Academic programs of security studies in former Yugoslavia were organized within the Faculty of People’s Defence in Belgrade and Faculty of Security in Skopje, as well as at colleges of professional police studies in Belgrade, Zagreb, and Ljubljana, all of them stateowned and aimed at schooling professionals in the national security sector. Following the Yugoslav dissolution, Western Balkan countries have continued development of their own higher education system synchronized with their European integration orientations. The cornerstones of European Union accession process in the area of higher education are mechanisms based on the Bologna Declaration, later
institutionalized through the European Higher Education Area, which all the Western Balkan countries adopted and modified their higher education systems accordingly. The appearance of private higher education institutions was one of the first steps in the overall national reforms of these systems, where the Republic of Serbia is amongst regional countries with the biggest number of private universities, faculties, and colleges, especially in the social sciences and humanities. At the same time, the national security sectors went through the process of decentralization and privatization. These external and internal factors, combined with the global rise of importance of securityrelated phenomena, especially after the 9/11 events, brought the security studies in these countries in focus of interest of the existing and rising higher education institutions. Conflict heritage, the existing local security threats like extremism and terrorism, and a vast number of experienced national security officers with university titles, led to the appearance of various academic programs on terrorism, national security, national defence, and private security studies both on the existing state-owned and private universities and faculties. At the moment, the Republic of Serbia offers several dozens of higher education programs in security, on all the existing study cycles, within three different types of studies, and both for academic and professional levels. The paper will provide an overview of the existing higher education programs in the field of security and analyze the main discourses, directions and possible perspectives.