Lack of academic staff risks the closure of many universities in Kosovo

Lack of academic staff risks the closure of many universities in Kosovo

Pristina, 29 March 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

The lack of academics risks the closure of many study programs in the universities of Kosovo.

The Agency of Accreditation of Kosovo (AKA) demands every academic program to be covered by three doctors of science from the respective domain.

This has put the heads of private and public universities in a difficult position, because in the absence of professors in the country, they are hiring staff from Albania and FYR Macedonia, IBNA news agency reports.

For their employment, they have to obtain permits and unify their degrees at the Ministry of Education.

The head of AKA, Blerim Rexha says that Kosovo doesn’t have enough academics to fill in the high volume of programs in higher education institutions. According to him, last year, for the first time, data was gathered as to the accurate number of doctors of science in Kosovo.

“According to the Agency’s data, Kosovo has enough doctors of science to cover one third of the study programs which have been accredited in our country”, he says.

According to him, for the moment Kosovo has around 460 study program and 608 doctors of science employed on a full time basis.

“This means that we are lacking almost two thirds of our doctors of science. We must either reduce by two thirds the number of the study programs, or we must import them from neighboring countries or train people and keep them for these study programs”, Rexha said.

He says that no study program and no university which doesn’t meet these criteria, will not be accredited.

Meanwhile, Rexha says that the process of accreditation this year has slowed down.

Professor of International Law, Vilhard Shala told IBNA that the reform in AKA must start with the University of Pristina, where according to him, there’s a lack of professional staff.

“Unfortunately, this public university has been filled with professors who have suspicious titles. A while ago, we had a scandal with plagiarism, whereby the former rector of UP and some other professors were obliged to resign”, Shala said. /ibna/