Doctoral Schools were explicitly introduced, as a result of an initiative of RODOS, in the Action Plans for the Strategy of Education of the Republic of Serbia adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia on January 31st, 2015. Without going here into details, the Action Plans define a roadmap for introduction of Doctoral schools in Serbian HE, important for all activities within the Project .
Based on deliverables 3.1 and 3.2, new accreditation standards and bylaws for the establishment of Doctoral Schools were discussed on many occasions. Their aim was to increase international and social value of the doctorate, teaching and research quality culture and support to doctoral students in all respects (supervision, guidance, student rights, insurance). The main intention was to find the most efficient ways of introducing Doctoral Schools in Serbia, not requiring substantial changes of legal regulations, having in mind versatility of situations at different universities and momentum of the HE system resisting to changes. One of very important conclusions for implementability of Doctoral Schools has been that no explicit changes of the Law on HE is required. General legal aspects of the problem of founding Doctoral Schools in Serbia have been covered by the Chapter VIII in the book “From Doctoral Studies to Doctoral Schools“.
In this sense, the Regulations for doctoral studies at University of Belgrade, adopted May 24th, 2016, at the initiative of RODOS serves as a good example. The document allows different forms of founding Doctoral Schools in line with the main ideas of RODOS (page 3, Article 6 in the Regulation). It has been taken as an example at the majority of Serbian Universities.
RODOS initiated also changes in the LHE, which are not necessary, but can be helpful for founding Doctoral Schools. The amendment was adopted by MoESTD during a very long procedure lasting several years; however, until now the text of the new LHE has not been adopted yet. The last stage of the process of formulating the amendment took place on May 18th, 2017, when CONUS supported unanimously the amendment proposed by RODOS.
The Guidelines for establishing Doctoral Schools represent one of the important outcomes of the Project. They were proposed by a nominated Working Group at the round table discussion in Belgrade November 17th, 2016. Proposed by the CAQA, these Guidelines were discussed and adopted by the NCHE on May 22nd, 2017. The Guidelines represent an important document indicating possible ways of establishing Doctoral Schools at different levels and within different organizational structures. This is a comprehensive legal basis for all future actions in the direction of establishing Doctoral Schools.