The observance held on 39th anniversary of the University of Banja Luka

GeneralUniversity of Banja Luka

The observance held on Nov 7th 2014 at the National Theatre of the Republic of Srpska marked the 39th anniversary of the University of Banja Luka.

The ceremony was attended by many honoured guests, among whom the most prominent positions belong to Mr Milorad Dodik, President of the Republic of Srpska, Mr Emil Vlajki, Vice-Preisdent of the Republic of Srpska, Ms Zeljka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, ministers of the Government of the Republic of Srpska and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of the City of Banja Luka, members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences led by academician Rajko Kuzmanovic, President of the Academy, rectors and vice-rectors of the universities in the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia respectively, as well as by the world-famous director Emir Kusturica, who was awarded an honorary PhD degree.

Pointing out that the University had built a respectable reputation in scholarly circles over the past four decades, Prof. Stanko Stanic, Rector of the University, had underlined the fact that the academic community had a special mission in the age we lived in. ‘The mission of the university is to liberate their environment from lethargy, apathy and pointless life. In other words, their mission is to represent hubs of meaningful living, to represent the communities of those who are aware of the fact that the well-being of one society does not depend so much upon its GDP, nor upon the beauty of its buildings, but upon the number of educated people and their intellectual potential. It is our plans and projects that should make these goals true for our younger generations. Moreover, it is up to us, the academic community, before everybody else, to leave, through our deeds, the mark of truth which is inconceivable without kindness, and vice versa, both inconceivable without any yield’, said the Rector, making a wish that the following decades be even more successful.

The President of the Republic of Srpska found this anniversary equally important for the country as well. He also added that the authorities were determined to upgrade the higher education system, announcing a reform course in the years to come. ‘Our educational system must match the needs of our age. It is a politicians’ task to make long-term decisions, the ultimate one of these concerning education. Any flaw in this system results in the aftermath felt for another 50 years, as long as those educated on such grounds stay at work. That is the reason we have a great responsibility to create an environment for a competitive educational system.

The guests were also addressed by the rectors of the University of Arts, Belgrade, and University of Istocno Sarajevo, wishing the University of Banja Luka to remain its leading position within the academic community in the Republic of Srpska.

Then Rector Stanic awarded an honorary PhD degree to director Emir Kusturica, which was followed by appropriate words by the Dean of the Academy of Arts, Banja Luka, Prof. Luka Kecman, informing the present that ‘Kusturica’s films represent life studies in their essence, essays on forgotten and doomed age, that they are monographs about an unsuccessful system and society’.

Kusturica himself delivered an inspired speech, thanking the leadership of the University for the honour bestowed upon him. ‘Everything that in the history and enterprise of our people was achieved – it was inspired by freedom. Everything I myself have achieved so far has been inspired by freedom and free will, with myself keeping all the time in mind the fact that one must never forget that there are other forms of freedom and that one is never to put in danger neither the one standing shoulder to shoulder by themselves nor the most distant one. If my freedom, achieved through my deeds, served as a leading star for you to make me such an honour, then I respond with the same gratitude and faith, wishing for this act to serve as a reminder of the fact that we must never abandon the principle of free enterprise, adding that today’s world sees the idea of freedom often distorted.

The observance was concluded by the award-giving ceremony to the best students of the generation coming from each unit of the University, the ceremony being complemented by the performance of both the students and staff of the Academy of Arts.