Publish Date: 07.09.2023

Category: News from the University


From the 4th to the 5th of September 2023, the University of Rijeka hosted the 7th meeting of the Rectors Forum of Southeast Europe and Western Balkans.

This regional cooperation was initiated a few years ago, and over the last two years the universities of Rijeka, Belgrade and Ljubljana have been working together to ensure the successful operation of the Rectors’ Forum of Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans as a key regional university network.

The aim of the Rectors’ Forum of Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans is to strengthen education, research and innovation cooperation between universities in Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans. So far, 30 universities have shown interest in participating in the Rectors’ Forum. In the next few weeks, the member universities will decide whether to become full or associate members. 

The meeting of the Rectors’ Forum of Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans, attended by 70 university representatives, including 17 rectors and more than 20 vice-rectors, led to the adoption of rules of organization and the appointment of three working groups – for education, higher education policy, and research and innovation. The working groups have already drawn up two-year work plans, focusing on areas such as improving regional cooperation, supporting member universities in winning EU projects, promoting brain circulation, and boosting innovation in the member countries. The delegates also elected the new President of the Rectors’ Forum of Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Rector of the University of Rijeka. She was elected for a period from 1st October 2023 to 30th September 2025.

As the Rectors’ Forum expands its activities, the Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Prof. Gregor Majdič, highlighted the importance of regional integration in these uncertain times. “By working together in higher education and research, we can contribute to the development of the region, while strengthening our capacity to address global challenges such as migration, increasing economic inequality, and the pressing challenge of climate change, as well as the ongoing problem of talent being drained from Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans. In its role as the Secretariat, the University of Ljubljana will ensure that the Rectors’ Forum of Southeast Europe and the Western Balkans is more than a platform for debate – we will guide its efforts towards concrete actions for further development of the participating universities and countries.”

Photo: University of Rijeka