Khator discusses academic partnership with President of Croatia
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and a delegation of Croatian dignitaries met with President and Chancellor Renu Khator Friday morning to discuss areas of academic cooperation between UH and the University of Zagreb, the oldest and largest university in southeastern Europe.
The agreement between the two universities is expected to range across almost all disciplines, but there will be an emphasis on the arts, energy, engineering and languages.
“This is the energy capital of the world, Houston, and the University of Houston is the energy university,” Khator said.
“That makes a common interest even more feasible, and going into the future we are looking for some incredible partnerships.”
Josipovic visited UH after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, where they discussed Croatia joining the European Union (EU) last year, as well agreeing to support the Ukrainian government’s upcoming elections.
“I always tend to visit universities when traveling around the world because I consider education the most important driver of any society,” Josipovic said.
“I’m especially interested in how to connect education and economy. For us in Croatia, this is a key question.”
According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, Croatia has the third highest unemployment rate for citizens under 25 years old among EU members at 49.7 percent, only behind Spain and Greece.
“We cannot just rewrite your statues or your regulations, but we can learn how [UH] did it, because [UH] is one of the most successful universities for your connection with your society, and your economy,” Josipovic said. “I’m really impressed by the organization of your university.”
The Croatian President holds a Ph.D. in criminal sciences as well as master’s degree in criminal law and an undergraduate degree in music composition from the University of Zagreb. Before entering politics, Josipovic was a law professor, writing over 85 academic papers, and a composer, creating over 50 chamber music pieces for chamber and symphony orchestras.
The meeting ended with a recital at the Moore’s led by professor Tim Hester, and a formal signing of a memorandum of agreement is expected in July in Croatia.