IBNA Special Report
Skopje, November 3, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Cheap study fees and cheap cost of living has brought many foreign students to study in Macedonian universities.
According to the Minister of Education and Science, there are more than 2500 foreign students who currently study in state and private universities in FYROM. The majority of them come from Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, but even from countries as far as Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Cameron, etc.
“Every year, the number of foreign students has increased and this is something positive. The government and the ministry have launched a campaign to attract foreign students and this has had its effects, but recently, we’re thinking on applying an enrollment test for foreign students, in order to increase quality and create a filter for foreign students who are accepted. This has an impact in the image of our universities”, declared minister of Education, Abdilaqim Ademi.
According to him, 150 scholarships are allocated each year for foreign students who want to study in the universities of the country. They stay in student campuses, they receive 100 Euros a month in the form of a stipend and a return airplane ticket.
In most cases, foreign students register in private universities with annual fees ranging from two thousand two four thousand Euros.
The majority of these students are from Turkey, namely from the Kurdish community, who come to the country to study in order to avoid obligatory military service in Turkey. This is admitted by Jasar S, a student from Istanbul, who came to Skopje a year ago and who is getting along very well with his studies.
“I’ve been here for a year and I like both the city and the quality of teaching that the university has to offer. I have come here because studying has a lower cost here, but on the other hand, many other youngsters are obliged to do this”, says for IBNA, Jasar S, who also admits that one of the reasons relates to avoiding military service.
A part of these students have also spread in other cities such as Manastir (Bitola), Struga, Ohrid, but the majority of them are located in Skopje.
Albanian youngsters from the Valley of Presevo in the south of Serbia also continue to come and study in FYROM. The main reason why they come to FYROM relates to the fact that their region lacks a quality university.
“We come to study in Macedonia, because it’s very close to where we live and Serbia recognizes Macedonian diplomas. We could have gone to Kosovo, which is closer, but there’s the problem of the recognition of degrees by Serb authorities and this is a problem, because we cannot be employed”, says Arlind D.
The most favorite subjects are medicine, pharmacy, economics and other subjects, which foreign students say that they are in deficit in the countries where they come from.
The presence of foreign students has increased in the past two years, while further increases are expected to take place. Based on official statistics, 58 thousand students have been registered in Macedonian universities, including foreign students. /ibna/