The Megatrend University (Serbian: Мегатренд универзитет / Megatrend univerzitet) is a private university located in Belgrade, Serbia. Megatrend Business school, which later became Megatrend University, was founded in 1989. In an article about problems in Serbian higher education, Al Jazeera described Megatrend as "essentially a degree mill where diplomas can be obtained for cash."
History and profile
The very first institute of the university was Belgrade's Megatrend Business School which was established 1989, and later on was the founder of all other institutes which comprise the present Megatrend University.
During 1991, Megatrend Business School, together with the Technical Faculty of Bor carried out the project of management graduate studies introduction. This project which was the first one of this type in South-East Europe, was financially supported by the European Union TEMPUS Fund which was specifically intended for the development of business education. This success has caused further expanding of Megatrend educational network.
In the previous educational system, institutes were missing that could provide the similar kind of knowledge. Most notable is the Faculty of Geo-economy the first institute of this kind in this part of the world.
In June 2000 the Serbian Ministry of Higher Education approved the formation of the Megatrend University of Applied Sciences in Belgrade. Similar agreements were stipulated with "Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli" from Italy, with Berlin University of Applied Sciences from Germany, then, with Yanbian University of Science and Technology from China, Bournemouth University from United Kingdom, Academy Eliteâ from Moscow, European School of Business, Rome, Italy and Faculty of Economics, Donetsk National University, Ukraine.
Megatrend University is a member of the Euro-Asia Management Studies Association (EAMSA), which runs yearly conferences in Europe and Asia to discuss economic and management issues as well as promoting research and publishing.
These are the 11 institutions in 6 cities:
- Jelena Janković, Tennis player
- Marija Šerifović, popular singer, winner of the Eurovision
- Nebojša Stefanović, politician, President of the National Assembly of Serbia
- Miloš Teodosić, basketball player
The university has a relatively low reputation in the eyes of the Serbian public due to its allegedly dubious programs and low standards, as well as due to its perceived mutually beneficial connections with politicians and government officials who were awarded Megatrend diplomas. Those connections have supposedly ensured its accreditation, which helped the University to somewhat silence its critics who have been accusing it of being a diploma mill. According to Megatrend's representatives, such criticism can not apply to a "University where the prime minister of Serbia had given four lectures in one year, and two ministers of education are employed at it".
Megatrend University has awarded an honorary doctorate to Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of Libya. When asked to comment on this subject, the deputy Minister of education, prof. Srbijanka Turajlić just said that "this is not a deed on which any University should be proud of, but taking into account the quality of the university, it is not surprising that the doctorate was awarded to the dictator".
On June 1, 2014, a group of Serbian academics based in the UK published an article claiming that parts of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Serbia Nebojša Stefanović's doctoral dissertation were plagiarized. The controversy escalated even further when other academics raised serious doubts that Megatrend's rector and Stefanović's mentor Mića Jovanović was never awarded a doctorate himself. Jovanović's alleged mentor Stephen Wood of the University of Leicester denounced him claiming his thesis failed and was not resubmitted.
On June 12, 2014, Serbian Ministry of Education confirmed Megatrend's rector has forged his PhD at LSE. In the wake of these findings, ministry of education called on rector Jovanović to resign. He also called on relevant authorities to determine whether there were elements of criminal offense. Jovanovic resigned the following day. More recently, he declared to have quit Serbia.
- "Serbia's degree mills: A recent scandal over plagiarism involving PhD theses of top politicians has exposed a collapsing education system." Zorana Suvakovic, Al Jazeera: 25 July 2014. 
- Radikic, Vasilije (2010). "A New Page in the History of Higher Education in Serbia". Megatrend Review 7 (2): 345–350.
- Megatrend University Website
- The minister, his mentor and the fight against a suspect system in Serbia
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