What benefits do employers have, and what benefits do students have in the dual education system?

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The model of higher dual education is made on the model of dual secondary vocational education and it envisages that the pupil or student learns through work in a real work environment with the employer, and learning through work acquires the right to financial compensation.

“The amount of financial compensation differs depending on whether it is secondary or higher vocational education. It is envisaged that in higher dual education, a student will receive 50 percent of the salary of the job where the employee performs the same or similar jobs. This amount, provided by the employer, can be distributed in different ways. For example, if it is the first year of study, the student can acquire the right to 30 percent, and in the final years of study he will receive a compensation of 70 percent of the value of the salary. What is important is that the fee at the level of the average of the entire study should not be lower than 50 percent “, explains Ana Stojanović, head of the Service for Dual Education and Education Policy of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, for Biznis.rs.

While the fee for students is provided by the Law on the Dual Model of Studies in Higher Education, other laws provide for the obligations of the employer.

One of the former obligations was to pay a 20 percent tax. However, at the initiative of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, amendments to the Law on Personal Income Tax, employers who are involved in the dual education process are exempt from taxing the compensation that students receive in this way.

“Our initiative has been adopted, so that from January 1, 2022, employers who accept students for learning through work according to the dual model of study are exempt from paying that tax, and that also applies to secondary education. Employers have an obligation to pay health insurance contributions. It is about the amounts of two and four percent ” ? – our interlocutor points out.

According to her, those amounts are not large. For example, in dual secondary education, they cost employers up to 300 dinars per month.

When it comes to students’ rights, those involved in this model of education are entitled to funds and personal equipment for safety at work, transportation and hot meal costs must be covered, as well as the cost of additional insurance, if necessary for the workplace on which they will perform learning through work.

In October last year, the first generations of students were enrolled in undergraduate and master’s studies. At the moment, 32 study programs are being prepared, which will be realized in nine higher education institutions according to this model.

“The number of students who will have the opportunity to study according to this model in the first year is around 160, while there are 75 employers. When it comes to the amount of compensation, it depends on the industry in which young people are educated. There are big differences when it comes to the textile industry or, for example, IT and electrical engineering, so that the level of earnings differs depending on the sector in which the employer operates. “Salaries, as well as the sectors themselves, have been established on the market” – Stojanović points out.

As our interlocutor explains, among the study programs that are most represented in the first place are information technology, then electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, textile engineering, tourism, food technology, fashion design, and there are recycling technologies, road traffic and landscape architecture.

What does dual education mean?

The model of studying through the system of dual education implies that the student spends equal time at the faculty and in learning through work with the employer.

“In the classical model of studying, this is not the case. Students spend much more time in college learning theory. There is almost no practice at all in some higher education institutions, so this model finally introduced this 50-50 ratio. While the student acquires theoretical knowledge, he also has the opportunity to apply it in practice, and at the same time the employer trains his future employee in this way, which is the main idea and advantage. The classic model implies cooperation with employers that is not included in the study program, where the student does it during free time or through some kind of summer internship. Here, a part of learning through work is integrated into the study program, it is an obligatory element of the study program and carries a certain number of ECTS credits “, concludes Ana Stojanović, head of the Service for Dual Education and Education Policy of PKS, Biznis reports.