You have been the Vice Dean for Science and
International Strategic Partnerships for quite some time i.e. since 2013, so
could you please tell us what science is for you and maybe, why is it important
to build / maintain a scientific milieu/ community within a society?
Science is not just a set of facts and findings as
often perceived. I believe that the way we think and look at reality is
sometimes even more important than the data itself. Science should be based on reason, logic,
criticism (especially self-criticism) and doubt and should be driven by objective,
free, and independent thinking
Science aims to generate new knowledge on different phenomena
in our environment; it aims to explain these phenomena using scientific
methods. Science is crucial in the development of a modern society; it is a
pillar in its progress and prosperity.
Nowadays, we are surrounded by a huge amount of
information and attitudes; almost everyone wants to present their views as absolutely
accurate and true so the importance of critical thinking and reflection is even
more pronounced today than ever before.
The scientific way of thinking and approach to the
phenomena around us is crucial here as it helps us to distinguish truth from
spins, half-truths and lies. The only path to progress is through critical and
self-critical reflection because spins and untruths always have a short
lifespan. Today, all kinds of information is easily accessible and available to
us at every step which makes it much more difficult to distinguish what is true
and what is not, the relevant from irrelevant, the current from outdated, and
that is why a scientific approach is crucial.
Together with prof. dr. sc. Nela Vlahinić Lenz, you
head the MBA Study in Energy Economics conducted in cooperation with Energy
Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) from Zagreb. How did this collaboration come
Well, 10 years ago a group of us got together
including prof. Vlahinić Lenz and myself, Mr. Goran Granić, the then director
of EIHP, Mr. Goran Majstrović, prof.
Igor Dekanić from the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering in
Zagreb and prof. Srđan Žutobradić from the Croatian Energy Regulatory
Agency(HERA) and conceived the idea of a unique interdisciplinary and
international postgraduate MBA study that would combine international
management practices and the latest scientific achievements in the energy
Our determination and knowledge, and a certain amount
of lucky circumstances allowed us to design an MBA study outside the
"classic" rules. We had complete freedom to create a study program
from scratch i.e. without any historical relics; one that the energy industry, the
regulators and the academic community expected saw as an ideal MBA program in
Energy Economics. This complete freedom in the design and implementation of the
program is definitely one of the key factors behind the huge success of the MBA
Study in Energy Economics
Talking about candidate profiles, who in your opinion
pursues postgraduate specialist studies and who postgraduate doctoral studies?
The postgraduate specialist studies, today quite often referred to as MBA programs, in accordance with the
Anglo-Saxon practice, are mostly enrolled by middle and senior management coming
from companies and institutions oriented towards modern dynamic business activities
and who seek additional education and specialization in areas of their interest.
On the other hand, postgraduate doctoral studies in
Croatia are aimed more at individuals pursuing careers within the academic
community than those involved in business practice. However, during the last
ten years we have been witnessing significant changes in this area as more and
more business people holding highest management positions are opting for a
doctorate, a trend spreading to Croatia from western countries. These individuals
have opted to develop their careers even further and have come to a point when
they want to contribute the knowledge and experience they gained in practice to
the society by pursuing a doctorate any by contributing to science. If we put aside the, let’s say, prestige a
doctoral degree gives its holder, what it does is that it truly enables a
person to think independently and critically, whether it is in his/her work or
life in general.
What are the quality
indicators of a postgraduate study? How can a student be sure he or she has
made the right decision? In addition to
tradition, reputation and the status of the university and/or its constituent
offering the postgraduate program, international accreditations are nowadays
becoming a key indicator of quality. A relevant international
accreditation for doctoral studies in economics and business economics is the European
Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). EFRI is one of
the two Croatian faculties holding membership in EDAMBA and one of the four
faculties holding membership in the Central, East and South-East European PhD
Network (CESEEENet). EFMD and AACSB accreditation are
also an indicator of quality in education and research at economic faculties.
long-term work and dedication of all EFRI employees in innovating the structure
and enhancing their quality of study programs have been recognized by EFMD - an
leading international accreditation institution, which has awarded EFRI with
their EPAS accreditation, currently held by 115 study programs at higher
education institutions in management, economics and business economics in the
world. Obtaining the prestigious EPAS
accreditation places the Faculty of Economics and Business in Rijeka in the top
10% of the world's best faculties of economics and business schools.