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Pannel discussion The role of social dialogue in the higher education and science

Round-table discussion The role of social dialogue in the higher education and science was held in the auditorium of University of Zagreb Rector’s office on Tuesday, March 1.

This was a first pannel discussion in the mutual organization of Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia and University of Zagreb within the Strengthening social dialogue in the sector of science and higher education project.
 
Besides Rector of University of Zagreb and Rector's Conference president Damir Boras and President of the Great Council of Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia Vilim Ribić, in the pannel discussion also participated Deputy Minister of Science, Education and Sports Krešo Zadro and journalist Jasmina Popović. This conference was moderated by Vice Rector for innovation, technology transfer and communications of Univertsity of Zagreb Miljenko Šimpraga and the introductory speech was given by President of Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia Igor Radeka.
 
Participants of the discussion pointed out that dialogue encouragment is neccessary for the development of the science and higher education. Without the exchange of different opinions and suggestions of all stakeholders it is not possible to address many problems of this sector. Joint action of Union, University and relevant ministry can affect on proposing specific measures that may contribute to the development of science and higher education, but also to society as a whole. 
 
For too long the investments in science and higher education were seen as an extra cost while it has a development potential that can help society in the recovery from the crisis. Enhancing of cooperation with the business sector which can be further stimulated by tax relief, the inclusion of the academic community in various strategic projects, strengthening of administrative capacities that are precondition for the withdrawal of European funds, increase investment in the system so that Croatia was not at the back of the European Union are just some of the proposals which participants pointed out during the debate. There are many open issues, but answers to them can not be found without improving the social dialogue,  strengthening mutual communication and further negotiations that will involve all stakeholders of the system. 
 
In the conclusion participants emphasized that funds for science and higher education are extremely modest and that it is very important to create a thought-out scientific and educational policy. It's in interest of all stakeholders in the system – universities, unions and the government, that such  policy establishes as soon as possible. Also, they agreed that it was precisely this pannel discussion is very good start in establishing a more active social dialogue, which will bring benefit to the development of science and higher education as a public good.
 
The project Strengthening social dialogue in the sector of science and higher education is financed with funds from the European Social Fund (ESF). Besides research on labor relations and the quality of work in the higher education and analysis in the field of social dialogue, as a part of the project there will be conducted series of activities aimed at strengthening the administrative and technical capacity of the Union with a goal to improve the quality of social dialogue in this sector.
 
The project started in September 2015 and it will last a year. The funds provided for its implementation amounts 792,994.49 kunas.
 
Recording of the round table The role of social dialogue in the higher education and science is available on the website of the University of Zagreb www.unizg.hr .