Esad Oruč: Burch is one of the largest Investors in private Education in B&H

October 26, 2015 3:30 PM

foto Oruč Esad

The Secretary General of the International Burch University, Esad Oruč, spoke about higher education, the activities implemented by this university, and the changes that it brought in regards to high education in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to Oruč, Burch is an accredited institution with a degree recognized anywhere in the world, an institution where students from more than 25 countries of the world study, and where classes are held by academic staff from more than ten different countries.

What changes have been made since the founding of Burch University in 2008?

For me, speaking of the activities of Burch University several years back means speaking of a very long series of successes which this high education institution achieved in a relatively short space of time. However, if I wish to sum up that whole period up in several sentences, then I could tell with certainty that it is a fulfilment of one part of a long-term strategy of the development of this institution. Precisely the word “strategy” is the key of all positive changes in the development of our university. Besides a clear strategy and dedication of the university’s management to its fulfilment, an inevitable factor in the assessment of work is the rich experience of the founder – Bosna Sema educational institutions – in the field of education. Accordingly, although a young institution according to all parameters, right from the start this University has been using the rich experience of Bosna Sema educational institutions, which has been acquired for some 20 years through preschool, primary and secondary education, as well as the experiences of sisterly and brotherly universities worldwide. The first part of the developmental path of the University can be characterized with a period of large infrastructure investments, followed by unavoidable development and investment in human resources.

According to Webometrics list, Burch University was declared as the best private university in B&H for 4 years in a row. What is so special about it to set it aside from the others?

I have to say that formal recognition of the Webometrics ranking of world universities in the form of the proclamation that our university is the best private university, for us, represents additional proof that the activities of our university are going in the right direction. Things that led our university to this goal I already mentioned but I would also add that it is also the result of our wish for Burch University to grow into the next generation of universities in which the education component will be equally present as the scientific research as well as the innovations and entrepreneurship through mentoring and counselling students.

We often hear that private universities are very low quality, and that the degree comes with money and not knowledge. How do you view these allegations?

Unfortunately, that claim, when we talk about private universities in B&H, is not so far away from the truth. I consider it as a reflection of the overall crisis of society in which the system of values is very disturbed. In this kind of environment, this is not surprising phenomenon. They are simply the reality from which we should not try to run away, but we have to strive every day to act on its causes. I believe the responsibility is equally on all of us. Our country should develop mechanisms that will make a clear selection between the universities whose primary goal is that with those who dedicated themselves to the real mission of universities. The last accreditation was an opportunity to do that. It remains to be seen to what extent it worked.

We have been aware of the fact that we will be thrown into the same basket with all the other universities at the beginning, but we have made a number of strategic steps to clearly separate ourselves from all of the above. Guided by the definition that education is a non-profit activity, Burch University developed a system of financial activities in which all profit is focused on further investment, which is certainly evident thanks to infrastructure investments as well.

What is your vision of Burch University in near future? When can new faculties and departments be expected?

As in previous years, we will strive to follow the needs of clients and markets. I believe that changes should come when there is a need for them and when they are grounded enough. The place where we are now should be maintained a priori. A quality education system is a complex system. It consists of quality professional staff, modern and functional equipped premises for work, as well as of healthy working environment. Until now we have fulfilled all listed conditions. However, the market does not stand still, and nor do we. We are going with the times, educating and specializing as teaching staff on a daily basis. Moreover, we are also making progress in terms of special planning. Sports hall, fitness centre, pavilion made of recycled materials as a spot for students, and other useful facilities are under construction. These are just some of the plans whose implementation already started.


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