The University of Belgrade-Faculty of Forestry is a higher education and scientific research institution with a hundredyear-long tradition. The beginnings of work at the Faculty are related to the Faculty of Agriculture in Zemun, where in the school year 1920/21 the first generation of 45 students enrolled in the Faculty, of which 36 in the Department of Agriculture and 9 in the Department of Forestry. Classes began on December 5, 1920, and every year this date is celebrated as the Faculty Day.
By the Decree of the Government of the People’s Republic of Serbia of February 5, 1949, the Faculty of Forestry became an independent higher education institution, whose first dean was engineer Sreten Rosić. By the decision of the People’s Committee of Belgrade of April 2, 1953, the Faculty was given an unfinished building in Banovo Brdo, together with about a 10-hectare yard. In late 1954 and early 1955, the Faculty moved into the new building. Due to the lack of space, the building was extended and rearranged several times during the past period.
The first Statute of the Faculty of Forestry was passed on October 1, 1956, and two departments were formed: the Department of Forestry and the Wood-Industrial Department. In the following period, the number of departments changed, and in 1966 the Faculty consisted of 4 departments, including the Department of Forestry, the Department of Wood Industry, the Department of Horticulture and the Department of Erosion and Soil Reclamation, which still exist today. According to the last 2019 Statute, there are four departments at the Faculty of Forestry, including the Department of Forestry, the Department of Wood Technologies, the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Department of Ecological Engineering in the Protection of Soil and Water Resources.
The same Statute defines the current organizational structure, manner of work, management and administration of the Faculty, as well as the bodies of the Faculty. According to the data from September 2020, the number of employees at the Faculty and its teaching bases is 298, of which 110 are teachers and associates.
In 2006, influenced by contemporary global changes and requirements in higher education the University of Belgrade began with the introduction of the “Bologna Process”, as a modern system that relies on a greater degree of flexibility, the need for complementarity and harmonization with faculties of similar educational and scientific profile, as well as a greater degree of engagement and mobility of students during the teaching process. Studies are organized at three levels: the undergraduate academic studies (4 years), the master’s degree academic studies (1 year) and doctoral studies (3 years). This 4 + 1 + 3 system of study is still valid today.
So far, more than 10,000 students have graduated from the Faculty, and 435 Master of Science theses, 658 Master’s theses and 346 Doctoral dissertations have been completed and defended at this Faculty.
The competence of the Faculty is ensured by the accreditation of study plans and programs and the accreditation of the Faculty as a scientific research institution. In the academic year 2006/07, the first generation of students enrolled in the studies at the Faculty in accordance with the Bologna process, and in 2008 the Faculty received its first certificate of accreditation as a higher education institution.
By the 2020 decision of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Faculty was re-accredited as a state scientific research institution in the field of biotechnical sciences – agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Scientific research at the Faculty is performed by 124 researchers, through individual activities or activities of project teams, which deal with fundamental, applied and development research in the field of forestry, wood technologies, landscape architecture and ecological engineering in the protection of soil and water resources. The basis for scientific research is a significant number of laboratories and centers formed at the Faculty of Forestry in the past period.
Establishing, nurturing and developing cooperation with other universities in the country and abroad, as well as with international institutions and organizations dealing with scientific research and higher education issues, has been and remains a permanent commitment of the Faculty of Forestry. This is evidenced by numerous agreements of cooperation concluded with partners from a large number of countries, on the basis of which take place the exchange of students, teachers, acquired knowledge and experience and joint participation in projects.
The Faculty has a library space which is organized in three segments: a working space for librarians with a professors’ reading room, a student study room with 50 seats and a warehouse space of over 200 m2 in which a rich library collection is located. The Faculty can also boast of abundant publishing with a long tradition.
The Faculty is the manager of three important spatial units: the “Goč” teaching base (3,731 ha), the “Majdanpečka Domena” teaching base (2,078 ha) and the Arboretum in the Faculty yard (6.7 ha). The main purpose of the teaching bases is to enable field teaching, practical lessons and scientific research of students and employees. In addition, the Faculty manages three protected natural areas, as an authorized guardian: the “Goč-Gvozdac” special nature reserve, the “Felješana” strict nature reserve (15.28 ha) and the “Arboretum of the Faculty of Forestry”, which is a natural monument.
The organizing of students at the Faculty of Forestry is as old as the Faculty itself. The Association of Students of the Faculty of Forestry in Belgrade was founded on December 4, 1923, and until then the students operated through the Association of Agricultural Students. The dominant organizational form of student activity at the University of Belgrade-Faculty of Forestry is the Student Parliament, as well as numerous sections. In addition to that, the students have their elected representatives and through them they participate in the work of the Faculty Council and the Teaching-Scientific Council.
(Abstract from publication „100th Anniversary of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Forestry“)