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  • 5/1/2004

The University of Sarajevo


The University of Sarajevo descends from a century long tradition of higher education in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sarajevo. The institutional beginnings of higher education are identical to the university tradition of Western Europe. In 1531 Gazi Husrev-beg established the Hanikah, a higher school of Souphey philosophy to which an institution for the study of Islamic Sciences was added in 1537. Here the three disciplines of Classical Catholic Universities were nurtured: theology, law and philosophy and the university also comprised a library. By the end of the 19th century, this institution was the largest institution of learning in Bosnia-Herzegovina From the beginning it was on the same level as the Medresa (Islamic institution of higher education) of Sultan Bajazit in Istanbul, the institution upon which the oldIstanbulUniversity is based.
In the Austro-Hungarian period or more precisely in 1887, the Sharia Law School began to operate as a five-year-long higher school.
The modern history of the Sarajevo University began with the establishment of the first secular institutions of higher education prior to World War II as well as during the war (the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in 1940, the Medical Faculty in 1944). The Medical Faculty was re-established in 1946, the Faculty of Law, theTeacher Training College were opened and in 1948 the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was re-established.
In 1949 the Engineering Faculty was opened. On the 2nd December that same year with the appointment of the first rector, the University of Sarajevo was established. With the opening of the Faculty of Philosophy (1950) and the Economics Faculty (1952) the first, initial phase of establishment of the Sarajevo University was completed.
The second phase of development (1955 - 1969) is characterised by the affirmation of the University, the opening of new institutions of higher education and the relative satisfaction of the needs for highly educated personnel in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Another significant achievement is the organisation and initiation of postgraduate studies at the University.
The third phase (1970 - 1982) is defined by more institutions of higher education being opened at the University, a scientific promotion of the University and its intensified involvement and promotion on the international academic plane. The University contributed directly and indirectly to the establishment of new universities in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla.
The fourth phase (1982 - 1992) is characterised by the separation of scientific activities from the University and the formation of favouritised scientific institutes outside the University. This brought considerable damage to the University of Sarajevo, because the coherence of university education and scientific research was jeopardised. This resulted in a lower quality of education and a technological stagnation of the University. The uncontrolled enrolment of an enormous number of students resulted in a significantly lower efficiency of studies and a hyper-production of personnel in certain educational areas.
The fifth phase (1992 - 1995) is a phase of barbaric devastation of the facilities and equipment of the University as well as a decrease of university personnel and an enormous decrease in the number of students. All this was caused by the war and aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Despite all the difficulties of life and work during the three-and-a-half-year-long siege of Sarajevo and thanks to the enthusiasm, professional attitude, patriotism and perseverance of university teachers and associates as well as the students,the University of Sarajevo managed to retain its continuity of work and life. This was a specific aspect of intellectual, academic resistance towards everything that is barbaric and against civilisation, the University's contribution to the affirmation of freedom and democracy, the defence against aggression and fascism and the affirmation of the statehood of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
At the beginning of 1996, the University of Sarajevo entered the phase of post-war physical and academic renewal and reconstruction. The physical renewal is aimed at the reconstruction of devastated and the rebuilding of destroyed facilities (through the realization of the New University Campus Project), the replacement of destroyed educational and scientific equipment and the reconstruction of student dormitories. Significant results have been achieved on this plane and the conditions for higher quality studies have been formed.
The undergoing academic renewal comprises the realization of a new concept of organisation and function of the University in accordance with contemporary standards, the modernization of curricula and the education of the necessary teaching personnel.
The process of renewal and reconstruction of the University is supported by the activities of the European University Association, the European Council, the European Union as well as a whole line of international organisations and institutions involved in the field of higher education.
TheUniversity ofSarajevo has partner relations with over forty Universities inEurope,USA, Canada and the Arab countries.
The main objective of all our current activities is to raise the quality of studies and to create a contemporary university of European provenance which will be a respectable representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina on an international level and a promoter of traditional, historical, cultural, scientific and artistic values of this part ofEurope.

Current Condition

University ofSarajevo is a large educational system taking into account number of employees (1.640 teachers and assistants and 893 non academic staff) as well as number of students (total 47000). According to current organizational structure it is loose association with many higher education institutions with strong legal identity (26 faculties and academies and other members of the University and associated members). Since the premise of members and associated members are dislocated around the city, higher priority is given to the building of the University Campus. For those members of the University, appropriate building and traffic work are required, in order to group them in four or five polycentric units. Members of the University are also found in three higher education institutions in Zenica.

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