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Dual higher education and the DUALMON project promoted within the framework Conference on the Economy of Montenegro 2022 – “Conversations about the Future”

The traditional Conference on the Economy of Montenegro 2022, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, was held in October 26th-28th, at the Splendid Hotel. The three-day conference, whose theme this year was “Conversations about the future”, included six panels: “Migration, (un)employment of youth and the Western Balkans: recommendations for decision-makers”, “The Western Balkans and Europe in 2023”, “The role of the diaspora in economic development”, “EU initiatives and synergies for a smart and green future”, “(In)compatibility of the education system and the labor market”, “Digital transformation of business models, and “How to survive on the market despite crises?”.

The conference brought together numerous representatives of the most successful companies operating in the region, decision makers, young entrepreneurs, professors and students. Professor Boban Melović took a part in the conference as one of the speakers of the panel “(In)compatibility of the educational system and the labor market”. On that occasion, professor Melović said that the mismatch between education and the labor market is a serious threat to the growth and development of any economy, especially small ones such as Montenegro. He pointed out that “this incompatibility also leads to the mismatch between the supply of work and the demand for work, which causes underutilization of human potential. This discrepancy is positively correlated with the long-term unemployment”. According to him, the causes of these circumstances can be found not only in the educational system, but also in the economy. He said that in Montenegro we currently have a predominantly service economy, which led to the need to develop new knowledge.

Better defined learning outcomes and their alignment with new challenges on the labor market, insufficiently developed concept of practical teaching and dual education, and continuous monitoring and evaluation of achieved results are areas that need to be significantly improved – professor Melović pointed out, adding that the aforementioned particularly emphasizes the role and the importance of the realization of projects, which refer to all the mentioned disputed areas.

Professor Melović also presented the DUALMON project, which relates to the strengthening of capacities in dual education, and is implemented in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro: “This project represents a model for development of teaching at higher education institutions, which, in addition to the theoretical knowledge, also provides students with the opportunity to learn while working, i.e. practice. In this way, students will strengthen their competences and will be better prepared for the future labor market,” professor Melović concluded. According to him, it is necessary to create adequate conditions for the development of dual education and the improvement of the competencies of graduate students in Montenegro in accordance with the needs of employers.

During the conference, professor Melović pointed out the results of the research on the needs of companies for dual higher education in Montenegro, which was carried out by the Chamber of Commerce, as one of the tasks within the aforementioned project. The conference was an excellent opportunity to disseminate the project and achieved results, both with other higher education institutions, and with companies that have the opportunity to potentially participate in the further implementation of the project, and whose representatives took part in the realization of the conference.