The role of higher education in the era of knowledge is inviolable in the area of scientific, professional and technological advancement, development of human capital and the growth of society as a whole. In times of globalization of higher education, mobility of both teaching and non-teaching staff and endorsement of research activities on an international level, modern higher education institutions must work even harder in the field of internationalization and international competitiveness.
The internationalization of higher education institutions plays an important role in the development of not only higher education system, but of society in general. Moreover, the intensive development of globalization strengthens the need for education of individuals which must be successful on an international level; therefore, the efforts of Higher Business School of Professional Studies in the field of internationalization are rather important. The beginning of implementation of Bologna declaration in the Republic of Serbia had higher education institutions make internationalization one of their most important strategic goals.
The concept of internationalization of the School is based on the following principles:
- Larger network of partners in the field of higher education, public sector and economy around the world which creates a basis for internationally oriented teaching and learning as well as for coordinated research and transfer of knowledge;
- Recognized value of skills and students’ knowledge as well as that of both teaching and non-teaching staff not only on a national, but in the international field of higher education.
Internationalization represents not only a goal in itself but it is more of a means for achieving the desired aims; it is a work approach that we believe will enable us to achieve even greater efficiency in the realization of School’s mission as well as to raise the level of quality in all segments of education and cooperation with economy and society in general. The realization of cooperation with teachers, teaching assistants and students around the world creates an opportunity to significantly improve the quality of both teaching and learning process together with the quality of research and transfer of knowledge.
School’s history and activity
Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac exists as an independent institution from 1976. Higher Business Schools of Professional Studies in Leskovac organizes first and second level studies. All study programs have clearly defined aims, structure, contents, purpose, outcomes as well competencies of graduated students. The structure of study programs is harmonized with the existing standards. The contents of study programs (all levels of study) enable students to acquire theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills. After completing their studies, the students are able to quickly integrate in the work process of different enterprises and public institutions.
Study programs of professional studies (first level) in the duration of 3 (three) school years – 6 (six) semesters with a scope of 180 ECTS in the field of social sciences and humanities are:
- Finance, accounting and banking (modules Finance and accounting and Finance, banking and insurance)
- Management of business and logistics
- Tourism and hospitality
- Business informatics and e-business
Study programs of professional studies (first level) in the duration of 3 (three) school years – 6 (six) semesters with a scope of 180 ECTS in the field of technical-technological sciences are:
- Management of food technology and gastronomy.
Study program of professional studies (second level) in the duration of 1 (one) school year – 2 (two) semesters with a scope of 60 ECTS in the field of social sciences and humanities is Business economics and management. This study program has the following modules:
- Management in business
- Finance and risk management
- Culture and media management
- Management of tourism and hospitality with submodules: Management of tourism and hotel operations and Management of hospitality and gastronomy.
Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac has a successful long-term cooperation with foreign education institutions. This cooperation aims at modernizing the teaching process and study programs, organizing professional practice and monitoring modern tendencies in the European system of education. Through the realization of several important international projects, Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac has harmonized and modernized study programs of first and second level of studies, enabled the construction of new School object and created modern, spacial-technical study conditions. The School has an all-in international strategy which defines the activities whose implementation enables the School to strengthen and expand the international cooperation which is linked to a high level of quality of learning and teaching process.
Besides organizing the teaching process, Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac develops international cooperation with the aim of enabling the schooling of a greater number of students, attracting greater number of international students (from neighboring countries), educating students on modern study programs, including ethnical groups in higher education process, creating and capacitating young experts which will be able to take active participation in the work of local and European institutions and play an important role in the processes of regional and European integration as well as taking on an active role in the programs of regional and socio-economic development.
Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac strives to eliminate all types of discrimination (race, gender, religion, national and ethnic identity). Technical conditions that the School offers (access to School object, ramps, toilets, elevator and similar) enable students with some form of disability to attend teaching without any hindrances.
School’s mission and vision
The basic mission of Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac is to provide quality education based on modern study programs, in line with tendencies in the European education, as well as to take active participation in regional and republic economic and social development. The mission can be presented through the following key segments: teaching-educational work, research work, international cooperation and publishing activity. With permanent innovation of curricula and study programs, application of modern methods of education, technical-technological, scientific and information knowledge, Higher Business School educates quality experts in the field of finance and accounting, management, tourism and hospitality, management of food technology and gastronomy and business informatics. By integrating the knowledge acquired through study and practical training in a particular work environment, the role of Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac is to capacitate its students so that, after they graduate, they are capable to quickly and easily respond to dynamic changes in the environment by solving concrete problems.
The vision of Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac is to continuously realize its own development as a modern education institution, known for its quality schooling of experts who possess practical skills and knowledge and are able to apply it, experts who will be able to solve particular problems and thus contribute to the development of their city, region and broader community which in turn contributes to a faster development of Serbia.
After completing their studies at Higher Business of Professional Studies in Leskovac, where they obtained high-level, practical knowledge, skills and competencies in a particular field depending on the chosen study program – students will be ready for labor market both in Serbia and abroad. Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac, through regular contacts with representatives of local self-government, regional, public and private sector, obtains a feedback on the need of realizing particular study programs, need on educating particular staff, possibilities of employment of graduates of certain expertise and quality of experts which HBSL educates. Regular provision of feedback has become a basis on which HBSL performs corrections related to its enrolment policy and organization of new study programs.
School’s aims and tasks
Basic tasks secure the realization of HBSL’s mission and vision. Well set aims help the School’s management in the process of decision-making and serve as a type of guide in increasing the overall effectiveness of work process and as a basis for assessment of quality of work process.
The realization of aims is directed towards formation of young experts with applicative knowledge which are ready to, immediately after graduation and without the need for additional training, actively participate in the realization of tasks and assignments for which they have been trained. This leads to a formation of staff basis for socio-economic development of the entire region as well as to meeting the educational needs of an ever dynamic regional economy. This is further achieved through provision of life-long education and professional development opportunities.
School’s basic aims are:
- Education and training of staff with high level of knowledge and skills, able to take active participation in modern business operations, to perform independent work, to be competitive on the labor market and ready to learn throughout their entire life;
- Continuous enhancement of the quality system of teaching and overall educational process;
- Provision of necessary resources needed for the realization of educational and research activity in the field of economy, management, finance, tourism and hospitality, gastronomy, food technology and informatics;
- Providing students with opportunities to acquire practical knowledge through continuous cooperation with the public sector and economic entities (practical training of students);
- Enabling student mobility in line with Bologna declaration;
- Mobility of teaching and non-teaching staff;
- Permanent professional development of teaching staff through training, professional and scientific development;
- Participation in projects for the sake of introducing modern and generally accepted standards in higher education as well as introduction of modern study programs in cooperation with foreign higher education institutions;
School’s task is to, through organization and execution of modern professional study programs and teaching process, provide quality education which will generate experts competent to successfully perform in international relations which is in the interest of individuals, economy and society.
School’s basic tasks are:
- Organization of studies – undergraduate and graduate professional studies;
- Continuous work on improving the quality of study programs and teaching process, assessment of students’ work, textbooks and literature in line with Bologna process;
- Harmonization of study programs, research and professional work with programs of higher education institutions in Serbia and abroad, public and private sector;
- Publication and presentation of scientific, research and professional papers through organization of modern publishing activity of printed and electronic publications;
- Realization of domestic and international innovative projects, development projects and strategic projects through cooperation with higher education institutions, scientific, research and other institutions (business and technological sector) thus providing active support to regional socio-economic development;
The process of globalization, rapid development of new knowledge and technology, frequent changes on the labor market and an increasing demand for highly trained and qualified work force, as a basis for future economic and social development, impose the development of knowledge-based society and life-long learning. The need for maintaining a high level of education of general population justifies the existence of HBSL. The School constantly monitors the execution of set tasks and aims and analyses reports on achieved results. Based on that, it examines its basic tasks and aims and evaluates its usefulness in the planning process.
The implementation of internationalization strategy secures the realization of previously defined key aims which refer to enhancement of international cooperation through internationalization and exchange of staff and students, internationalization of study process and teaching.
Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac has a very successful and fruitful, long-term cooperation with foreign higher education institutions from Greece, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Norway, Great Britain. One of the aims of HBSL is to further expand and improve international cooperation. This strategy is based on selection of key partners both from EU and non-EU countries. Particularly important is cooperation with partners from the Balkans as well as with partners coming from Slavic-speaking areas i.e. higher education institutions with study programs from fields of study similar to those realized at our higher education institution.
Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac will continue to practice the already established cooperation with higher education institutions from abroad with simultaneous work on establishing new partnerships. It wishes to, through active participation in international cooperation, enable enhancement of teaching and learning process in line with best existing practice developed by higher education institutions from Europe. It is expected that cooperation programs will enhance the teaching process and enable adoption and use of new teaching methods.
Cooperation programs will enable enhancement of student culture and multiculturalism, through students’ participation in mobility programs. This is turn leads to presentation of one’s own and acceptance of other value systems and achievements. All this should result in an increase in the quality of higher education. International cooperation and realization of projects is expected to lead to creation of financing possibilities for exchange and cooperation programs as well as for realization of EPS.
Mobility of teaching and non-teaching staff
In the first 2 (two) years of strategy realization, the stress will be placed on mobility of teaching and non-teaching staff in order to achieve Erasmus capacity of Higher Business School of Professional Studies in Leskovac. Besides this, the realization of this mobility will increase the capacity of the teaching staff through exchange of experience and knowledge related to mobility programs as well through exchange of knowledge from relevant areas of interest (academic aspects).
Professional development of non-teaching staff through mobility programs will contribute to adequate realization of incoming mobility by providing administrative support. One of the strategic goals of HBSL refers to expansion of international cooperation, establishment and enhancement of mobility of teaching and non-teaching staff with higher education institutions from EU and outside EU. To achieve this goal, HBSL will meet all necessary conditions for successful realization of staff mobility in order to enhance the teaching process and professional capacity/competencies.
In the next phase, the focus will be on establishing incoming mobility of students and staff from higher education institutions from the region, as well as on outgoing mobility of staff and students towards partner higher education institutions. The stress will be on incoming student mobility where there are no language barriers (or there exists a small language barrier) in relation to attending lecture and practice classes which are realized in Serbian language (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia). Higher Business School of Professional Studies will organize free Serbian language courses for all incoming mobility students. The realization of student mobility programs as well as the promotion of international experience on the basis of these exchange programs will significantly contribute to an increase in the institution’s competitiveness.
Office for international cooperation
In order to ensure the realization of its mission, vision and goals, HBSL will form an Office for projects and international cooperation (as an organizational unit without legal personality). The Office will be in charge of effective implementation of strategic decisions and operative tasks related to internationalization. The organizational structure of the Office will be made of a team of qualified professionals with previous experience in international cooperation, project preparation and realization and implementation of mobility programs.
Defining the Internationalization strategy with awareness that it will require constant work in the future (its future development), the School confirms its orientation towards internationalization of student, teaching and non-teaching exchange programs. The School will commit itself to developing creative suggestions on development of cooperation with current and future international partners in order harmonize the future activities with the School’s strategy and professional interests.
With all previously said, the School is obliged to: enhance cooperation with foreign education institutions, to initiate and prepare international projects, to organize international conferences and visits of foreign higher education and international institutions and to promote cooperation between higher education institutions and international cooperation in general.