John Naisbitt University
|Универзитет Џон Незбит
Univerzitet Džon Nezbit
Main building in New Belgrade
The John Naisbitt University (Serbian Cyrillic: Универзитет Џон Незбит) is a private university located in Belgrade, Serbia. Megatrend Business school, which later became Megatrend University, was founded in 1989. In 2015, having in mind recent affairs and controversies risen about the University, Council of Megatrend University had changed name of the institution into "University John Naisbitt".
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.
In 2011 Megatrend purchased the operations of the failed International University Vienna, creating Megatrend International University Vienna which did not achieve accreditation before insolvency in 2013.
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 2007 Eurovision Song Contest
- Nebojša Stefanović, politician, former President of the National Assembly of Serbia, now Minister of Internal Affairs
- Miloš Teodosić, basketball player
The university is said to have 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". In an opinion piece in Al Jazeera about problems in Serbian higher education, Zorana Suvakovic described Megatrend as "essentially a degree mill where diplomas can be obtained for cash."
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".
In 2010, magazine Marianne, commenting on Bogdanov affair, showed that Bogdanoff brothers were employed at the Megatrend University as professors on cathedra of Cosmology, and that they used this as a tool for increasing their credibility in France's public. The magazine commented that this was mutually beneficial deal between rector Jovanović and Bogdanoffs: brothers got title of professors, and Megatrend two foreign professors in the staff. Alain Riazuelo, an astrophysicist at the Institut d'astrophysique de Paris, has shown that Megatrend do not have cathedra of Cosmology, because the main focus of the University is on economy and management, and that there is no trace of Bogdanoffs' courses or lecturing scripts, but that Rector Jovanovic (owner of the Megatrend) had published their pseudoscientific book, and wrote foreword for it, which gave him a kind of prestige in the eyes of general public in Serbia.
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. The original story in the Serbian media reported a statement by him that he had obtained his doctorate studying under the "famous professor Stephen Wood of the London School of Economics". Wood confirmed that a dissertation had been submitted but that it had been rejected.
On June 12, 2014, Serbian Ministry of Education confirmed Megatrend's rector had forged his PhD at LSE. In the wake of these findings the minister calleded 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.
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