Reform Programme – Modernisation of the VET System in Serbia - is the phase during which the results of the previous six years should became visible to the widest public, given that during this phase it is planned to systematise modernised curricula into all schools in at least two sectors.
Project will be implemented thorugh several key areas – Governance, National Qaulifications System, Quality Assurance, European Investment Bank Loan, and Support to Procurement of Equipment. 
In the component Governance,  support will be given to the work of the Council for VET and Adult Education, as well as to the establishment of social partnerships on all levels. In addition, revision of VET financing system is envisaged. 

When it comes to National Qualifications System – in at least two sectors, the existing educational profiles will be replaced with the modernised ones, piloted so far. Support will be given to the establishment of the National Qualifications Framework and testing proposed solutions in this area in three sectors, agreed with employers.

In the component Quality Assurance, support will be given to the establishment of the Quality Assurance System in VET, by piloting the proposed model in selected schools, which then might be applied to the entire education system, after evaluation.

Through component Continuing VET support will be provided for the implementation of the adopted Strategy for Adult Education Development and accompanying Action Plan. 

Support to the Ministry of Education will also be provided for the completion of the implementation of activities financed through the first phase of the European Investment Bank Loan, as well as assistance in preparation of the request for the second phase of the loan, and its implementation. 
Support to Procurement of Equipment will be provided for preparation and implementation of tender for procurement of equipment for schools from two sectors where classical profiles are to be replaced with modernised ones.

Project Modernisation of the VET System in Serbia is the first phase of the Programme financed thorugh IPA 2007 Programme. The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia has, for this phase of the Project, provided about 4 million euro. Total donations of the European Union for the VET Reform in Serbia, since commencement in 2003, have now reached almost 25 million euro..


Modernisation of the VET system in Serbia
 This project is funded by the European Union -