Pro­fessor to survey atti­tudes toward Serbia’s legal edu­ca­tion reforms

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor Thomas H. Koenig, Chair of the Depart­ment of Soci­ology and Anthro­pology and a founding member of Northeastern’s Law, Policy and Society Ph.D. pro­gram, has been rec­og­nized by the J. William Ful­bright For­eign Schol­ar­ship Board. As a result, Koenig will spend the 2008 fall semester at the Uni­ver­sity of Bel­grade School of Law, Serbia’s largest and most his­toric insti­tu­tion of higher learning, where he will teach, lec­ture and con­duct research focusing on Serbia’s progress in bringing its legal regime into con­for­mity with the require­ments of the Euro­pean Union.

The Ful­bright award will pro­vide Koenig with the ideal plat­form to con­duct an exten­sive study of the edu­ca­tional reforms that Serbia has adopted as it con­tinues its rapid progress toward legal har­mo­niza­tion with the Euro­pean Union and the glob­al­ized world economy.

This is an exciting time to study the trans­for­ma­tion of Ser­bian legal edu­ca­tion,” said Koenig. “Legal devel­op­ments in the United States, even in dynamic fields such as cyberlaw, move at a glacial pace com­pared to the rate at which Ser­bian law has been rev­o­lu­tion­ized over the past decade. Serbia is now engaged in the dif­fi­cult process of cre­ating the legal and edu­ca­tional infra­struc­ture nec­es­sary to become a full member of the Euro­pean com­mu­nity. Legal edu­ca­tion is being updated to comply with the pan-​​European Bologna Process.”

During his time at the Uni­ver­sity of Bel­grade, Koenig plans to con­duct an anony­mous ques­tion­naire survey of law school fac­ulty and a sample of stu­dents on their views con­cerning the impact of recent edu­ca­tional reforms. Respon­dents will be asked about the aspects of legal edu­ca­tion that are oper­ating smoothly and what remains to be accomplished.

My ques­tion­naire will cast a broad net because the par­tic­i­pants will teach and prac­tice in diverse areas of the law,” added Koenig. “A spe­cialist in inter­na­tional busi­ness trans­ac­tions can be expected to have quite dif­ferent con­cerns than someone whose research focuses on human rights. The reforms desired by an expert in pri­va­ti­za­tion will be quite dif­ferent than one who deals prin­ci­pally with social secu­rity issues or tort law.”

The flag­ship inter­na­tional edu­ca­tional exchange pro­gram spon­sored by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, widely known as the Ful­bright Pro­gram, is designed to “increase mutual under­standing between the people of the United States and the people of other coun­tries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Ful­bright Pro­gram has pro­vided more than 279,000 participants—chosen for their lead­er­ship potential—with the oppor­tu­nity to observe each others’ polit­ical, eco­nomic, edu­ca­tional and cul­tural insti­tu­tions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ven­tures of impor­tance to the gen­eral wel­fare of the world.

The J. William Ful­bright For­eign Schol­ar­ship Board was estab­lished by Con­gress for the pur­pose of super­vising the Ful­bright Pro­gram and cer­tain pro­grams autho­rized by the Fulbright-​​Hays Act and for the pur­pose of selecting stu­dents, scholars, teachers, trainees, and other per­sons to par­tic­i­pate in the edu­ca­tional exchange programs.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.