The State Matura Project will be presented at an introductory conference on Friday at the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade. Through the project funded by the European Union, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development will be supported over the next three years to prepare, test and implement a standardized national final examination in the secondary education system.

Over the next two years, the State Matura Project will implement numerous preparatory activities: an organizational model will be defined for preparation and administration of exams, legal and institutional frameworks will be harmonized, a large number of experts will prepare necessary instruments and manuals, training will be organized for teaching and administrative staff working in education, and two trial tests are planned as well as a trial national final exam, scheduled for March 2021.

One segment of the Project is dedicated to preparing higher education institutions for enrolling students in a new way – support will be provided for defining enrollment criteria and adjustment of instruments, tools and enrollment procedures, as well as training aimed at better understanding of the new educational system. Special attention will be paid to informing the public – all information related to the new method of taking the state Matura will be available soon over a specialized portal, and communication with students, parents and teachers will be conducted via the website, social networks and various events.

Following June 2021, all secondary school students in Serbia will take the state or, as it used to be called, the big Matura exam: high school students will take the general exam; pupils from art schools – the artistic exam; and pupils from vocational schools – professional graduation exam at the end of four-year education or final exam at end of three-year vocational education (the final exam will be introduced into the system starting next year, in the year 2020). Competent authorities claim that there is enough time for students, parents, teachers, and higher education institutions to prepare for the final exam.

The state Matura exam which tests students’ skills, competencies and achievements will replace the admissions exam for enrollment at universities. The universities will, however, retain the right to organize additional exams to assess for special talents and abilities of candidates, so long as they consider it necessary.

The European Union donated 3.7 million euros for the implementation of the State Matura Project. To date, the total value of EU funds invested in educational reform in Serbia exceeds 100 million euros.