Foreword from the Dean
The University of Belgrade Faculty of Forestry is an educational and scientific research institution with a 95-year-long tradition. The present position of the Faculty of Forestry in the area of education and research of the Republic of Serbia and the region, cooperation with government institutions and its importance for economic activities, indicate the need to intensify activities in several strategic directions.
During the previous decade of its work, development and evolutionary changes the Faculty of Forestry reached its current organizational form, whose dominant feature is the existence of four segments: the Department of Forestry; the Department of TMP (Technology, Management and Design of furniture and Wood Products); the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and the Department of Environmental Engineering in the protection of soil and water resources. The above four departments produce different engineering profiles through the process of education, covering a wide field of activities within the economic and institutional structure of the Republic of Serbia.
One of the priorities is to continue working on the reform of the educational process at all levels of study, in order to achieve the best possible results, which should be visible through better student pass and reduction of the length of studying, with a larger volume of acquired knowledge and skills necessary for professional activities or involvement in scientific and research activity. One of the priority tasks is to continue to strengthen human resources, primarily through the involvement of relevant younger staff, and the establishment of high-quality scientific research infrastructure with a higher level of cooperation with prestigious institutes and universities at home and abroad. The commitment to the process and the continuous training of personnel, through the concept of the so-called “Lifelong learning” is also present, which is compatible with the need for continuous monitoring of changes in the applied technologies, production processes and adaptation to the changed social conditions.
Currently, the basis for scientific and research work are projects funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in which 95% of our teachers and staff are engaged. The main topics of research are areas that are also determined as priorities at the EU level for the period from 2014 to 2020, which will serve as the basis for involvement in international projects, primarily through the “HORIZON 2020” program. Suitable research topics are also contained in programs implemented by IUFRO, GEF; UNEP, UNDP and FAO.
Students and professors are a connected integral part of the implementation of teaching at the Faculty, with the essential objective and result of work being the creation of engineering and scientific research youth in the field of forestry in the Republic of Serbia. Students are involved in all the activities guaranteed to them by the Law on Higher Education and the Statute of the Faculty, and they refer to the work process and decision-making in the domains of teaching quality, modernization of accredited study programs, as well as the improvement of the efficiency of studying. Students are involved in various research activities, projects and programs, in accordance with their interests and potentials, in order to learn about professional issues, the encouragement of creativity and innovation. One of the priorities in working with students is to promote sports activities in order to achieve a higher level of psycho-physical condition, while using all available resources of the Faculty (sports facilities) and financial support of the Faculty for the rental of sports facilities for students. In addition, the Faculty supports traditional sports events that are attended by students of the Faculty of Forestry (Šumarijada and Agronomijada). Students are involved in competitions at the international level where they achieve outstanding results (international and domestic projects, fairs of furniture design, international competitions).
Since 2009, the Faculty has been a full member of the European Association of the Faculties of Forestry, which is a good basis for the exchange of information, experiences and initiation of joint projects. Bilateral agreements with more than twenty faculties from abroad are a good basis for further development of cooperation in all forms of activity of the Faculty. Since 2004, the Faculty has accepted active participation in the implementation of Master’s degree studies on the FOPER project, which has so far produced two generations of graduated students. The program of that course is accredited at the international level, as well as by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. The Faculty as an equal member of the University of Belgrade is involved in different types of projects such as TEMPUS, COST, EUREKA, ERASMUS, etc. In addition, the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Belgrade has been recognized as one of the key institutions in Eastern European countries in implementing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), as well as the implementation of the objectives of the “Balkan Forests Forum” program (established in February 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria), which opens up the possibility of applying and implementing high-budget projects financed by EU funds and the UN.
The Faculty of Forestry of the University of Belgrade is in charge of two significant spatial areas, the Teaching Bases Goč and Debeli Lug, as well as the Faculty Arboretum with its plot. The main purpose of the teaching bases is reflected in the implementation of field /practical training and scientific and research activities in the field of forestry. Due to its natural resources, built infrastructure and professional staff Goč Teaching Base has all the prerequisites to become a national training center in the field of forestry. The final equipping of facilities for the accommodation of students and teachers (65 beds, a conference hall, a kitchen,dining room) is in its final phase, which represents the finalization of works that started on 18th March 2013, on the basis of a 1,000,000 EUR EU grant. In addition, works on the implementation of an EU grant of about 150,000 EUR (plant for drying and steaming wood with a capacity of 40 + 5 t3, with a new boiler) have begun. The forest ecosystem of Mt. Goč was positively evaluated in the procedure for declaration as a protected natural area, and the Faculty of Forestry, was appointed as its authorized manager. The full extent of use of the teaching Base Debeli Lug, in addition to the existing capacity, requires completion of an investment (initiated at the end of the last century), which will be resolved in cooperation with the University and relevant ministries, along with applying for funds from the EU pre-accession funds. In 2011 the Arboretum of the Faculty of Forestry was declared a protected natural area (natural monument), after which a part of funds for its operation were provided by the City of Belgrade.
Celebrating 95 years of work and existence, the staff of the Faculty of Forestry is ready to welcome its upcoming 100th anniversary with dignity and pride fostering quality work, concerted efforts, solidarity and perseverance.
Belgrade, 5th December, 2015
Dean of the Faculty of Forestry
Dr. Ratko Ristić, full professor