International Burch University

International Burch University

International Burch University (IBU) was established in 2008 in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the goal of presenting an alternative to the very idea of a contemporary university and to formulate a different blueprint for the higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Upon the Ministry of Education decision, teaching process was started according to Bologna System of Education (3+2+3) entirely in English language within three faculties. Aside from National Accreditation bodies, IBU has also been accredited by BAC (British Accreditation Council) and ASIC (Accreditation Services for International Schools and Colleges),

The Department of Architecture offers an educational program that is the blend of arts and science, practiced in our design studios which are at the core of our educational process. Furthermore, the department is actively involved in national and international collaborations by participating in workshops and research projects through initiatives like Creative Europe, COST, Erasmus Capacity Building, Tandem Western Balkans, etc.

Project Co-Ordinator

Dr. Lejla Odobašić Novo (Department of Architecture, Assistant Professor)

Lejla Odobasic Novo is a Bosnian-Canadian architect and holds a professional licence by the Ontario Association of Architects in Canada. She has over ten years of diverse professional experience in a number of renowned architectural practices both in Canada and internationally (including Toronto, London, Madrid, Rome and Istanbul). Currently, Lejla is a faculty member at the International Burch University Department of Architecture in Sarajevo where she obtained her Doctorate degree in 2017. She holds a Bachelor (2009) and Master (2011) degrees from the University of Waterloo in Canada where she has taught (both in Canada and Rome) prior to returning to her hometown of Sarajevo. Lejla has also been invited to numerus international academic seminars, final reviews and workshops (including Canada, Italy, UK, Spain, the West Bank and Latvia).

Within the field of culture and architecture in contested spaces, Lejla has carried out a number of projects, exhibitions, publications and other academic initiatives.  This includes work with Liana Bresler on their project Jerusalem-Sarajevo: In-between Cities in 20010/11 (exhibited in Cambridge (CA), Sarajevo, London, Opatija) as well as DAAR Decolonizing Architecture residency in the West Bank in 2011 under Eyal Weizman, Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal (exhibited in New York, London and Neuchâtel). 

Lejla’s PhD dissertation examines how culture (and museums in particular) can activate processes of urban regeneration with particular focus on Sarajevo. Part of that research been published in Domus Magazine (November, 2017) and other acclaimed academic publications.

She has also worked on a Tandem Western Balkans project with Aleksadnar Obradovic from Philopolitics entitled “(Re)making history: tracing politics in urban space” researching for similar pattern of historical revisionism that took place in Belgrade as well as in Sarajevo after 1991 through the renaming of streets, public spaces and monuments. She is the project coordinator for IBU for “B-Air” and is a BH representative in COST action 19131 (European Co-corporation in Science and Technology).


Dr. Adnan Novalić, (Head of Department of Architecture, Assistant Professor)

Adnan Novalić gained his Bachelor and Masters degree in Architecture in Istanbul from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture) where he succesfully defended his master thesis under the title „Evaluation of Student Rooms in Istanbul, in the Context of Planning Principles“ which was, as an architect, his main focus on the living conditions of student individuals of higher education within the accomodation facilities in the city of Istanbul.

During his years of study and after the graduation he worked in several architectural companies in Istanbul and in Bosnia and Hercegovina, in the frame of which he was mainly enrolled as an architect who worked on the projects in the field of architectural desing & planning, interior desing, restoration & restitution and he was enrolled as a master student to collaborate on the Survey of Bodrum Penninsula with archeologists, historians of arts and architects with whom he has published.

Later on, he gained his PhD degree in the field of Architectural Design in Sarajevo, at International Burch University, by successfully defending dissertation under the title „Evaluation of Collective Housing in Sarajevo: Recognition of Individual within the Collective“which had the main focus on the investigation of living conditions of users in the contemporary multi-storey residential buildings in Sarajevo.

He is actively involved in teaching processes of Department of Architecture from the Spring semester 2013. (enrolled as a Senior Teaching Assistant and later on as Assistant Professor), and since than, by collaborating with his colleagues from the Department he has been involved in various activities related to the provison of numerous architectural services related to the needs of Internationa Burch University (Smart Building Desing – main project phase development, Master plans of Campus, re-desing of office spaces and other occasional professional consultings).

With the main focus on configurational theories of space that are related to the aspects of „living“ and residential architecture in general sense, Professor Novalić posess various skills and knowledge of architectural theory and practice, with the cosistent amount of enthusiasm and passion about all what is related to architecture and architectural education.

MSc. Emir Klepo (Department of Graphic Design and Multimedia, Assistant Professor)

Prof. Emir Klepo teaches Graphic Design and Multimedia at International Burch University. Prof Klepo is particularly focused on photography, cinematography and filmmaking. He is an award-winning photographer and cinematographer working in the industry worldwide. He specialised in the field of Cinematography and Photography collaborating with such agencies as DAZN and TBWA as well as featured international brands. He exhibited at various international festivals and exhibitions like Wichita State's Ulrich Museum (USA), Moscars Film Festival (Egipt), Marmara Faculty of Fine Arts (Turkey), Aesthetica (UK), Miami Fashion Film Festival. Currently, Prof Klepo is collaborating on various projects, including documentaries, films, commercials and video productions.