Education and research in Serbia are regulated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development .
There are 17 universities in Serbia (eight public universities and nine private universities with a total number of 116 accredited faculties). The scientific work is also organized within 83 research institutes among which are 15 centers of excellence. The total number of students attending the public and private universities as well as faculties of vocational studies exceeds 200,000.
Public universities in Serbia are: the University of Belgrade (the oldest one, founded in 1808, and largest university with approximately 80,000 undergraduates and graduates), University of Novi Sad (1960; 45,000), University of Niš (1965; 27,000), University of Kragujevac (1976; 14,000), University of Priština – Kos. Mitrovica, Public University of Novi Pazar. Largest private universities include Megatrend University and Singidunum University, both in Belgrade, and Educons University in Novi Sad. University of Belgrade is placed in 301–400 bracket on 2014 Shanghai Ranking of World Universities with the disciplines of physics and mathematics in 151-200 place .
In science collaboration Serbia is included in Joint Research Centre-JRC; NATO Science for Peace and Security-SPS; Еuropean co-operation in the field of scientific and technical research – COST; EUREKA; Seventh Framework Programme – FP7; Central European Initiative – CEI; Research Infrastructure CERIC-ERIC. It maintains bilateral scientific and exchange collaboration with several European countries.
ESUO-Serbia has been established in 2018 as a section of Optical Society of Serbia (http://www.ods.org.rs/en/). OSS is voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit, professional organisation established in 2011 to foster research in optics, photonics and related disciplines. Having a growing community in Serbia whose research has been linked to large facilities such as synchrotrons and FELs, triggered a need to set up the ESUO-Serbia section and to incorporate into European Research Area.