On the 275th of October 2018, in the Celebration’s Hall of the University of Sarajevo’s Rectorate Building Graduation Ceremony of the 17th generation of the European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights (ERMA) was held. ERMA is a double degree program by the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna, co-financed by the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.
ERMA Alumni Network is now richer with the 20 new graduates from 6 countries. During the Ceremony the new class of 2018/19 has also been welcomed, thus opening the 18th Academic Year of the Master Program. Six students have been awarded 4 different awards for their academic performances. Šeila Muhić, Emina Bašić, and Amir Purić were selected for the Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe: Selected Master Theses 2017/18; Dragana Stefanovska’s thesis was selected for the Global Campus Human Rights Journal Repository award; Tiro Lamija was selected to give lecture to the upcoming generation of ERMA, and Emilija Davidović was selected for the Global Campus Internship award.
The new ERMA graduates came across a very intensive, dynamic and diversified 12 months-long master course. This international group of students attended a full-time interdisciplinary program structured in 3 terms. During the first part, the students followed courses in Sarajevo taught by 40 professors and guest lecturers coming from 14 countries and were assisted by a team of three Academic Tutors. In the second term, students participated in seven-week internships period at selected IGOs, NGOs, think-tanks and research institutes working in the field of human rights and democracy across South East Europe. Finally, during the third term, the master candidates reconvened to Italy to focus on the finalization of their theses accommodated at the CEUB University Residential Centre of Bertinoro, University of Bologna.
As a long-standing tradition, the Ceremony represented the occasion to gather students, professors, institutions and donors. The welcome addresses of the Ceremony were delivered by Prof. Rifat Škrijelj, Rector of the University of Sarajevo, followed by the speeches by the donors of the programme H.E. Nicola Minasi, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mr. Krassimir Nikolov, Head of Political and Economic Section, EU Delegation to B&H. The keynote speech on the topic of ” Democracy and Human Rights: The Challenge of Heroes,” was given by the Prof. Fernand De Varennes, United Nations Speical Rapporteur on Minority Issues. Co-Director, prof. Marco Borraccetti reported on the Programme activities and achievements for the Academic Year 2017/18, followed by the address of the representative of the ERMA partner Universities Prof. Anna Krasteva from the New Bulgarian University, Sofia. An alumna of the ERMA Programme Ms. Ena Bavčić addressed the public and welcomed new graduates into the ERMA Alumni Network of 500 alumni.
With the graduation ceremony held on the 27th October, the academic year 2017/18 is officially closed. Through ERMA, the long-standing cooperation between University of Bologna and University of Sarajevo shows that it is possible to invest positively into the future, by developing a high-level educational program, aimed at forging young generations into an educated citizens fighting for the improvement of the state of democracy, human rights, tolerance, respect of diversities and European integration in the region of South East Europe.
From 5th of November, the new ERMA Class of 2018/19 is starting with the new academic year, where they will stay for lectures till mid-June, before going to their internship destinations and finally to Italy for the finalization of their theses.
We wish best of luck to our alumni in their future career development, but also to our incoming students in their one year ERMA experience.
The 17th ERMA graduation ceremony was also covered by the Unibo Magazine.