Serbia—Improving the Quality of Education by Introducing Examinations at the End of Secondary Education (State Matura)

Client: European Union

Duration: 2019-2022

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Serbia

Solutions: Governance Education

Analyses of the Serbian education system carried out in recent years have shown ample evidence of the need for improvement. The existing practice of the final examination system at the end of secondary education is not standardized; the assessment process is subjective and higher education institutions complain about the limited knowledge and low literacy of incoming students.

A new final examination system should resolve the existing problems and establish a coherent system linking educational goals, education standards, various forms of assessment, and evaluation. The standardized state-administered matura, at the end of secondary education across Serbia, enables the evaluation of the quality of education to become more objective.

The European Union-funded State Matura Project prepared the education system and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development to implement the new final examination.

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Sample Activities

  • Identify an organizational model for setting up the system of final examinations at the end of secondary education and harmonize the legal framework.
  • Prepare higher education institutions for a new way to enroll students.
  • Strengthen and build the capacity and professional competency of all relevant stakeholders to participate in the process of preparation, implementation, and evaluation of final examinations at the end of secondary education.
  • Increase public understanding of the relevance of introducing final examinations in secondary education and its benefits for society.

Select Results

  • Implemented the first pilot matura exam in October 2020 in 100 schools in Serbia.
  • Prepared the framework for institutional development and discussed it with representatives of the Institute for the Improvement of Education and the Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation in Serbia.
  • Prepared instruments for facilitating the second pilot planned for May 2021, encompassing 65,000 students, more than 550 secondary schools, more than 50 different types of exams, available in nine languages.
  • Developed instructions for the administration of the state matura for candidates with special educational needs providing detailed guidance on administration, adaptations of examination materials, and assessment per disability.
  • Prepared training and workshops for higher education institutions to support them in integrating the state matura into admission procedures.
  • Developed user-friendly and sophisticated state matura website.


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