The overall aim of the project is:

  • Improvement of the competencies of higher education graduates in Serbia according to the needs of employers,
  • Increase of the employability of graduates and their motivation to study, and
  • Improvement of accessibility to higher education of students from lower income families

Dual Higher Education (DHE) will enable students to acquire more relevant knowledge and skills by combining formal education with training acquired at the work place (internships). As a consequence, this will provide them with competences that are more in line with needs of companies, and they will get the opportunity to get jobs easier. In most cases, it is expected that they will get a job offer by the company that provided their internships. This will not only raise the motivation of students to study, but also raise the interest of companies to offer internships and scholarships to students practising DHE. It is expected that the companies would provide scholarships to selected students realizing their internships during their studies. This will help students to cover their expenses during studies (tuition fees, accommodation costs etc.), thus allowing students from lower income families to study as they will be able to earn.

In order to achieve these aims, the project needs to realize the following concrete objectives:

  • To identify needs and specific requirements of companies in different industrial sectors and businesses for DHE and to find companies willing to participate in pilot implementations of DHE during the project;
  • To develop a flexible and generic Dual Higher Education Model (DHEM) to support different needs and interests of employers, higher education institutions (HEIs) and students in different industrial and business sectors and to provide recommendations to HEIs for implementation of Dual Higher Education;
  • To test the specific DHE models generated from the developed generic DHEM, by realizing their pilot implementations during the project and to analyse achieved results; and
  • To propose changes to legislation/regulations to adapt Dual Higher Education in Republic of Serbia

As the IT sector in Serbia currently has problems employing IT graduates, as they need more graduates than HEIs can deliver to the labour market, employing students for certain jobs, using their internships, may ease this problem. It is expected that IT and software development companies are to be the first to show interest for implementation of DHE. This will certainly increase the interest of students to study IT and software engineering, and provide more IT and software engineering graduates for the labour market in Serbia. IT and software companies will have less problem of employing IT and software engineers and this will have a positive overall impact on development of the IT sector in Serbia.