First lesson ceremony of the joint regional doctoral study programme in Entrepreneurship and SME management at the Faculty of Economics - Prilep, UKLO

The first lesson ceremony of the doctoral programme in Entrepreneurship and SME management was held on March 09, 2012 at the Faculty of Economics in Prilep, which officially marked the beginning of the study programme. This is a joint study programme of the Western Balkan countries and will be realised with the support of three universities from the EU countries.
As a first joint regional study programme in entrepreneurship and SME management, this doctoral programme is organised as a third cycle study programme in the Western Balkan Universities in accordance with the Bologna process. The following universities are also included:

  • Three universities from the EU countries (University of Bologna – Alma Mater Studiorum, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis)
  • Two universities from the Republic of Macedonia (St. Kliment Ohridski University - Bitola and South East European University - Tetovo)
  • Two universities from the Republic of Albania (University of Tirana and Agricultural University of Tirana) and
  • One university from Kosovo (Dardania University - Prishtina)

Prof. Dr Marika Basheska- Gjorgjieska, professor at the Faculty of Economics – Prilep and at the same time regional coordinator of the project, is appointed head of the doctoral programme. The doctoral programme is realised within the Tempus project and it is mostly financed by the European Commission, that is the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Following the accreditation in the Republic of Macedonia, a regional accreditation is expected, after which the students will acquire joint diploma with the EU universities participants which are directly involved in its realisation.
The beginning and the development of this joint study programme in the third cycle studies at the international level is particularly significant for the strategic goals of the University St. Kliment Ohridski - Bitola, such as increasing the mobility of the teaching staff and the students in the region. By promoting the studies and the first generation doctoral students, the projected benefits of the programme are affirmed and will be of use not only for the University St. Kliment Ohridski - Bitola but also for strengthening the regional development.
Prof. Dr Zlatko Zhoglev, Rector of the University St. Kliment Ohridski attended the first lesson ceremony of the joint study programme, accompanied by the Vice-Rectors, prof. Dr Sasho Atanasoski and prof. Dr Jovanka Tuteska, representatives from the universities participating in this study programme, professors from the EU universities - project partners. Other officials also attended the event, among which the Dean of the Faculty of Economics in Tirana, Vice-Deans from the Faculty of Economics - Prilep, Vice-Deans from the project - partners universities, professors, the Mayor of the municipality Prilep, Marjan Risteski, and of course, the students of this programme.
Professor Marika Basheska- Gjorgjieska emphasized that finally, after the many preparations, designing and structuring by the twelve partners in the project, the regional doctoral studies are now reality. Moreover, she pointed out that the success of the programme is due to the dedicated work and support of the Rector of the University St. Kliment Ohridski - Bitola, Dr Zlatko Zhoglev, and the Vice-Rector for Education, Dr Sasho Atanasoski and particularly indicating the arduous path that needed to be walked and appropriately managed in terms of overcoming the numerous issues connected with the different legislations, mentorship and the structure of the study programme in order to achieve this final stage. In that regard, the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Economics - Prilep, prof. Dr Gjorgji Mancheski, was also emphasized.
Considering the fact that the development of the higher education, at the level of doctoral degree in which the entrepreneurship is the main focus of research, is still a challenge for the countries in this region, the current gap is filled through establishing a doctoral programme for creating and promoting the entrepreneurial mind and preparing the entrepreneurs for growth and competitiveness according to the principles of the European Council for Small businesses and Entrepreneurship(ECSB). Also, a process for creating managers with highest academic knowledge starts in order to improve the performance in business.
The duration of the study programme is six semesters and is realised through two phases: the first phase consists of preparing for research through lectures, primarily in the areas of entrepreneurship and SME management, as well as courses with an accent to the methodology and the methods of scientific and research work. The next phase is preparing doctoral dissertation, which should represent original research of the doctoral candidates.
The programme will be realised by professors from all universities involved in the project: four professors from the University of Bologna - Alma Mater Studiorum, five professors from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, three professors from the University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis, as well as twelve professors from: the University St. Kliment Ohridski - Bitola, South East European University - Tetovo, University of Tirana, the Agricultural University of Tirana and Dardania University - Prishtina.
The following are the unique characteristics of the programme:

  • The programme offers European style of education of third cycle studies
  • The programme shall be entirely conducted in English
  • Professors from EU Universities are included in the teaching and mentoring
  • The programme provides scholarships for all students and one week mobility in the EU Universities
  • Extensive network of companies is provided in which students will implement their research.

The above qualifications, understandably and predictively, have stimulated great interest for enrollment. That is, 39 students from four countries from the Western Balkan region have applied, 21 of which were selected according to the enrollment terms and conditions. The selected students had the opportunity to attend the introductory lecture delivered by prof. Massimo Bianchi from the University of Bologna.