University of Sarajevo

The University of Sarajevo (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian: Univerzitet u Sarajevu / Bosnian and Serbian: Универзитет у Сарајеву) is a public university located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the largest and oldest university in the country, as well as the oldest institution of tertiary learning in the former Yugoslavia, tracing its initial origins to 1537 as an Islamic madrasa.[2]

University of Sarajevo
Univerzitet u Sarajevu
Универзитет у Сарајеву
Sarajevo University-of-Sarajevo Obala 2011-09-28.jpg
Sarajevo University rector seat & Faculty of Law building, built in the 1850s.
Latin: Universitas Studiorum Saraievoensis
Established2 December 1949; 70 years ago (1949-12-02)
(1537; 483 years ago (1537) as an Islamic madrasa)
RectorRifat Škrijelj
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students30,866 (2018–19)[1]
ColorsBlue and white
AffiliationsEuropean University Association Edit this at Wikidata
(in Bosnian and English)
University of Sarajevo logo.svg

With 20 faculties, three academies and three faculties of theology and with 30,866 enrolled students as of 2014, 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 received bachelor's degrees, 3,891 received master's degrees and 2,284 received doctorate degrees in 45 different fields.[3] It is now widely regarded as the most prestigious university in Bosnia and Herzegovina,[3] and employs more than one thousand faculty members.[4]


Ottoman period, late Medieval-early ModernEdit

Before establishment of modern University of Sarajevo, first schools of higher educations in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina were founded during 16th century under tutelage of Ottomans. As Ottoman institute of higher education first Madrasa in Bosnia, namely Gazi Husrev-beg Madrasa & Library, was inaugurated in Sarajevo 1537 by Gazi Husrev-beg.[5][6][7]

Austria-Hungary period and first Yugoslavia, late Modern-end of WWIIEdit

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Austria-Hungarian period.

The university in its modern, secular incarnation being developed during Austro-Hungarian Empire rule, when many of the institutions of higher education and culture such as National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, still active today, were established.[4] The modern history of the University of Sarajevo continued after the World War I, and before World War II as well as during the war, successfully extanding its development with new schools and institutes opened, such as the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry in 1940, the Medical Faculty in 1944. The Medical Faculty was re-established in 1946, 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 developmentEdit

From 1949 to 1955Edit

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 Philosophy (1950) and the Faculty of Economics (1952) the initial phase of establishment of the Sarajevo University was completed.

From 1955 to 1970Edit

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.

From 1970 to 1982Edit

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.

From 1982 to 1992Edit

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.

From 1992 to 1995Edit

The fifth phase (1992–95) was marked by devastation of the facilities and equipment of the university, caused by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Siege of Sarajevo.
Despite all of these difficulties of life and work during the four-year siege of Sarajevo, 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.

Since 1996 onwardEdit

At the beginning of 1996 the University of Sarajevo entered the phase of post-war physical and academic renewal and reconstruction. 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 quality and number of student dormitories are still far below the required, technology is mostly outdated, and since the working conditions could be much better academic staff is also lacking. In addition, 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 the Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn't have a unified program of higher education (one could say that it has as many as 11 programs, each implementing Bologna Accord in its own manner).

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 relationsEdit

The University of Sarajevo enjoys partnerships with over 120 universities in Europe, the US, Canada, and the Middle East.[8][9]


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.


Veterinary faculty
Faculty of natural science and mathematics
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
  • Faculty of Islamic Studies
  • Faculty of Catholic Theology
  • Faculty of Public Administration


The University of Sarajevo 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 alumniEdit

Notable facultyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "HIGHER EDUCATION 2018/2019" (PDF). (in Bosnian). Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  2. ^ Agency, Anadolu. "Saraybosna'da 476 yıldır yaşayan medrese! (Sarajevo Celebrates 476 Years of its Medresa!)". Haber7. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Univerzitet u Sarajevu - O Univerzitetu". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b "A History of the University of Sarajevo". City of Sarajevo. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  5. ^ "History". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Gazi Husrev-begova medresa". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  7. ^ Agency, Anadolu. "Saraybosna'da 476 yıldır yaşayan medrese! (Sarajevo Celebrates 476 Years of its Medresa!)" (in Turkish). Haber7. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  8. ^ "University of Sarajevo – DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  9. ^ "University of Sarajevo - INFO - International agreements" (.pdf). (in Bosnian). Retrieved 27 April 2017.

External linksEdit

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