Ministry of Defence and FON University sign Memorandum of Cooperation

“Our goal with the signing of this Memorandum is to make the Ministry of Defence and the FON University stronger, because we share the same view that the strength of a state, especially of the small armies and small defence systems is in its people”, said Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska at today’s signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry and the FON University.

Shekerinska stressed that by joining the Alliance our country has something to offer to the Allies – i.e. human resources, to date we contributed to missions and operations of the Alliance, and now we will contribute as part of the operating of the NATO command system. Minister Shekerinska underlined that the main resource will be the professionals with military education, however the focus has been directed towards persons with civil education, who with additional military training, can become part of the Army, as a possibility planned with the amendments to the Law on Army Service.

With the NATO membership, said Minister Shekerinska, our country will need to have a fully staffed permanent mission, but also we will fill about 20 command positions in the Alliance, a figure which in the future will increase, and therefore, the state should continue to invest in the people and their capacity and resources. Thus, she added, we acknowledge the fact that as a result of the Memorandum of Cooperation, two employees of the Ministry, annually, will gain the right to attend and finish postgraduate studies without tuition.

“We see this Memorandum of Understanding as a continuum – we signed a similar memorandum with the Faculty for Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Skopje, and we will continue further. For the first time, the Law on Military Service gives an opportunity to the Army personnel to receive scholarships for the so called critical (niche) specialties. The government policy and the defence policy is to see our membership in NATO as an instrument for organizing the things at home better, becoming more efficient, and creating a system that really is based on competent people that will be valued according to their knowledge”, said Minister Shekerinska .

The Director of the FON University, Sefer Canovski, and the Rector, Nano Ruzhin, emphasized that knowledge and science are also part of security and that this Memorandum of Cooperation is an opportunity for advancement of all young people, all professionals in the field of defence.

The memorandum includes cooperation of expert and professional teams, the preparation of MA and PhD theses in the defence and joint work on applied projects. This Memorandum includes scholarships for students by the Ministry, scholarships for the employees of the Ministry for postgraduate studies given by the University, as well as providing internships for students who are of interest to the Ministry and the defence sector.