The University of Belgrade and its engagement in Circle U.

Circle U.: HU interviewed Ms. Branka Janda-Markovic, Head of the International Relations Office of the University of Belgrade

During a visit to Belgrade, Laila Shoma, team member of Humboldt Universität’s International Department, interviewed Ms. Branka Janda-Markovic, Head of the International Relations Office of the University of Belgrade.

Laila Shoma: Would you give us an overview about the University of Belgrade?

Branka Janda-Markovic: The University of Belgrade is over 200 years old; it was founded in 1808. It has four main disciplines: mathematics and natural sciences, medical sciences, social science and humanities, and technical sciences. Other than the courses offered in Serbian, the University offers more than 60 courses in English and one course in French. Between 97,000 and 100,000 students are enrolled at the university per year and the University cooperates with a number of prominent partners across the globe and in Europe, especially within the framework of the Erasmus+ program.

Laila Shoma: Why is Circle U. important for the University of Belgrade?

Branka Janda-Markovic: As emphasized by France’s President Macron a few years ago, the future of cooperation in Europe will be university alliances and Circle U. is a great example of this model. Circle U. brings together universities with similar ideas, objectives and missions. All of the universities in Circle U. are comprehensive universities like the University of Belgrade. We believe that what we are doing now and will do in the future will enhance our respective educational systems, as well as our research potential. Circle U. also facilitates a lot of our objectives, such as student exchange, joint projects, joint conferences, and cross-cultural cooperation. Furthermore, Circle U. helps partner universities to get closer to and understand each other better. Our mission within Circle U. is to build a multi-cultural European university together.

Laila Shoma: What is special about the University of Belgrade? What makes your university interesting for HU students and researchers?

Branka Janda-Markovic: Belgrade is highly ranked in the region. We offer a high range of study programs, since we are a comprehensive university. More than 65% of the research output in Serbia comes from the University of Belgrade. In addition, we have a great cooperation with the Erasmus Student Network. We offer a buddy system, in which Erasmus students studying at University of Belgrade get coupled with their colleagues from Belgrade who will support them from day one in the city. Buddies help with bureaucratic hurdles, navigation through the different culture and finding interesting places for the weekends. The University of Belgrade is an excellent spot for young people to gain high-quality university education while living in a modern and dynamic European metropolis.

Laila Shoma: What are your future plans with Humboldt-Universität?

Branka Janda-Markovic: I believe we have a bright future. We plan to expand the cooperation with the HU within Circle U. We are also planning to enhance the mobility between our universities. Our objective is to expand the agreements to develop the mobility and exchange of students, teaching staff and administrative staff.

Please let me add here, but with reference to your previous question as well, that Belgrade is a vibrant, exceptional city and it might be an interesting destination for mobility, including HU students and staff.

Laila Shoma: Thank you very much for your time.

Ms. Janda-Markovic has been working for the University of Belgrade for the past 22 years and has been the head of the department for almost 15 years now. She has a BA and MA in Italian studies.