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European Commissioner Jan Figel addresses the CoE- sponsored Higher Education Working Group/Bologna Committee for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Bosnia and Herzegovina Higher Education Working Group/Bologna Committee (HEWG), co-chaired by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Civil Affairs took place on 8 February at the University of Sarajevo. The HEWG brings together all stakeholders in Higher Education and is widely regarded as being highly instrumental in advancing the reform process.
Mr Jan Figel, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, on official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, accepted an invitation to deliver a keynote speech to the HEWG. In his speech, he stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina was indeed on the path to the European Union, that the EU institutions stood ready to assist with this journey, but that BiH had also to do its part , notably by transforming intentions into action. The time was ripe, for example, for the new Government, to attend to the urgent need to adopt a state-level higher education law and to address quality and quality assurance issues. Commissioner Figel also paid tribute to the Council of Europe for the important pan European role it plays in human rights, culture, democratic citizenship and education.
During the second part of the meeting, the working group members discussed ways to transform the group into a completely locally - owned body, possibly through the creation by the Government of a BiH Bologna Committee that would accelerate higher education reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Higher Education Working Group has meet on a regular basis for four years, rotating locations between the eight public universities in BiH, during which time the universities have had the opportunity to share their successes and challenges in regard to the Bologna Process reforms. The CoE has provided the secretariat and financial support.