Alumni and Friends
Alumni and Friends
Three alumni organizations of the School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade were founded in 2001. They were initially envisaged as the Heritage Foundation of the School of Electrical Engineering, but they were later registered under the joint name ETF Belgrade Alumni and Friends Association. The first BAFA was registered in the UK and it is the smallest in terms of the number of members, the second one is in the USA and it is the largest and economically the strongest, while the third one is registered in Switzerland but it also has members joining from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. BAFA was also founded in Serbia in 2004 under the name the Foundation of the School of Electrical Engineering because foundation is the only legally possible entity for this kind of organization.
ETF BAFA with its four centers has the following ideas and goals:
- Show how our potential can be used to benefit the society
- Show how diaspora can fruitfully work with institutions in the homeland
- Establish better professional, scientific, educational, and business cooperation with colleagues and organizations at home and abroad
- Preserve the reputation of the School of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade
- Use friendship connections to unite former students and defend our joint interests
- Enhance the level of education of young engineers
- Lobby for the School of Electrical Engineering
- Ensure assistance of older colleagues to younger colleagues by creating a program which enables former students to transfer their knowledge to younger colleagues, even if they are not situated in Belgrade
- Enable participation of graduate engineers in activities of the school
- Finance awards
- Finance projects with foreign partners
- Enable exchange of our students with our professors who work abroad
- Finance scholarships for foreign students who wish to do their final dissertations in Belgrade
- Initiate scientific cooperation and lectures of professors from other countries
- Look for companies who can donate books and equipment
- Finance construction of the new building of the school
Ever since it was founded, the School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade has been an institution of national importance. It has continuously worked on the development and enhancement of the state and the society, taking part in national projects, advisory bodies, representation of the profession in the world, and education of not only exceptional engineers, experts, and scientists, but also technical elite who administered the country.
The state has not always been equally devoted to supporting education and universities, and the same was experienced by the School of Electrical Engineering. In contrast to the changing support of the state, the society has always supported the school. This may be the case because the society is aware of the relevance of the institution or because the school’s graduates very often occupy relevant positions. As a result of this support, the school receives financial donations.
Donations are a relatively recent development, starting to be received after the beginning of the new millennium, after a very hard period for the school. In the 1990’s the school was in a poor financial condition as a result of war, sanctions, and public neglect. To help their school, graduate students from Serbia and abroad started fundraising. The first donations arrived in the form of large shipments of new and used equipment, which was the result of individual efforts and self-organized initiatives of our students who lived and worked abroad. This equipment played a very important role because even after the government changes in 2000’s the state was still not financially strong enough to support the university, so the donations ensured a quality learning process.
Some later donations resulted from our graduates’ lobbying at companies they worked for to donate some of their products to the school. In this way the school has received several major donations in the form of equipment and software licences from foreign and domestic companies. When it comes to domestic companies, there have been several donations in works and material. In addition to equipment, donations have also come in the form od books and journals. It has become a tradition that when our graduates visit the school, they bring a book or two as a present. One of the largest and most meticulous actions was when our former students collected all relevant journals issued in the period 1990-2000 to complete the collection of our school’s library.
In addition to improving the working conditions of the school, donations accomplished another important goal – they gathered our graduates of different generations from various parts of the world. This is now alumni organizations came to be.
Based on this story, we can conclude the following: the School of Electrical Engineering is proud of its students, while students’ actions and attitudes show that they are proud of their school as well.
Recent donations and how to help the school:
For more info on donations and how to support the school go to Alumni and Friends of the School of Electrical Engineering.
More info on alumni and friends is avaliable at alumni.etf.bg.ac.rs.