Location/geographical coverage

College of Vocational Studies for Preschool Teachers and Medical Nurses, Vršac, Banat, Autonomous Province Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia.

Background and description

The college is located in Vršac, a city with a long educational tradition, where many educational institutions of different nations (Serbian, Romanian, German, Greek, Jewish) were founded during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Also, it is a city where the harmonious coexistence of members of different cultures spontaneously developed and continues to develop.

Today, in this institution, in addition to teaching in the Serbian language, the Expert Council for Mother Languages also studies the languages and literature of two national minorities – Romanian and Roma. Furthermore, some subjects can be followed by students of Romanian and Roma nationality in their native language. This is the only higher education institution in Serbia and the region where the Roma language and Roma literature can be studied at the higher education level. Since it is a national minority with the most unfavorable socio-economic position, and a very young age structure in which even 40% of the population is under 19 years old, special measures are applied to facilitate enrollment for these students.

The Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina recognized the quality and potential of this higher education institution, so in 2009 a decision was made that this Government, through the Office for Roma Inclusion, would provide scholarships for the enrollment of 10 Roma students in the first year of higher education every year. These scholarships cover the costs of food and accommodation in the student dormitory, and when they are enrolled for the second and every subsequent year, students also receive a state scholarship. The Roma students also apply for other available scholarships and they are helped by colleagues and professors during the application process. The Provincial Secretariat also provides other types of assistance to Roma students, for example, distribution of laptops to the best students, financing of excursions, etc.

Throughout the year, and especially in the period before enrollment, various activities take place that contribute to increasing the visibility of the school as a friendly institution for the Roma population. All information about enrollment and studies on the website of the University can be obtained in four languages: Serbian, Romani, Romanian and English. All information materials and curriculum guides published by the College are multilingual. (https://uskolavrsac.edu.rs/info/)(https://www.uskolavrsac.edu.rs/).

Roma students are provided with continuous mentoring support during their studies, especially in situations where they need to overcome some financial problems, when applying for additional scholarships, during crisis periods when, for personal, family or financial reasons, they are faced with problems that slow down or temporarily block their studies.

The school is known for its highly developed intercultural atmosphere. Every year, the Provincial Secretariat for Education finances excursions during which students of Roma nationality, in the company of their colleagues of other nationalities from the college, get to see the sights of certain parts of Serbia, which contributes to students becoming closer and friendlier.

https://www.uskolavrsac.edu.rs/promocija-visoke-skole/; https://www.uskolavrsac.edu.rs/studenti-visoke-skole-posetili-zlatibor-i-okolinu/

Furthermore, all appropriate ceremonies and events that are organized several times during the school year take place in three languages, and a special ceremony is held on April 8, International Roma Day.




Students who attend classes in the Romani language regularly participate in the work of the Language Club of the High School, which was founded in 2011 with the intention of continuing and improving the educational activities of this school in the spirit of interculturality, cooperation and tolerance.

The college has excellent cooperation with higher education institutions from the country and abroad, as well as with organizations from the non-governmental sector and often participates in projects that provide support in the education of Roma children, pupils and students. Students of Roma nationality are always engaged and participate in project activities through which they get closer to Roma from other parts of our country and affirm their studies at this college.





Stakeholders and Partners

Beneficiaries are students of Roma nationality who have a very unfavorable socio-economic status from the Republic of Serbia.

Direct partners in this activity are:

The Provincial Government, the Office for Roma Inclusion and numerous non-governmental organizations, primarily WEBIN.

Stakeholders: National Council of the Roma National Minority, Roma NGOs, other higher education institutions.

Methodological Approach

Good practice was created as a result of many years of real needs, on the one hand, and recognition of problems, good will and excellent mutual cooperation of immediate partners in this activity on the orther.


Roma students who sincerely and gladly promote their studies every year are the best confirmation of success, and the full number of 10 Roma students who enrol with a special scholarship confirms this. The successful long-term cooperation with higher education institutions and non-governmental organizations from the country and abroad to improve the quality of studies of the Roma population confirms the importance of these measures.

Innovation potential

The practice of good cooperation between this higher education institution and the Provincial Government and the Office for Roma Inclusion is realized in order to preserve, nurture and improvement the Roma language, literature and culture, through activities which are implemented at this higher education institution.

The programs, work material and literature developed in this institution can be an incentive and a relief to other communities so that they too, through the affirmation of the Romani language and literature, contribute to the development of the identity and culture of the Romani national community in Serbia, thus also to its emancipation, with hiring adequate teaching staff.

Success Factors

Continuous scholarship, i.e. stable material support, great commitment of teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as all students, positive inclusive and intercultural climate in the institution, successful cooperation with educational institutions and non-governmental organizations from the country and abroad are prerequisites for the continuous implementation of this good practice.


The traditional patriarchal family structure often stands in the way of the emancipation of female children, so it is a big challenge to convince parents to let their children study in another city. They prefer to let young men go, although there are examples of single mothers of Roma women who also move with their only sons.

Large emigration of the youth and student population in Serbia is evident, and many young Roma prefer to go abroad to live and work there, rather than stay to study in the country.

Lessons learned

Recognition of needs, goodwill, solidarity, the ability to understand the problems of the most vulnerable, the interest and ability of the representatives of the respective institutions, enable the operationalization of effective solutions.


This practice has been going on for 13 years and is sustainable, because it is financed from the state budget. However, since state scholarships are small, students are supported to secure additional material sources of funding through other scholarships. The mentoring work of professors and students is voluntary.

Replicability and/or up-scaling potential

Inclusive and intercultural climate in the institution, familiarization with the problems of the poorest, continuous development of resources, stable material support, fostering good cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations, support of the local environment.


During 2019, the High School in Vršac prepared a theater play called “Vi gadava si trajo” (“And that’s life”) in the Roma language, with some parts in Romanian and Serbian. Students of all nationalities participated in the play, the guest director was from Romania and the premiere was held in Novi Sad, at the Youth Theater.


Contact details


URL of the practice Reference document










https://www.uskolavrsac.edu.rs/promocija-visoke-skole/; https://www.uskolavrsac.edu.rs/studenti-visoke-skole-posetili-zlatibor-i-okolinu/





Related Web site(s)

Websites of projects where good practice has been identified and replicated.


Related resources that have been developed

  • Raduški, N. & Komatina, S. (2013). Društvena inkluzija Roma kao izazov za socijalnu politiku Srbije. Socijalna politika,  3, 93-110.
  • Komatina, S. (2014)  Da li darovita deca romske nacionalne zajednice imaju šanse u našem obrazovnom sistemu. U: Daroviti i kvalitet obrazovanja. (стр. 263-271). Vršac i Arad: Visoka škola strukovnih studija za vaspitače „Mihailo Palov“ i Universitatea de Vest „Aurel Vlaicu“.
  • Komatina, S. (2017). Aktuelni problemi obrazovanja Roma u Srbiji. Vršac: Visoka škola strukovnih studija za vaspitače “Mihailo Palov”.
  • Коматина, С. & Греонеант, Е. (2018). „National Identity and Social Position of the Roma in Serbia“. In: 7th InternationalConference:Redefing Community in Intercultural Context, Vol. 7 no1. Brasov: „Hendi Coanda“ Air Force Academy Publishing House.(61-67).
  • Коматина, С. (2018). „Национални идентитет Рома и етничка дистанца“. У: Национални идентитет и етнички односи, тематски зборник. Београд: Институт за политичке студије. (81-94). 
  • Komatina S. (2019). Društvena inkluzija i stari Romi. Gerontologija, God. 47, br. 2, str. 11-30.
  • Komatina, S. (2020). Obrazovna enigma Roma. Vršac: Visoka škola strukovnih studija za vaspitače “Mihailo Palov”.
  • Ђурић,Р., Александровић, М. & Јовановић, З. (2022). Читанка и радни лист за пети разред за изборни предмет Ромски језик са елементима националне културе. Београд. Завод за издавање уџбеника.
  • Ђурић, Р.& Александровић, М. (2022).Читанка и радни лист за шести разред за изборни предмет Ромски језик са елементима националне културе,  Београд. Завод за уџбенике.
  •  Aleksandrović, М. &Stanić, Е. (2022). Proces usvajanja vokabulara učenika trećeg i četvrtog razreda osnovne škole kroz izborni predmet: Romski jezik sa elementima nacionalne kulture. U(Gojkov, G. ur.): Zbornik 27: Okrugli sto o darovitima: Samoregulacija i razvoj potencijala darovitih (str. 146-156). Vršac:Visoka škola strukovnih studija za vaspitače Mihailo Palov.
  • Александровић, M. (2021). Изазови и перспективе ромског језика кроз изборни предмет: Ромски језик са елементима националне културе. У: (Гојков, Г. & Стојановић, А. Ур.): Зборник 26: Округли сто о даровитима: Даровити: Лична и социјална перспектива (стр. 219-226). Вршац: Висока школа струковних студија за васпитаче Михаило Палов.
  • Александровић, М. (2021). Усмена књижевност у одгоју ромске деце. У: (Опачић, З. Ур.): Зборник 1: Жанрови књижевности за децу и жанровска књижевност(стр.104-110). Нови Сад: Међународни центар књижевности за децу Змајеве дечије игре.
  • Aleksandrović, M., Komatina, S. & Stojanović, A. (2017). Inkluzivna i interkulturalna dimenzija predškolskog vaspitanja. Vršac: Visoka škola strukovnih studija za vaspitače “Mihailo Palov”.
  • Александровић, М.& Шаћировић, З. (2017). Kana o Vajo fulavel pe bal, delpe kuna e čar-Када се Ваја чешља, таласа се трава, Приручник за рад са децом предшколског узраста који су билингвални говорници ромског и српског језика: Вршац: Висока школа струковних студија за васпитаче Михаило Палов.
  • Aлександровић, М. (2016). Моја породица: сликовница на ромском језику за дјецу од 6-7 година –  Munri familija: pinturako lil pe rromani čhib pale čhavora katar 6 dži 7 berš. Сарајево:  Кали Сара-Ромски информативни центар.
  • Александровић, М. (2020). Čikalo sikljol te ginavel – сликовница за децу. Нови Сад: Покрајински секретаријат за образовање, прописе, управу и националне мањине – националне заједнице, Национални савет ромске националне мањине у Србији и РТВ редакција програма на ромском језику.
  • Александровић, М. & Станић, Е. (2020). Језичка способност Рома и Ромкиња да уче језике: Стереотип или посебан дар. У ( Гојков, Г. &Стојановић, А.Ур.): Зборник 25: Комплексност феномена даровитости и креативности – изазови: појединац и друштво”, (стр. 51 – 60). Вршац: Висока школа струковних студија за васпитаче Михаило Палов.
  • Келемен Милојевић, Љ. &Ђорђев, И. (2017).Језичке радионице као вид рефлексивне праксе. У (Столић, Д. ур.): Зборник радова са скупа Васпитач 21. веку: Савремени свет и толеранција кроз призму предшколског васпитања13 (стр. 198–205). Алексинац: Висока школа за васпитаче струковних студија.
  • Ђорђев, И. & Раић, С. (2018). Концептуализација комуникације у мултинационалној студентској заједници. У (Недимовић,Т., Ђорђев, И., ур.): Комуникација у мултикултуралној средини и васпитно-образовном раду (стр. 55–69).Вршац: Висока школа струковних студија за васпитаче „Михаило Палов”.
  • Келемен Милојевић, Љ. & Ђорђев, И. (2019). Кад би Сунце проговорило – језичке и драмске игре. Вршац: Висока школа струковних студија за васпитаче „Михаило Палов”.
  • Đorđev, I. &Kelemen Milojević, Lj. (2020). Unapređivanje kvaliteta života dece i mladih u multikulturalnoj i inkluzivnoj sredini kroz aktivnosti Jezičkog kluba. U (Nikolić, M. i Vantić-Tanjić, M., ur.):Tematski zbornik ,,Unapređenje kvalitete života djece i mladih” / ,,Improving the Quality of Life of Children and Youth” (str. 783–791). Tuzla: Udruženje za podršku i kreativni razvoj djece i mladih. Dostupno na: https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/1081898.Zbornik_2020.pdf
  • Đorđev, I. &Stanić, E. (2020). Konceptualizacija srpskoga jezika u multinacionalnoj studentskoj zajednici. Research in Pedagogy, 10(1), 76–92. DOI: 10.5937/IstrPed2001076Q

Also, dozens of student seminar and graduate theses were defended on the topic of education of Roma children, inclusive education, literature for children in the Roma language.

Current accredited seminars at the Institute for the Improvement of Education and Training:

  • Interculturalism in kindergarten: Roma culture, customs and language. Authors and directors: Dr. Marija Aleksandrović and Dr. Slavica Komatina.

Current accredited seminars at the Pedagogical Institute of Vojvodina:

  • Training for learning the Romani language: Teaching methodology for the optional subject Romani language with elements of national culture. Authors and directors: Dr. Marija Aleksandrović and Eldena Stanić.
  • Training for the acquisition of functional and methodical knowledge and competence of teachers of the Romani language for the optional subject: Romani language with elements of national culture. Dr. Marija Aleksandrović, Eldena Stanić, Dr. Danijela Stanojević