Western Balkans Synergy and Workshops

The conviction that new generations of Europeans greatly benefit from education environments that are diverse, thereby facilitating and strengthening cooperation across differences of cultures, gender, ethnicity, languages, sexual orientation, and capacities, and contributing to European integration goals and post Berlin-Washington consensus developmental dynamics.

During EUTOPIA’s pilot phase (2019-2022) a special programme aiming to Capacity building of Western Balkan universities in inclusion policies. and the organisation of workshops in collaboration with the Regional Platform for Benchmarking and Cooperation in Education and Research was implemented through the University of Ljubljana, with the aim of helping universities from the Western Balkans region decrease structural disadvantages in terms of their capacity to:
  • attract international research funds,  
  • retain domestic and attract foreign students,  
  • be involved in international academic activities,  
  • provide services to their communities and industries
  • and to become more inclusive.
First Western Balkans Workshop, September 2020

On 3-4 September , 2020, EUTOPIA2050 project’s work package 5, Promoting Inclusion and Equal Societies, hosted its first virtual Western Balkans workshop, organized by University of Ljubljana. Students, teachers and administrative staff from many countries, like Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia had the opportunity to take part in the workshop and learn from EUTOPIA partners about the international funding opportunities and development of institutional support services. Topics such as Structure and Specifics of the New Horizon Europe, ERC, Brain Circulation and Innovation Gap, involvement of PhD and post-doc students in the research work were presented and later discussed among participants.

The University of Ljubljana takes pride in its long-lasting regional partnerships with Western Balkans universities and is especially honoured to have the opportunity to strengthen these partnerships through EUTOPIA2050 project, as well as share new experiences, encourage the transfer of knowledge, and bring regional relationships to a higher level.

The overview of the programme is available here. A report on the event's organization is publicly available on the "Documents" webpage, under the "Inclusion" work package.

Second Western Balkans Workshop: EUTOPIA Week in Warwick, November 2020

On 26 & 27 November 2020, experts and students from different backgrounds and institutions came together for two sessions during the EUTOPIA Week hosted by the University of Warwick, to share their experiences, knowledge, and best practices with researchers, professors, administrative staff, and students from Western Balkans universities.

The topics of each session varied and ranged from curriculum design to garnering support for the creation of international study programmes. This session overlaps with "EUTOPIA Presents: Researcher Opportunities" and "EUTOPIA Discusses: Academic Careers in Higher Education".

Speakers :
Iris Ivaniš (Univerza v Ljubljani)
Laura Koudela (Univerza v Ljubljani)
Polonca Miklavc Valenčič (Univerza v Ljubljani)
Tomaž Deželan (Univerza v Ljubljani)

Jo Angouri (University of Warwick)
Kulbir Shergill (University of Warwick)

Rosette S’Jegers (EUTOPIA Coordinator for Education and Students, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Katrijn D’Herdt (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Carmen Mazijn (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Manja Klemenčič (Harvard University)
Željko Vaško (The University of Banja Luka)
Klemen Šubic (National Accreditation Agency of Slovenia) Božidar Grigić (Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS))

The Student Panel comprised of student representatives from the EUTOPIA partners.

The video is available here:


A report on the event's organization is publicly available on the "Documents" webpage, under the "Inclusion" work package.

Third Western Balkans Workshop: EUTOPIA Week in Gothenburg, April 2021

On 13 &14 April 2021, University of Ljubljana hosted the third workshop focused on enhancing knowledge exchanges between the EUTOPIA universities and neighbouring region universities, namely the Western Balkans, during EUTOPIA Week at University of Gothenburg. While the first two Western Balkans workshops discussed research and curriculum design, this time the theme was University Autonomy and Integrity.

The key aims were to exchange experiences with and views about university autonomy and integrity between the EUTOPIA and regional universities; to raise awareness that increased university autonomy requires greater attention to integrity issues; and to put the university autonomy issue into a contemporary context, where there is an increasing emphasis on university-stakeholder partnerships.

Dr Ivan Svetlik
Dr Ivanka Popović
Dr Enita Nakas
Dr Thomas Estermann
Dr Josep Ibáñez
Dr Janez Kranjc
Dr Leka Dukagjin
Dr Andi Hoxhaj
Dr Magali Jaouen
Dr Tomas Grysell
Dr Linda Bradley

A report on the event's organization is publicly available on the "Documents" webpage, under the "Inclusion" work package.

Fourth Western Balkans Workshop: Strategies of University Internationalization, October 2021

The fourth in the series of Western Balkans workshops happened on 11-12 October , 2021. The theme of the event was Strategies of University Internationalization, with specific reference to student mobility. The workshop hosted representatives from EUTOPIA partner universities, Western Balkans universities and their students, as well as representatives from other international organizations such as The Guild. The importance of such discussion was underlined with experiences of mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic and what does those mean for the future of mobility.

See below the programme:


Fifth Western Balkans Workshop: Towards Inclusive Universities,  11-12 April 2022

The University of Ljubljana, together with other EUTOPIA partners, organised its 5th Western Balkans Workshop on the topic Towards Inclusive Universities. The two-day online workshop took place on 11-12 April 2022 and hosted a number of experts from EUTOPIA and Western Balkans universities, as well as speakers from national agencies, such as the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of Slovenia. Student speakers shared their experiences in navigating issues of social inclusion and diversity at their home institutions. Social inclusion and diversity, the focal points of the workshop, were discussed from different points of view, experiences and positions, which greatly contributed to the current discourse on social inclusion and how to promote it at universities among students, staff and departments.  

See the programme below:


Western Balkans Student Workshops, 2022

The University of Ljubljana organised two student workshops, where the students from the Western Balkans universities were able to learn about crucial aspects of project writing and preparation and entering academic research, as well as gain practical knowledge, which are applicable to almost any area of interest the students might pursue.

Workshop 1: Academic research with Assist. Prof. Anna Dragoš

Date: 9 May 2022

Assist. Prof. Anna Dragoš is an ERC and EUTOPIA YLA researcher in the field of Microbiology with extensive experience in academic research. Her workshop focused n the on key factors regarding academic research, including the process of academic recruitment, creating an academic CV, as well as learning practical skills during a job/academic interview. 

Workshop 2: How to tackle a project? Thinking, Planning, Writing with Assist. Prof. Natalija Majsova

Date: 11 May 2022

Assist. Prof. Natalija Majsova is a EUTOPIA YLA researcher employed at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana in the field of Cultural Studies. Her workshop was titled 'Project Thinking', which focused on helping students learn about the rationale behind different calls for projects and project ideas.