European Quality Standards in Limnology Education (QUALI)


Water is one of the most important resources and its significance is increasing. According to several forecasts, it will become not only ONE OF the most important resources but THE most important resource for humankind in the future. The scientific discipline dealing with continental waters is LIMNOLOGY. Limnology, as science, was born in the end of the 19th century and is now defined as the science dealing with complex physical, chemical and biological interactions determining basic features of aquatic ecosystems. Its interdisciplinary feature is apparent. The need for deep limnological knowledge is increasing worldwide. One of the indications is issuing the EC-Water Framework Directive (hereafter: WFD; EC Parliament and Council, 2000, Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy. European Commission PE-CONS 3639/1/100 Rev 1, Luxembourg) that aims to establish good ecological quality of Europe’s surface (and subsurface) waters by 2015. The aim needs cooperation of governments and monitoring agencies of the individual member countries and the target cannot be reached without well and coherently trained experts. Recent experience says that the European job market has an increasing demand for well trained limnologists. Despite limnology is not a newly emerged science, its representation in higher education is sporadic and badly defined. In most of Europe’s universities limnology is a minor, facultative discipline for students in biology, geology and environmental science. At universities where departments of Limnology (alternatively: Hydrobiology, Aquatic Ecology, etc.) were established these departments are typically small and specialized to only one or on a few particular directions. The starting point of this project proposal was to overcome the discrepancy between the need of society for well trained limnologists and the controversial position of limnology in higher education. In this context, the particular needs of the partner country Croatia met with the overall need of each EC member country.


There are a number of ongoing activities in the EC concerning higher education, research and environmental, monitoring for improvement ecological qualities of Europe's ecosystems. This project integrates these approaches, focusing on fields of limnology and targeting development of the related competences in Croatia. The project is, linked to 1) Enhancing basic and applied limnological knowledge in the Partner Country with special attention to the, EC-Water Framework Directive (WFD). 2) This goal is aimed to reach through the 3-level principle of the Bologna process, namely it, - provides overall view on the WFD with some practical skills that can be appropriate at BSc level can also be, - introduces the students to theoretical problems that may help to plan target research to understand and, implement better the WFD that concerns MSc studies and, - improves the competitiveness of the target county in composing project proposals, writing scientific papers at, international level and disseminate the gained knowledge to the public and the decision makers. This competence is mostly relevant at PhD level. To fulfill the above objectives a consortium of 7 universities (from 6 EC and one non-EC countries) was collected, and knowledge of some external experts from the central EC institutions, universities not involved in the, consortium, governmental and private companies were also involved.


Black river, NP Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

NP Krka, Croatia

Prosce Lake, NP Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Krka River, NP Krka, Croatia

Kaludjerovac Lake, NP Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Kupa River, Croatia