Address of the Rector of the University of Defence in Belgrade
29. 02. 2012
Mr. Minister of Defence, Mr. Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Chief of Staff, generals and officers, distinguished rectors, deans and professors, your Holiness, military attaches, distinguished directors, doctors, cadets, ladies and gentlemen, dear guests, welcome at the ceremony organized to honor the first anniversary of the University of Defence in Belgrade.
On anniversaries, we usually remember the past and our glorious ancestors.
However, we who have taken a responsible duty to recognize the inexhaustible energy and mental potential of young generations, to integrate available resources and harmonize our education process with the academic community of our country, decided to respect the history, tradition, the values created for centuries, but also to face the current time steadily and fight for a better tomorrow.
The University of Defence was established by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, on this day a year ago. This important state project functionally incorporated educational, scientific and research potential of the Military Academy and the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade.
That is why this is the day of our University, because we combined traditional and modern, and by example and deed confirmed that nations and people who have a long spiritual vertical possess more stamina and resilience in the present, boldly planning their future.
Our sincere wish is to last, to bridge impassable areas, to connect past and present with the future that does not escape. We also want to create an institution that will become a giant of the profession and science, a distinct reference to the MoD and the SAF, the institution of strategic importance to the defense system and the state of Serbia.
Knowledge and education are a prerequisite for achieving this goal. This perception was a guiding principle for the management of our Ministry of Defense and all of us who have participated in creating the University of Defence.
Of course, it is a big responsibility but also a magnificent challenge to participate in creating a profile of future Serbian officers who must be a harmonious blend of the lightest traditions of our Armed Forces, but also of the time and space in which we live.
Modern Serbian officer of today and tomorrow must be a combination of military honour and a creative force that will be the basis of continuous advancement and development in line with achievements in the field of defence sciences.
Our desire is to create top experts, but also through studies and subsequent career development to free the creative spirit of gifted and highly motivated people who are the driving force of any progress.
They are our priceless treasure. The armed forces and the state must establish such a value system based on the notion that the loss or negligence of the intellectual potential is one of the largest national and economic losses. As a professor, scholar and officer, I claim that anyone who does not invest in science and does not rely on one’s own minds must dearly pay someone else’s.
Each ceremony is an event marked by a special story. Here's a short story about us.
There are many universities of defence in the world, and our model was the University of Defence of the Czech Republic. That is why these two universities are unique in Europe, and this is the reason why our dear friend, General Urban is with us today.
With hard work and realistic assessment, we recognize our most valuable resources: high-quality scientific and teaching staff and well-equipped laboratories and institutes.
We want young people – the best of good ones, to be proud to rush to study at accredited study programs in three scientific fields and at three levels of study, becoming the strength of our Armed Forces and the country. This higher education institution, though the youngest in the country, already has its own corporate identity and definitely is not a virtual category.
We make great efforts to have better future than the past and to enable military education to become again a recognizable brand of our Ministry of Defense in the country and the world.
It is important to mention the fact that the Conference of the Universities of Serbia received us in its regular membership immediately after the foundation and that we have received very strong support of the academic community in all aspects of university activity. We have implemented their valuable experience in our founding and normative documents.
Colleagues from other universities are unique in the position that with the establishment of our University, the academic community is significantly strengthened, bearing in mind the organization and accountability of the system we come from. Immediately, we became a partner involved in some of the previously approved scientific and research projects, the mobility of teaching staff and cadets/students was agreed on, and we also signed the Agreements on cooperation with the Universities of Belgrade, Kragujevac, State University of Novi Pazar, Banja Luka, and today with the University of Defence of the Czech Republic.
We are honored that on the occasion of the University Day, at the Rectorate of the University of Defence, a formal meeting of the KONUS Rectors' Council has been held today.
What is next?
- Start of PhD studies,
- Accreditation of new study programs,
- Enhancing the quality of teaching,
- Recognizing the need for material valorisation of teaching activities,
- Strong support for career development of officers through all 4 levels,
- Establishment of Cadet Research Centre,
- Strengthening academic and scientific and research cooperation in our country,
- Establishment of regional and international university cooperation
Under the auspices of our University, future commanders, pilots, infantrymen, gunners, engineers, doctors, military diplomats, both females and males, mature. As part of the defence system, all the necessary preconditions for gender equality in this area have been created, and in such a way, respecting the imperatives of time and civilization we belong to, once again we have proved that we can keep up with the world and time.
We will persevere on this path!
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