The study program of Demography and Croatian diaspora is a novel concept in science and higher education in Croatian universities in terms of subject matter, theoretical approach, methodology employed, multidisciplinary elaboration, and in terms of importance and general interest for researching applied demography and emigration.
This study program is founded on the idea that the population is key factor in all subsequent human activities, from children and young people as the carriers of the future development of Croatia, and it also acknowledges the Croatian diaspora as a cultural capital, to the adverse effects of cultural decadence upon the civilization in general, and Croatian in particular (especially since all of the major demographic indicators and trends have turned negative). Following this, the decision to establish this study program in Croatia originates from major academic, social, economic, cultural, and national necessity. This necessity is only compounded by the cumulative adverse effects of negative demographic trends on key government systems of the Republic of Croatia.
Emigration waves in the 20th and early 21st century have resulted in a larger number of ethnic Croats abroad than in the Republic of Croatia, which makes the study of Diaspora not just a key academic field, but also an important contributor to the demographic survival.
By acknowledging the complexity of demography, Diaspora and migration in general, with its natural socio-spatial constraints and the need for a new developmental conception based on Croatian diaspora, a new study program is proposed at the University Department of Croatian Studies of the University of Zagreb with lecturers coming from the best Croatian scientific institutions.
The content is modelled after the best practices already established in nations with a majority of population living outside the national state, and aims to address the issues and potentials specific to Croatia. The exclusion of the Croatian diaspora from the economic, cultural, social and political aspects of Croatia is an unacceptable basis for future development, and this study program should establish the necessary framework for addressing these issues.
Negative demographic trends in Croatia delineate the need for a comprehensive demographic revitalization and its priority. It is an academic duty towards future generations, as well as towards those who fought in dire times for the survival of the Croatian cultural and moral identity as well as the territorial integrity.
The recent emigration of the young and educated Croatian population, and a long term demographic decline, is not just an academic question, but a vital question for homeland security and upon completion of the study program, the student will have extensive knowledge employable to safeguard Croatian national interests.
Integrated double major study
The start of the program is the academic year 2019/2020, and it is to be conducted as an integrated double-major study programme in Croatian, to be combined with the existing study programs at the University Department for Croatian Studies. Demography and Croatian diaspora can be combined with:
- Croatology (Croatian Culture)
- Latin Language
- Philosophy and Culture
The knowledge of demography and diaspora issues on national topics, combined with related fields of study, will enable a wider perspective necessary for participating in social, political, scientific, diplomatic, consular and educational activities in Croatian and Croatian representative bodies throughout the world.
The integrated study of demographics and Croatian diaspora is particularly important in the social, promotional, diplomatic and similar activities in the Croatian diaspora.
Upon graduation, asides from the academic title, the student will be competent to find employment in professional and scientific developmental challenges.
The study of Demographics and Croatian Diaspora is a return to the fundamental idea upon which the University Department for Croatian Studies was formed in 1992, as an identity study of important national topics, and a return to a unique and distinguishable profile of the University Department for Croatian Studies. It is a joint challenge for the Department as well as the University, and the future generations.