We live in a time of rapid and large changes that are leaving their mark on all humanity. The modern age brings us new opportunities for progress in cooperation with other countries. The path to the European Union is a great challenge for Serbia, but it also opens a large number of chances for progress. Although the report of the European Commission presented the progress of Serbia within the chapter "Education and Culture", it is still necessary to work on these topics. We see special concerns among young people who are quite worried about their future, especially when it comes to education.
When it comes to the youth category, one of the biggest concerns is access to quality education. In the Republic of Serbia, the situation in this field is not so good.
Studying abroad brings with it many impediments, from applying to a university abroad, which requires a large number of documents, to receiving state scholarships and loans. One of the most common ways to temporarily go to study in a foreign country is through programs like Erasmus. The Erasmus program opens the door to a large number of countries and provides students with a new experience of studying in one of these. On the one hand, we see that there is an opportunity to acquire quality education abroad, thanks to programs such as Erasmus but on the other hand we should not forget difficulties that occur during participation in the same. Programs of this type require the harmonization of obligations at the faculty in the home country with the obligations at the faculty abroad, but sometimes this is not possible so students lose a year at the home faculty due to going to study abroad. I have already mentioned the administrative problems that occur when applying, a large number of documents and the long period of collecting them. Also, the way of financing during life abroad and the possibility for the young person to be temporarily employed during the stay. Serbia's entry into the European Union would significantly facilitate the path of young people to study abroad. All the mentioned difficulties are related to the field of economy, politics, bureaucracy, and EU citizenship rights, and thus the whole process of applying for and going to study in another country becomes much simpler.
In addition to studying abroad, a quality educational program includes not only formal education but also non-formal education. Organizations dealing with youth education are becoming an increasingly common part of non-formal education precisely because of the projects that are being implemented thanks to the support of the European Union. One of such projects is "Politeia", which is a project implemented by the Center for Democracy Foundation. Politeia has a long tradition and has been held since 1997, but only last year the project was implemented at the international level precisely because of the support of the European Union. In that light, we see Serbia's progress in the field of education, which will certainly be even greater if Serbia joins the EU.
Author: Jelena Tomic, Center for Democracy Foundation