From virtual library over dictum and intel until refine: a story about ten-years of reform of medical education in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Vladimir J. Šimunović, Hans Günter Sonntag, Mirko Petrović, Richard Marz, Axel Horsch, Maja Ostojić, Bojana Filej, Danica Železnik, Ana Marušić

Abstract


The purpose of this paper is to recall how we, medical teachersin Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH), coped with the challenge ofreform in higher education and to analyze what in our doingwas fashion, which trends we have chosen to follow, and whatwere the real, substantial and tangible results of our work. Financialsupport for reform across the board came through theTrans-European Program for Co-operation in Higher Educationin Central and Eastern Europe (Tempus), and, since1997, the five schools of medicine in Bosnia and Herzegovinapartnered with academic institutions from nine EU countriesin seven granted Tempus projects. The results were tangible: anetwork of medical libraries was established; medical schoolswere assessed internally and externally; several importantdocuments were drafted and agreed on; a core group of facultyfrom Bosnia and Herzegovina was trained in new teachingmethods; and research was done and published. Not less important,there were also some less tangible, but perhaps evenmore important fruits of this cooperation. A sense of trustwas established, which is essential for any future collaborativeaction. Representatives from all sides, previously divided bythe war, had a chance to communicate with each other, dispellingsome prejudices and regaining belief that it is possibleto work together. This example of the schools of medicine ofBosnia and Herzegovina shows that higher education can bea favorable arena for reconciliation. Financial incentive canserve as a catalyst in the process and the presence of impartialpartners (in our case, schools of medicine from the EU) provedbeneficial for establishing and maintaining trust and good-will.The conclusion is that society rebuilding can be promoted indirectly,through formal education and professional engagement,not necessarily by pressing the “opposing” sides to talk aboutreconciliation and sign peace declarations.

Keywords


Medical education, Tempus, ECTS, Quality assurance, Curriculum reform, Catalogue, Knowledge and skills

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References


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