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Project “Further Development of Croatian Qualifications Framework (CROQF)”, which aims to ensuring continuous improvement of Croatian education system in compliance with the labour market needs at the national and European level, was presented in the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports on 16 March 2010. The Agency for Science and Higher Education participates in the project and in the activities of the CROQF Committee as well as CROQF Operating Team.

The project amounts approximately 1, 5 million EUR and it is financed within the European Union Programme for Croatia, IPA component IV – Human Resources Development. It started on 18 January this year and it should be finished until 18 June next year.

The project team leader is Agnes Wollschlaeger, an expert for European Qualifications Framework (EQF) which acts as a mean for better understanding of national qualifications frameworks in EU member states facilitating mobility, employability and lifelong learning of students and labour force.

Želimir Janjić, the State Secretary of the Ministry said that the project supported CROQF, which connects all parts of qualifications system in the Republic of Croatia and provides the basis for transparency, mobility, obtaining and quality of qualifications taking into consideration the interests of individuals and society. As the task of the Ministry, he pointed out providing adequate infrastructure and competent human resources. He added that despite of the crisis education and science have remained the priority of Croatian government and the pursuit of on-going processes was not questioned.

Ivan Šutalo, the director of the Agency for Vocational Education and Training, reminded us that this was the first implementation of the IPA project within the competence of the Agency for which, as he estimated, qualified experts had been chosen.

Introducing IPA programme Christina Anne Tkalec, the head of the Tender Preparation and Contract Implementation Section of the Agency, said that this was an instrument for pre-accession assistance to European Union candidate countries and potential candidate countries.

IPA was designed as a flexible instrument made up of five components aiming to assist with institutional capacity building and the rule of law, human rights including fundamental rights, minority rights, gender equality and non-discrimination, administrative and economic reforms, economic and social development, reconciliation and redevelopment, as well as regional and cross-border cooperation.