General information

Project Name: HERIC

Higher Education and Research for Innovation and Competitiveness            

Implementing bodies: Ministry of Science and Ministry of Education  

Project value: 12.000.000,00 €

Financed by: World Bank Loan

Project duration: April 20, 2012 – March 30, 2017

HERIC Project is placed within the overarching framework of the Government of Montenegro’s   strategies for European integration in the areas of science and research and its Strategy for Higher Education. It will support to Government of Montenegro’s initiatives to ensure that:

  • graduates are able to compete successfully on a regional and international level;
  • professors at domestic universities are connected to domestic and international research efforts; 
  • innovation is central to developing a dynamic and relevant higher education environment; and
  • universities and private enterprises engage in and benefit from R&D efforts and technology transfer opportunities.

To achieve this, reforms need to be implemented and investments made in the areas of quality and financing of higher education and research. Legislation and regulations have been recently developed and adopted in these areas, and the Project will aim to make some identified reforms a reality. In addition, the Montenegro HERIC Project will help the Montenegrin authorities to deepen ongoing reforms and align them with the broader EU integration agenda.

The HERIC Project development objective is to strengthen the quality and relevance of higher education and research in Montenegro through reforming the higher education finance and quality assurance systems and by strengthening research and development capabilities.

The HERIC Project’s main beneficiaries will be students, graduates and academic staff, who will benefit from implementing supports for quality assurance and finance reform in higher education, as well as internationalization efforts for human capital capacity building. Universities and research institutions will also benefit from financing higher education reforms and establishing a competitive research environment. Faculties, scientific research institutions, and non-university research institutions will benefit from grants financed by the Project to incentivize participation in higher education reforms and to support larger, more impactful R&D subprojects as well. Enterprises would be indirect beneficiaries of project activities implementation, as well as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science as a result of capacity building activities financed by the Project.

The HERIC Project is comprised of four components:

  • Higher Education Finance Reforms and Implementation of Quality Assurance Norms;
  • Human Capital Development through Internationalization Initiatives;
  • Establishing a Competitive Research Environment;
  • Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation.

These components are in consonance with two Government of Montenegro’s initiatives: the  Strategy for the Development and Financing of Higher Education and the Law on Scientific Research Activity.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science are the main HERIC Project implementing bodies. 

The Project activities are planned to be carried out over a period of five years, from 2012 to 2017, and are financed by a World Bank loan in an amount of €12 millions.

Sustainability of the HERIC Project activities beyond its implementation period is expected to be high, as the Project is embedded in the broader framework of Montenegro’s pre-accession agenda with the EU. As Montenegro moves closer to EU accession, the Project can help the Government of Montenegro meet the EU’s Acquis standards in the area of science and research, as well as to align its economic directions with the priorities expressed in the Europe 2020 Strategy. The higher education finance reforms supported under the proposed Project can increase the probability that the mechanisms for higher education financing follow international good practices, and that resources are used toward results and outputs. The adopted Strategy on the Development and Financing of Higher Education  proposes different approaches to funding and quality assurance and ensures a level playing field for public and private providers. Moreover, the internationalization initiatives for human capital development financed by the proposed Project would contribute to bringing knowledge and global best practices in research back to Montenegro. Lastly, the establishment of a competitive research environment supported by the Project would provide funds for setting up a pilot Center of Excellence with focus on national priorities identified in government strategies, under a financing model that would gradually shift from institutional to matching funds through commercialization of intellectual property and provision of technical services.