In the past seven years the portal Scholarships.info (Stipendije.info) has become the central national point of reference for students who are seeking financial support for their studies in Croatia and abroad. Additionally, the portal actively advocates the role of scholarships in promotion of an increased and equitable access to higher education.
Our dedicated efforts in identifying and disseminating information on scholarship opportunities have resulted in the following achievements:
- Over 120 open calls for applications at all times
- Scholarship database featuring 302 scholarship awarding institutions
- An average of 144.667 web hits per month
- Facebook community on Scholarships with over 18 000 fans
- 37 accounts of first-hand scholarship experiences
- Official website of the Scholarships and Educational Programmes Fair which has been attracting over 10000 visitors in one day for the past eight years
In a broader perspective of the transitioning Croatian society, the portal on scholarships is a central user-focused tool for alleviating social inequalities and fostering equal access to higher education in Croatia for social groups of underprivileged backgrounds such as persons with disabilities, minority groups and students from low-income families. Parallel to researching and publishing calls for scholarship applications for the underserved student population, IDE has been actively campaigning for equal access to higher education on the institutional policy level through its Right to Education campaign (2006-2009) and its annual Scholarships Fair (2005-2016).
Scholarships and Educational Programmes Fair
Throughout its educational policy campaigns, IDE put special focus on advocating for the increased introduction of the need-based criteria in scholarship competitions which were thus far largely overlooked by typical scholarship awarding bodies in Croatia. In 2010, IDE also launched an advocacy campaign for the abolishment of taxes imposed on scholarships entitled Stop Scholarship Taxation so as to encourage a larger number of awards and scholarship granting institutions.
Throughout its public awareness campaigns and the practical content on the portal Scholarships.info, IDE has also been promoting the role of scholarships in increasing international cooperation through academic mobility opportunities. In that respect, for the past decade IDE has been administering eight scholarships programs for Croatian citizens to study abroad on behalf of the Open Society Foundations and American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and in cooperation with the British Embassy and the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb. In the policy domain, in 2008 IDE also conducted the project entitledMOBIL – Enhancing Mobility of the Croatian Academic Community, aimed at preparing Croatia for its entry into ERASMUS, the EU’s flagship education and training programme.
Today, the portal Scholarships.info represents a central visibility mechanism for increasing equal access and equity in education and encouraging international academic mobility, but equally in increasing transparency of scholarships competition procedures.