Today, on May 19, 2014, in the Club of Journalists, a public debate on "Perspectives on higher education between public austerity measures and the Bologna reforms” was held. The debate was organized by the Institute for Social Democracy "Progress", the Friedrich Ebert Foundation – Office in Skopje, the International Centre Skopje "Olof Palme". The intention of the organizers was to open a debate as to bridge the gap between decreasing means allocated to education, especially in essential items, and expenses which are necessary for the proper implementation of the Bologna process reforms with emphasis on the situation in Macedonia and Croatia.
Panelists participating in the debate included prof. Elvio Beccarini, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka, Andrea Meshanovikc, member of the Management Board of the Agency for Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Croatia, prof. Petar Atanasov, a researcher at the Institute for Sociological, Legal and Political research, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius - Skopje and Meri Mirchevska, Coordinator of a Program of research, analysis and creation of youth and educational policies, Youth Educational Forum. Speakers and guests at the debate gave an overview of the situation in both countries in the field of finance and reform of higher education and state universities, student movements and organizations and the impact and involvement of students in educational policies. Additionally, a number of issues were established and opened, such as: How much do the changes to the Law on Higher Education and the autonomy of universities contribute to increased availability of policy education, policy of equity and internationalization of the same? Despite formal legal representation and involvement in educational boards, do students have influence on the improvement of conditions of study, student standards and student accommodation? Is there a student activism in the country? And of course the question how the introduction of Bologna process increased measurability, integration and standardization of educational quality, what challenges and issues faced Croatia and how is the situation here?