Technical College of Applied Studies in Kragujevac (VTŠKG) was founded in 1959 and today it is one of the leading higher education institutions of vocational studies in the Republic of Serbia. VTŠKG offers professional knowledge and training in the fields of applied informatics, mechanical and industrial engineering and road traffic engineering, on study programs of first and second level of studies in higher education. Since 2007, our study programs are in line with the European educational standards stated in the Bologna Declaration.
To nourish and promote good relations with higher education and partner institutions worldwide, and to encourage international exchange of students, teaching and non-teaching staff, VTŠKG has begun harmonization process with European higher education institutions, started issuing diplomas stating the level of qualification and diploma supplements with listed professional competence, established the bachelor and master degrees and carried out the system of continuous self-evaluation. All study programs of VTŠKG are accredited by the national Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance etc.
The choice of partners depends on the objective of the project, thus VTŠKG looks for higher education institutions from a particular field of expertise, with experience and skills essential for meeting required standards. On the other hand, VTŠKG will contribute by its vast experience and knowledge gained through cooperation with enterprises in industrial city as Kragujevac is. The strategic goal of VTŠKG is to fortify cooperation with institutions in the Balkans (especially Western Balkans), Europe and beyond. VTŠKG intends to cooperate with higher education institutions from the region, since the area is characterized by similar economic and technological development, educational systems, culture and minimal language barriers. European higher education institutions are seen as potential partners as well, since these institutions operate in well-developed systems, have excellent results in transfer of knowledge, technologies towards the labor market, high degree of employability, innovative approaches and permanent improvement of the quality policy, all of which would be beneficial to VTŠKG. In selection of its partners, VTŠKG first of all focuses on mutual cooperation, achieving goals and good results, not on geographical position, which is seen as an advantage, not limitation.
In the context of mobility activities, most important objectives are to train students to operate equally well in other environment and cultures, by providing adequate study programs, exchange programs for students who wish to complete part of their studies abroad, joint study programs (undergraduate and master) with higher education institutions abroad, greater engagement of distinguished foreign professors and researchers, and increasing the number of foreign students at VTŠKG. In the further period, VTŠKG will investigate possibilities for developing programs that will lead to the realization of joint/double diplomas.
The Strategy for the internationalization of VTŠKG incorporates all these elements with the aim to determine the main guidelines for internationalization in the light of global trends, international affirmation, competition of institutions of higher education, and above all the need to pursue quality.
VTŠKG is committed to strengthen its modernization and internationalization by:
VTŠKG accepts all objectives of the EU Agenda and through international cooperation projects will strive to improve governance and funding, the quality and relevance of HE, the attainment levels of its graduates, the knowledge triangle, and the overall quality through student and staff mobility and international cooperation. VTŠKG is determined to participate in all the three Key Actions and Jean Monnet programs.
To support mobility, VTŠKG formed International Relations Team comprised of its teaching and non-teaching staff and authorized it to perform tasks to assist and support its students and staff regarding mobility programs and project applications. To facilitate mobility, rulebooks on staff and student mobility, and recognition of ECTS credits were adopted to regulate, guide and ensure international exchange.
Participation in Erasmus+ Program is a part of VTŠKG strategy of internationalization which will encourages student and staff mobility, promote transnational teaching activities, recognize the significance of visibility of the results of these activities, and above all provide for non-discrimination practice by ensuring that all participants be treated equally in a fair, transparent, coherent and documented way. Non-discrimination policies will be further developed through different kinds of additional support to both incoming and outgoing students and staff afflicted by disabilities or lower socio-economic status.
Bearing in mind that VTŠKG is located in the region that started the process of joining the European Union, all the activities of the renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education represent its priorities.
VTŠKG aims at strengthening international cooperation and consequent integration into the common European higher education area. It harmonized its study programs with the programs of universities in the EU, adopted credit system (ECTS), promotes student and staff mobility, European cooperation in quality assurance, lifelong learning, student participation in education, and promotion of European higher education area, which should lead to internationally valid diplomas. As a member of CASSS (Conference of Academies and Colleges of Applied Studies) and European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), VTŠKG accepts the priorities set by the European Union, such as efforts to build a European educational area based on trust, mutual recognition, cooperation and exchange of best practices, mobility and growth.
Since the Erasmus + program is seen as a key instrument for accomplishing the above objectives, we believe that our participation in it will have a positive impact on the institution. The expected impact on further modernization and harmonization of the institution is: modernized curricula and study programs based on experience, research and analysis from projects from the EU, adapted to the needs of the economy and the labor market; higher quality of skills and competence acquired by our students, both professional and fundamental (e.g. digital, social, ecological) and transversal, such as solving specific problems in team work; strengthening the overall capacity of the institution by investing in its equipment and facilities (especially laboratories); development of international mobility of students, staff and researchers in the region and beyond, as well as strengthening the human resources of VTŠKG; establishing cooperation with relevant domestic and foreign professional-research institutions and enterprises primarily through consortia with other higher education institutions, and independently as well; creating a culture of innovation and improving the process of innovation in cooperation with the economy, and other higher education institutions in the region. The main goal of our policy is to raise quality in all performance segments at the institutional and individual levels (and in line with EU standards).
VTŠKG is dedicated to promoting goals currently encouraged by the renewed EU Agenda for higher education: tackling future skills mismatches and promoting excellence in skills development to the benefit of society; building inclusive and connected higher education systems within EHEA; ensuring higher education institutions contribute to innovation; supporting effective and efficient higher education systems; addressing inequality in education systems; enhancing internationalization in higher education; developing competence which will be needed for the decades to come.
It is worth mentioning that VTŠKG is located in Kragujevac, the historical and current industrial capital of Serbia, and economic and political center of the Šumadija-Pomoravlje region, which development is primarily based on highly educated and sophisticated citizens. This attitude reflects the policy of VTŠKG which is the oldest higher education institution in Kragujevac.