The fifth meeting of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Information Society and Social Policy between the EU and BiH was held on March 22, 2021 through the online platform Interactio. In accordance with the agenda and the prepared document for discussion, the representatives of the competent institutions in BiH and the representatives of the European Commission discussed the progress made in the past year in fulfilling the obligations arising from the EU-BiH Stabilization and Association Agreement in the fields of education and training, society and the media, research and innovation, employment and social policy and other topics covered by this subcommittee.
Director of the Agency for Higher Education Biljana Vojvodic, in addition to previously prepared material relating to the most important activities of the Agency in the past period, answered additional questions from representatives of the European Commission relating to the effects of TAIEX Expert Assessment Mission "Accreditation of Higher Education Institutions" that was held in the period from 4 to 7 February 2020.
The expert assessment mission is a mechanism through which the European Commission (in addition to Questionnaires and consultations), after submitting the Application for EU membership, collects information on certain areas, after which a Report on the assessment of the situation in the area and compliance with EU requirements is prepared.
On that occasion, Vojvodic pointed out that the Agency took the TAIEX expert assessment mission in the field of accreditation in higher education very seriously, and the recommendations given in the expert report as an opportunity to improve its own procedures. "Therefore, the Agency implemented all the recommendations from the reports of experts that it could implement independently, such as publishing all review reports, and transparency regarding all participants in the proceedings, including all engaged reviewers," Vojvodic said.
She emphasized that the Agency changed its acts in the part related to the manner of selecting reviewers, and provided the right to all students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as foreign students, to apply to the list of reviewers.
According to her, the list is open and reviewers can apply continuously.
"In order to provide insight into the possibility of applying for all interested parties, the Agency informed higher education institutions from BiH and the region, as well as student organizations, that the call for applications is permanently open," Vojvodic pointed out.
She also stated that the new acts of the Agency additionally elaborated various mechanisms for accreditation of study programs, ie reviews, cluster accreditation and individual accreditation of study programs.
The delegation of Republic of Srpska at the meeting of the Subcommittee consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Labor and Veterans' Affairs, the Ministry of Scientific-Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of European Integration and International cooperation, the Republic Pedagogical Institute, the Agency for Higher Education, the Health Insurance Fund and the Gender Center - Center for Gender Equality.
The EU-BiH Innovation, Information Society and Social Policy Subcommittee is one of seven joint EU-BiH technical bodies set up to monitor the implementation of obligations stemming from the EU-BiH Stabilization and Association Agreement, which entered into force on June 1, 2015.