Rector's address on the occasion of the beginning of the academic year 2023/24. years

In Banja Luka, on October 3, 2023


SPEECH OF PROF.DR SANEL JAKUPOVIĆ, RECTOR OF THE PAN-EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY "APEIRON" BANJA LUKA AT THE CEREMONIAL FIRST CLASS FOR FRESHMEN AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 2023/2024 ACADEMIC YEAR





Dear fellow students,

Dear Freshmen,


It was my great honor to greet you all and in my capacity as rector to solemnly open the first class in the new academic year 2023/2024 at the Pan-European University Apeiron in Banja Luka.


In the very introduction of my address, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our, and from today to yours, Pan-European Apeiron University in Banja Luka.


I welcome the present representatives of the parent faculties of Apeiron University - respected colleagues of the deans of the faculties who are sitting on the podium, as well as respected colleagues of the vice-deans and secretaries of the faculties; We also extend our greetings to the administrative and working staff of the Pan-European University of Apeiron who are present at this festive gathering.


Dear fellow students, dear freshmen, on behalf of the founder, academic and working staff of Apeiron University, I would like to thank you most sincerely for the trust you have shown in your decision to pursue your studies at our renowned higher education institution - Apeiron Pan-European University in Banja Luka.


As I mentioned in the introduction, today we open the first class in the academic year 2023/2024 with the traditional act of gathering the new generation of students enrolled in 20 study programs of the first cycle at the 7 parent faculties of the Pan-European University Apeiron - Faculty of Business Economics, Faculty of Legal Sciences, Faculty of Information technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Faculty of Traffic and Faculty of Philological Sciences.


And now I would like to introduce you to the present deans or their authorized representatives of our 7 faculties:
 1) Prof. Dr. Mirjana Landika, Dean of the Faculty of Business Economics,
 2) Prof. dr. Vladimir Đurić, Dean of the Faculty of Legal Sciences,
 3) Prof. Dr. Branko Latinović, Dean of the Faculty of Information Technologies,
 4) Prof. Dr. Ljiljana Bijelić – Stojanović, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences,
 5) Prof. Dr. Velibor Srdić, Dean of the Faculty of Sports Sciences,
 6) Prof. Dr. Danislav Drašković, Dean of the Faculty of Transportation and
 7) Prof. Katarina Laketić-Držajić, dean of the Faculty of Philological Sciences.


We thank our deans and want to tell you, dear fellow students, that the doors of our deans, their deputies - vice deans, as well as the doors of the faculty secretaries are open to you every day for all questions regarding the implementation of your studies.


Dear freshmen, at the very beginning of this academic year, i.e. in the first weeks of October 2023, as part of mastering the curriculum in the subject Academic Skills, you will be introduced to key information about the work of all organizational units and professional services of the university, such as the Faculty Secretariat, Student Services, Library Management Center, Quality Assurance Office, Library and Reading Room, Information and Technical Support Service, and others.


And now I would like to move on to the part of the presentation that refers to providing key information about the work and achievements of Apeiron University in the past period. Dear freshmen, you must have received key information about our university long before today, when you were considering the options for enrolling in your studies.


As the rector of the University, I am obliged to state some of the most important facts about Apeiron University, according to which we differ significantly in terms of quality from other universities in the Republic of Srpska, the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the regional environment of the Western Balkans, namely:

  and. We have a tradition of 20 years of successful work and activity, throughout that period we have been constantly growing and developing, improving the quality of teaching and scientific research work, as well as international cooperation and professional achievements. All this resulted in the confirmation of quality through decisions on the accreditation of the institution and study programs by the competent authorities of the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina;

  ii. The number of students enrolled at our university is far above the average compared to all other private higher education institutions in the Republic of Srpska - we are proud to point out that over 2.500 active students study at our university, and that the teaching process at the university is led and managed by over 200 teachers and associates. many of whom are extremely successful and renowned scientific and social workers in the wider community.

  iii. We have a confirmed high ranking of the quality of our institution and study programs, and in the Republika Srpska, in relation to all private higher education institutions, we rank first, far ahead of all other institutions.

  iv. We have an extremely rich international exchange of students and teachers within the ERASMUS+ program of the European Union. We have Erasmus exchange with 8 countries - Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland.

  c. We have an extremely rich offer of online teaching content and learning resources: within our own and MS Teams platform for distance learning (DL), we have over 10.000 hours of recorded video lectures.

  you. We are the only ones in the entire country to realize the American model of teaching cycles: where we teach through 8 cycles spread over the summer and winter semesters during one academic year. In this way, we enable students to master the curriculum dynamically and gradually.

  vii. We offer students an extremely high-quality internship program: We have signed student internship contracts with more than 50 state institutions and private companies from Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  viii. The diplomas of the Pan-European University Apeiron are recognized and recognized in the professional and academic community both in the country and abroad. In this way, we increase the freedom of choice of work and training of graduated students of Apeiron through work, educational or scientific migrations.



Now, at the beginning of the academic year, I would like to give students a few recommendations to think about.


 1) My first suggestion is: Join the student organization or Student Parliament of Apeiron University. Those who are active and involved in the organization in their spare time will gain better knowledge and skills during their years of study and, of course, will make friends for life.

 2) Second recommendation: From the very beginning of your studies, familiarize yourself with good study practices at the university and find out what academic fraud is. Advances in technology have brought you plenty of opportunities to make your studies easier, but remember that you came to college to learn and grow. We need honesty above all else! Self-study is the best training for your brain and a guarantee of a healthy mind. If you are used to working hard, it will be easier for you to stay on track and develop further later in life.

 3) My third suggestion: Find out all about Erasmus+ international mobility opportunities at Apeiron University, as well as ways to spend part of your studies abroad. There are many opportunities, and studying abroad gives you valuable experience for life, and building an international network of friends. In addition, studying part of your degree at universities abroad helps you better set future goals related to your field of study.

 4) Fourth: Be active in the classroom. Stand out, get noticed by your teachers. Challenge them, ask questions, elaborate. Trust me, professors can learn a lot from you, and your valuable feedback helps make our university better. The best part of your studies takes place in classrooms, exercises, practical classes and laboratories. Conversations with fellow students and teaching staff outside the classroom – in the hallway or workspace – also play an important role in your personal development.

 5) Fifth: The university community provides a unique environment for research and reflection on meaning itself, as well as the world around us. When higher education is discussed in society, the individual is usually far from the discussion. Therefore, I want to encourage all of you to make this period in your life meaningful. Feel free to search for your interests. Think critically and study in an interdisciplinary way. Talk and listen to each other, learning and understanding grows in the community, not only in lectures. This community is an opportunity to find yourself, to grow, learn and create your own path.

 6) And finally, fellow students, remember that you have a voice. There are many of you, and when you make your voice heard, you are powerful. I want you to be heard both at the university and in society. Thank you for your vote!



Dear freshmen, I am aware that the challenges of today's times are such that all of us, especially you young people, are under enormous pressure that floats within us and around us. We are aware of the facts that can put pressure on the average student today: for example, that study time is organized, that the means of living are lower than average and mostly consist of loans and similar.


So the pressure comes from many directions, which is why I want to emphasize the need to have a strong sense of empathy. People come to the university from different life situations, backgrounds, conditions and expectations.

All of us – professors, teaching and research staff, as well as other staff and students – are building this university community of Apeiron together. Let's build it by appreciating each other, listening and learning from each other, giving space to our own and other people's ideas, making it safe for each of its members through their own actions. When we actively create such a culture and topic in our community, it is visible in the wider society as well.


I would emphasize that learning, research and science activities are born in communities. Let's give them a little more space. Let's be empathetic towards ourselves and others. Let's be open - so that we learn more about each other, about society, about science, but also about ourselves.

With these words, I especially welcome all of you wonderful new students to the university community.


I also have a message for all respected fellow university teachers who will soon stand in front of the chair again; I wish you all an interesting and exciting new academic year. In addition to being great teachers, I invite you to think about what a role model you are to our students as researchers. Give these young people, now our students, access to your expertise and offer them inspiring discussions. You are their best chance to be inspired by research, so that they can connect their future with that research. Maybe some of these wonderful young people will start their research career with you in a few years.

Take care of them dear, fellow professors!


May the new academic year bring new impetus and momentum to the entire university family!

We will all strive together to make the Pan-European University Apeiron in Banja Luka a great place to study, teach and work.



Dear colleagues, welcome! I wish you happy studies and student life.

My door as rector will always be open to you.

I greet you warmly.


***

Prof. Dr. Sanel JAKUPOVIĆ

Rector of Pan-European University "APEIRON" Banja Luka





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