Today we visit Montenegro and learn that there are not only think-tanks and NGO amongst our partners but also academic institutions and universities. one of them is Universit of Donja Gorica (UDG) founded in in 2007 as a result of entrepreneurial idea which was developed over the years by two distinguished university professors, Veselin Vukotic and Dragan Vukcevic. It is a private higher education institution, the only institution of this type to be established in the independent state of Montenegro.
UDG is Montenegrin centre of liberal thought. It aims at creating young, independent individuals, ready to take responsibilities for the consequences of their actions. UDG offers entrepreneurial and research studies. Besides entrepreneurship, a strong focus is put on research.
Strategic goal of education process is to increase the quality of students’ knowledge and to promote international reputation of our school. Key principles that UDG follows in order to achieve this strategic goal are based on contemporary and practical knowledge, flexibility, interdisciplinary courses, and individualism. In accordance with this idea, all programs within UDG provide freedom of choice to students, with possibility to take classes at different faculties during the course of study.
Even though UDG was founded in recent years, it has already established significant international cooperation. UDG has agreements and cooperation with many international universities, as well as companies. One of the most important among them is cooperation with Munk Center of the University of Toronto, thanks to which around 50 students had opportunity to spend few weeks in Toronto. Moreover, our students attend many summer schools, seminars and conferences around Europe. Furthermore, UDG students are interns in companies both in Montenegro and abroad, including companies in Spain, Tunisia, Slovenia, Croatia, UK, USA, etc. As one of the main goals of studies at UDG is to build entrepreneurial spirit among and within students, this institution puts a lot of effort in supporting projects and business ideas of its students.
In order to achieve the aforementioned, students are very involved not only through lectures but also through various projects, tutorials, and presentations, internships, and sports activities.
Entrepreneurship at UDG – By spreading the entrepreneurial spirit among its students, UDG tries to contribute to development of Montenegro, as it strongly believes in market forces! With that cause, entrepreneurship is developed among young individuals through The School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Youth and The Market of Entrepreneurial Ideas, which are traditionally organized at UDG.
The School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Youth is organized by the first generation of UDG graduates of the Faculty of International Economics, Finance and Business. It aims to awaken and develop the entrepreneurial spirit among young people in Montenegro. Also, the goal of the School is to bring together young people from all municipalities in order to, through joint work, friendship and creation, overcome some prejudices that young people have. The School consists of a series of lectures, presentations and other activities. A workshop with students is held on the first day at the student’s dorm. On the second day, students have the opportunity to listen to lectures of the prominent professors and successful people in the field of business, politics, sports and arts (some of them were: Director of of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Petar Ivanovic, the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Zoran Djikanovic, the handball player Petar Kapisoda, the artist Tiho Vujovic, the Director of Montenegrin Statistical Office – MONSTAT, Ms. Gordana Radojevic, and many others).
UDG is proud of the fact that the School is growing every year. Up to today, four schools of entrepreneurship were organized. The first year’s School was attended by 35 participants; the second by 68, the third 200, and fourth year’s School hosted over 220 graduates.
The Market of Entrepreneurial Ideas – The idea of the project is to create a mechanism that will give students incentive to produce business ideas and innovations. That will be accomplished by enabling the market supply of, and demand for entrepreneurial ideas to meet. Supply side includes entrepreneurial ideas of UDG students, then university students from the region as well as elementary and high school students from Montenegro. Ideas were evaluated by the representatives of business sector, had chance to be directly presented during the Market, while the others were presented through The Book of Ideas. On the other side, demand for entrepreneurial ideas is comprised of representatives of Montenegrin banking system, Privatization and Investment Funds, companies, individuals and other institutions interested in business. The Market of Entrepreneurial Ideas is held, traditionally, on May 9th 2013, Day of Europe.
Research at UDG
As aforementioned, research is in the heart of UDG studies. With that cause, UDG traditionally organizes The Day of Research and UDG Regional Summer School on Finance and Statistics.
In cooperation with Statistical Office of Montenegro (MONSTAT) and DAMAR Polling Agency, University of Donja Gorica traditionally organizes The Day of research. It is held on 4th April each year, on Students Day. The event gathers a significant number of scientific research institutions and researchers from Montenegro. As such, it represents an excellent opportunity for students of Bachelor, Masters’ and PhD level of studies to become familiar with the current researches, methods and data which they can use in creating their own academic and scientific papers. The knowledge of research methodology provides many opportunities and students need to be aware of it. The demand for individuals who possess such knowledge increases, together with the power of “market research”, day by day. Most of the participants find presentations given at the Day of research inspiring, which helped them to get new ideas for future researches. The average attendance is around 200 participants per conference, which evidences the beginning of the awakening of consciousness about the importance of researches. To the organizers of this event it is a great encouragement in the efforts to make research more attractive to students and interested public.
UDG Regional Summer School on Finance and Statistics is held every July in Cetinje, Montenegro. It aims at gathering the students of Bachelor, Specialist and Master studies all around the Balkan region. As research represents part of everyday life, it is essential to understand the methods which will enable individual to make accurate and quality decisions based on real data. The School aims at developing the “market mindset” of students. It prepares them for the challenges of globalization by developing their sense of future. The School aims at developing capabilities of its participants to make decisions in the conditions of uncertainty. Students get to know about the regional financial market changes and learn to view them not just from the economical perspective, but historical, social, legal, etc.
Conferences on liberal thought
Pillars of liberal economic thought in Montenegro were set by the founders of UDG. The crucial role in promoting the libertarianism is given to conferences that are held at UDG and which gather eminent speakers from all around the world who believe in the doctrine of free will.
Christmas Discussions are held each 6th of January, on the Christmas night of Orthodox Christians. This conference cherishes the liberal thought for more than twenty years. It is a conference which was established by professor Veselin Vukotic, in memory of professor Bosko Gluscevic, famous Montenegrin economist. As this is a conference with large tradition, it enjoys the respect of numerous eminent intellectuals, which had the opportunity to discuss various economic issues in the country and the world. Christmas discussions are aimed at providing solutions for the current economic issues from the libertarian point of view.
Milocer Development Forum is organized by Association of Economists and Managers of Montenegro, which has a long tradition of many decades. Actually, it is a creative continuation of an institution inheriting its tradition. The Association of Economics and Managers continues the tradition of the Association of Economists of Montenegro founded in 1954 in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1999, the Association was pre-registered and in 2003, under The Belvedere agreement, it evolved into the non-governmental organization „Association of Economists of Montenegro” with 15 sections. Many UDG professors are members of this association and this conference is found as very important in contribution to development of small, open economy of Montenegro. The aim of Milocer Development Forum is to create a network of economists and managers of different generations and different areas from Montenegro and other foreign countries and increase their mutual communication. The expected result is to improve economic practice and economic theory, increase competitiveness in the global market and promote the ideas of economic freedom, entrepreneurship and innovations through creative friction in such a network.