Investments in the knowledge-based economy and development of industry are the only way of overcoming the economic crisis in Serbia. Already in 2001 the Education Ministers of Europe set the objective of boosting enrolment in scientific and technical fields of study to contribute to the Lisbon process of fostering a dynamic and innovative knowledge-based economy. The Education Strategy in the Republic of Serbia until 2020 also envisaged the boosting number of students enrolled in these study programs.
Within the Report “Efforts to Increase Students’ Interest in Pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Studies and Careers” the relevant measures put in place to meet the challenges facing education systems are as follows: modernizing pedagogical methods; enhancing the professional profile of teachers; ensuring transitions from secondary to tertiary level; promoting partnerships between schools, universities and industry; and improving female participation in STEM studies and careers.
University networking in order to improve the teaching processes and rational utilization of resources anticipated by Strategy 2020. A cross-universities network of remote engineering laboratories, aimed for sharing and exchanging remote engineering experiments as open educational resources, exchanging knowledge, experience and innovative practices of engineering education, can significantly enhance engineering education at Serbian HE institutions.
Building enough engineers to meet future labor market demands must start as early, as in secondary school. According Strategy 2020 at least 40% of those completed the four-year vocational education that continue their education at the university level should be in 2020. Bringing remote experiments into school classrooms is one of efficient way to attract secondary school pupils to the engineer’s world of real work applications and influence them to think about the possibility of following a career in engineering and prepare themselves to succeed in engineering HE study programs. This novelty requires well-prepared technology teachers. One of the strategic goals of secondary vocational education in Serbia until 2020 is to improve the system of teacher training. Teachers should have access to high quality and real-life-based resources to build their skills and competences, to support improvement of their students, to familiarize with up-to-date research/development and industrial needs in engineering field.
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