Serbian Professors Profit From Loopholes to Work in Bosnia

Although he lectures students in Foca, in Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity, he was not able to present a valid approval by the academic council of the High Medical School in Cuprija for this engagement, despite being obliged to have this under the Law on Higher Education in Serbia.

Following additional queries after the interview, he confirmed he did not have this required approval. "I have the consent of my department. I don't know what they have done in the meantime," he said.

To prevent conflicts of interest and maintain the quality of teaching, a teacher in a higher educational institution in Serbia may only take up work at another higher education institution, or abroad, with the approval of the institution in which he is primarily employed, the law says.

The academic council of the higher educational institution must represent the said professional body in this matter.

However, neither Despotovic nor the Academy in Cuprija could confirm to BIRN that he had the approval of the latter's academic council.

In Foca, where Despotovic teaches three courses, it seems that they are not that concerned about the lack of approval, nor have they specifically insisted on him obtaining it. The Republika Srpska Education Inspectorate told BIRN that they had no competence to monitor compliance with Serbian laws in the entity.

Despotovic graduated from the Higher Medical School in Cuprija in 2001 and enrolled in the Management Faculty in Zajecar in 2003.

In 2014, he obtained a degree from the Higher Medical School in Cuprija, getting the title of a vocational medical nurse [technician]. In the same year, he obtained a doctor's degree from the Medical Faculty of Kragujevac University.

BIRN's investigation shows that...

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