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

Client: European Union

Duration: 2019-2021

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Serbia

Solutions: Governance

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 low level of knowledge and literacy of incoming students.

The introduction of the 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, will enable the evaluation of the quality of education to become objective and build a knowledge-based society.

DAI’s European Union-funded State Matura Project aims to prepare the education system and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development (MoESTD) to implement the final examinations at the end of secondary education in the Republic of Serbia.

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Sample Activities

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

Select Results

  • Implemented first pilot matura exam in October 2020 in 100 schools in Serbia.
  • Prepared framework for institutional development and discussed 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 piloting 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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