Panel discussion at IUS "Development potential of B&H Diaspora"

On Thursday, January 17, 2013, at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS), the Association of young experts in B&H "Academia" in cooperation with IUS, organized a panel discussion entitled "Development potential of B&H Diaspora: Framework for Integration and Utilization of Highly Qualified Returnees Within 'Brain Gain' Policies." Panel discussion was conducted as a part of a regional research project in cooperation with the International University of Sarajevo entitled "From Brain Gain Policies to Practice – Dissemination of Best Institutional Practices in the Western Balkans Region".

At the meeting representatives of the following institutions were present: the Ministry of Civil Affairs of B&H, the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees in B&H, the Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education, the Civil Society KULT– Youth Institute and IUS academic staff.

Discussion was divided into two panels, with the introductory words from Assist. Prof. Dr. Nermin Oruč, from the International University of Sarajevo, and Mr. Almir Mukača, the Vice-President of ''Academia.'' Each panel had three presentations, and was followed by a 45 minutes discussion. All discussions were moderated by Mr. Sanel Huskić.

At the roundtable panel, academic staff of IUS actively participated in the discussion, especially when it came to the establishment of quality education, the introduction of simplified procedures for recognition of diplomas, and the ability to attract the youth of B&H to return from Diaspora.

Academic participants at the round table were also Mr. Haris Hojkurić and Mr. Benjamin Duraković. They returned to B&H, after years they spent in the United States of America, where they've been educated and have worked for the past few years.

Following very interactive and in-depth discussions on the topics presented, participants agreed on addressing the issues of engagement of highly skilled Diaspora in the development of B&H requiring wide involvement of all societal strata including governmental institutions, independent actors, research institutions and international organizations, and media. It is necessary that all institutions at all administrative levels understand, adopt and introduce measures within their legislation and policy to utilize the vast resources of the Diaspora.

Universities also, need to be more involved in research on Diaspora as well as public dissemination of information and knowledge. At the same time, they should have a greater role in promoting the new and creative measures and policies to manage the migration of highly skilled returnees.

It is important to point out that the International University of Sarajevo has more than 30 doctors and masters of science as returnees to B&H, which were given an opportunity to continue their academic careers in their own country.

Some of these professors have gone abroad during the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, while some have completed their undergraduate studies in Bosnia and continued graduate studies abroad.

The reasons for the return of the majority of academicians, is said to be better social life conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the fulfillment of the work they like to do, which directly contributes to the progress of society.