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Project rationale

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RationaleThere are number of documents and analyses both at a national and international level that state the significance of the automotive industry for the economic development of the Republic of Serbia. An important issue in Governmental Employment Strategy, refers to the attraction of direct foreign investment aimed at increasing employment. The automobile industry is an industrial branch in which a substantial inflow of investments is expected in the following period. In order to achieve the anticipated growth rate of exports of goods and services, the Economic Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia stipulates the need for involvement of local companies in the production chains of multinational companies (encouraging vertical investments). The connection of local and foreign companies, where production and delivery of parts and components and subassemblies represents an important means of national integration into the global economy, is stimulated. In this process, an especially important role is played by the automotive industry, as an industry with strong export potential and which produces a large number of components and position in the final product. One of the measures provided by the Economic Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the improvement of the automobile industry in Serbia, is the cooperation with scientific and educational institutions and the harmonization of the education system with relevant EU examples.

The Economic Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia reveals that employers cannot get workers who have certain skills. In existing curricula a dichotomy between theory and practice exists which affects the training of students and therefor their ability to solve real-life problems in the economy. Therefore the project goal is to develop and upgrade study programs at bachelor and master levels in order to provide specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will educate students for the needs of the automotive industry.

There are indications that accession countries enjoy lower subjective well-being than it is predicted by objective indicators in comparison to EU member states (Quality of life in EU candidate countries and differences with Member States -Project EEA/RNC/03/0014). Important aspects for quality of life in cities are the quality of municipal infrastructure as well as quality of different public services in cities. Cities in Serbia as well as other urban areas in Serbia were imposed to low quality and occasionally even chaotic urban development in recent times. The lack of educated people in the field of urban / municipal engineering is also one very important reason.

The Declaration on Sustainable Development in Cities and Municipalities in Serbia (2005) defines the objectives of local authorities to continue their work on the implementation of local sustainable development to ensure the best quality of life in cities and municipalities in Serbia today and to provide an opportunity for further development for future generations, while keeping consumption of resources within reasonable limits and environmental pollution to a minimum.
The adopted Strategic visions for the development of numerous cities and municipalities in Serbia generally predict:
  • development of modern infrastructure that will provide uninterrupted Local Economic Development, providing quality of life of the population and environmental protection,
  • rational management of resources that ensures sustainable production and consumption,
  • creating favorable economic conditions and employment opportunities in accordance with requirements to preserve the environment,
  • urban planning that enables the provision of social, economic and environmental standards,
  • promotion of sustainable patterns of life, health and welfare of citizens, with their involvement in all processes in the community
  • well-organized and competent public administration, as a utility service to the economy and people, that is equally accessible to all, dynamic, modern and efficient.
In order to fulfil all these requirements it is important to educate students at bachelor and master levels to have knowledge and skills to deal with municipal infrastructure, including designing, constructing and maintaining a street network, water supply network, street lighting, municipal waste disposal and management, energy management, specific knowledge in the development of local electrical and telecommunication networks (in part of the infrastructure - civil portion), bus networks and other interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge needed for the profile of urban engineer. Urban engineers play a central role in fostering a productive, sustainable, and equitably built urban environment.