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University of Sarajevo

Coordinates: 43°52′N 18°25′E / 43.867°N 18.417°E / 43.867; 18.417
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University of Sarajevo
Univerzitet u Sarajevu
Sveučilište u Sarajevu
Универзитет у Сарајеву
Latin: Universitas Studiorum Saraievoensis
Established2 December 1949; 74 years ago (1949-12-02)
(1537; 487 years ago (1537) as an Islamic madrasa)
Endowment$247.9 million (2020)
Budget$107.8 million (2020)[1]
RectorRifat Škrijelj
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students23,127 (2021)[2]
ColorsBlue and white
AffiliationsEuropean University Association
Websitewww.unsa.ba Edit this at Wikidata
(in Bosnian and English)
University rankings
Regional – Overall
QS Emerging Europe and Central Asia[3]162 (2022)

The University of Sarajevo (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: Univerzitet u Sarajevu / Sveučilište u Sarajevu / Универзитет у Сарајеву) is a public university located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the largest and oldest university in the country, tracing its initial origins to 1537 as an Islamic madrasa.[4]

With 20 faculties, three academies and three faculties of theology and with 23,127 enrolled students as of 2021, it ranks among the largest universities in the Balkans in terms of enrollment. Since opening its doors in 1949, a total of 122,000 students have received bachelor's degrees, 3,891 have received master's degrees and 2,284 have received doctorate degrees in 45 different fields.[5] It is now widely regarded as the most prestigious university in Bosnia and Herzegovina,[5] and employs more than one thousand faculty members.[6]


Ottoman period, late Medieval-early Modern[edit]

Main gate of the Gazi Husrev Bey's Library in Baščaršija, built in 1537

Before the establishment of the modern University of Sarajevo, first schools of higher educations in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina were founded during the 16th century under tutelage of the Ottomans. It was inaugurated in Sarajevo in 1537 by Gazi Husrev Bey, as an Ottoman institute of higher education, a madrasa.[7][8][9]

Austria-Hungary period and first Yugoslavia, late Modern-end of WWII[edit]

The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, built in the Austro-Hungarian period

The university in its modern, secular incarnation was developed during the Austro-Hungarian rule, when many of the institutions of higher education and culture such as the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, still active today, were established.[6] The modern history of the University of Sarajevo continued after World War I, and before World War II as well as during the war, successfully widening its development with new schools and institutes, such as the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in 1940 and the Medical Faculty in 1944. The Medical Faculty was re-established in 1946, while the Faculty of Law, the Teacher Training College were opened and, in 1948, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was re-established.

Establishment and post WWII development[edit]


In 1949, the Engineering Faculty was opened. On 2 December of that year with the appointment of the first rector, the University of Sarajevo was officially established. With the opening of the Faculty of Humanities (1950) and the Faculty of Economics (1952), the initial phase of the establishment of the Sarajevo University was completed.


The second phase of development (1955–69) was characterized by the affirmation of the university, the opening of new institutions of higher education and the relative satisfaction of the needs for highly educated personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another significant achievement is the organization and initiation of postgraduate studies at the university.


The third phase (1970–82) was defined by more institutions of higher education being opened at the university, a scientific promotion of the university and its intensified involvement and promotion on the international academic plane. The university contributed directly and indirectly to the establishment of new universities in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla.


The fourth phase (1982–92) was characterized by the separation of scientific activities from the university and the formation of favored scientific institutes outside it. This brought considerable damage to the University of Sarajevo, because the coherence of university education and scientific research was endangered. This resulted in a lower quality of education and a technological stagnation of the university. The uncontrolled enrollment of an enormous number of students resulted in a significantly lower efficiency of studies and a hyper-production of personnel in certain areas of education.


The fifth phase (1992–95) was marked by devastation of the facilities and equipment of the university, caused by the Bosnian War and the siege of Sarajevo. Despite all of these difficulties of life and work during the four-year siege, because of the help and the enthusiasm, professionalism, patriotism and perseverance of university teachers and associates as well as the students, the University of Sarajevo managed to retain its continuity of work and life. This was a specific aspect of intellectual academic resistance against everything that is barbaric and uncivilized. It represented the university's contribution to the affirmation of freedom and democracy, the outcry against the war and aggression and the affirmation of the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The University of Sarajevo entered the phase of post-war physical and academic renewal and reconstruction in 1996. The physical renewal is aimed at the reconstruction and the rebuilding of destroyed facilities (through the realization of the New University Campus Project), the replacement of destroyed educational and scientific equipment and the reconstruction of student dormitories. Significant results have been achieved on this plane and the conditions for higher quality studies have been formed in certain areas. However, despite the numerous reconstruction projects the University of Sarajevo still hasn't reached the full prewar potential. The war caused a rift even among the academics and many who worked at the university before the war didn't continue after. The quality of studies is slowly improving, partly because of the Bologna Process implementation, but there is still hyper-production in some areas of education since Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn't have a unified program of higher education.

The process of renewal and reconstruction of the university is supported by the activities of the European University Association, the European Council, the European Union as well as a whole line of international organizations and institutions involved in the field of higher education.

Partner relations[edit]

The University of Sarajevo enjoys partnerships with over 120 universities in Europe, the US, Canada, and the Middle East.[10][11]


The main objective of all the university's current activities is to raise the quality of studies, to create a contemporary university of European origins, which will be a respectable representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the international level and a promoter of the traditional, historical, cultural, scientific and artistic values of the country, and Southeastern Europe.


School of Economics and Business
Faculty of Natural sciences and Mathematics
Faculty of Humanities
Academy of Fine Arts

The University comprises 32 faculties, academies and colleges, further subdivided into 6 academic groups, and an additional number of other programs:


Join Members[edit]

  • Faculty of Islamic studies
  • Faculty of Catholic Theology
  • Faculty of Public Administration



The Faculty of Law building, built in the 1850s
  • Vaso Butozan (1949–1950; 1952–1956)
  • Drago Krndija (1950–1952)
  • Edhem Čamo (1956–1960)
  • Aleksandar Trumić (1960–1965)
  • Fazlija Alikalfić (1965–1969)
  • Hamdija Ćemerlić (1969–1972)
  • Zdravko Besarović (1972–1977)
  • Arif Tanović (1977–1981)
  • Božidar Matić (1981–1985)
  • Ljubomir Berberović (1985–1988)
  • Nenad Kecmanović (1988–1991)
  • Jusuf Mulić (1991–1993)
  • Faruk Selesković (1993–1995)
  • Nedžad Mulabegović (1995–2000)
  • Boris Tihi (2000–2004)
  • Hasan Muratović (2004–2006)
  • Faruk Čaklovica (2006–2012)
  • Muharem Avdispahić (2012–2016)
  • Rifat Škrijelj (2016–present)

Notable people[edit]


Alija Izetbegović


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ZAKLJUČAK" [CONCLUSION] (PDF) (in Croatian). CANTON SARAJEVO Government.
  2. ^ Semir Hambo (23 December 2021). "Univerzitet u Sarajevu na stazama GRAS-a: Greške u koracima u visokom obrazovanju" (in Bosnian). Klix.ba. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  3. ^ "QS World University Rankings-Emerging Europe & Central Asia". Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  4. ^ Agency, Anadolu. "Saraybosna'da 476 yıldır yaşayan medrese! (Sarajevo Celebrates 476 Years of its Medresa!)". Haber7. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Univerzitet u Sarajevu - O Univerzitetu". unsa.ba (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "A History of the University of Sarajevo". City of Sarajevo. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  7. ^ "History". www.ghb.ba. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Gazi Husrev-begova medresa". www.medresa.ba (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  9. ^ Agency, Anadolu. "Saraybosna'da 476 yıldır yaşayan medrese! (Sarajevo Celebrates 476 Years of its Medresa!)" (in Turkish). Haber7. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  10. ^ "University of Sarajevo – DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION". www.erasmus-unsa.ba. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  11. ^ "University of Sarajevo - INFO - International agreements" (.pdf). www.unsa.ba (in Bosnian). Retrieved 27 April 2017.

External links[edit]

43°52′N 18°25′E / 43.867°N 18.417°E / 43.867; 18.417