News archive - Progress made in Science, Research and Education: Report 2016 - Kosovo*

Education and research: Preparations in education and research are at an early stage. During the reporting period, there has been no progress in the area of education and some progress in the area of research. The quality of education still needs to be considerably improved.

As last year’s recommendations have not been addressed, in the coming year Kosovo* should, again, in particular:

  • improve the quality of education at all levels and improve access to quality education for marginalised groups, especially children with disabilities and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children;
  • ensure the autonomy and independent operation of higher education institutions and adopt a new law for higher education based on international standards;
  • strengthen research and innovation capacity through the reform of higher education institutions and increased investment in research, both in the public and private sectors.

On education, implementation of the core curriculum is continuing, with 92 schools participating in its pilot implementation. However, implementation was hampered by outdated textbooks and learning materials, lack of necessary skills among teachers and an underdeveloped student assessment system. A teacher training system for improving the quality of pre-and in-service education is in place but has yet to bear results. The draft law on inspectorate of education was adopted by the government in July 2016 in line with European legislation and international standards, but efforts are needed to improve its implementation, as well as to monitor and support teacher performance.

Expenditure per student is declining and infrastructure in schools is still poor.

Rates of school enrolment are comparable with countries in the region, with the exception of access to pre-school education or early childhood education. Only 3.7% of children attend pre-school education (age 0-5) and 74% of children aged 5-6 attend pre-primary education, both rates are increasing but well below the 95 % EU benchmark for 2020.

The government continued implementing measures to lower early school ‘dropout’ rates, particularly for children from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. More efforts are needed to provide access to quality education for children with disabilities, and more teachers and assistants need to be trained.

The Ministry of Education and Science adopted an administrative instruction on measures and quotas for the enrolment of students from minority communities in public universities.

After the first round of admissions, 96 minority students who have successfully completed the admission exams were enrolled in six public universities, which is higher than in the previous school year.

Around half of all students in upper secondary choose vocational education and Kosovo has received EU support to reform this sector. However progress remains slow, the link to the labour market remains weak and programmes lack practical and applied courses with only a few being accredited by the National Qualifications Authority. The role and future of the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education remain unclear. The government needs to ensure the implementation of the quality assurance strategy and establish quality assurance mechanisms at the municipal level.

The Accreditation Agency for Higher Education has revised its criteria, taking into account EU standards. This resulted in the reduction in the number of higher education institutions and accredited study programs, which gives a clear message of the importance of quality.

However, the accreditation of higher education institutions and study programmes is only starting.

Kosovo* needs to improve transparency in the operation of higher education institutions to address politicised recruitment. A database containing all academic staff and their appointments could prevent the practice of university teachers holding multiple full time positions. There has been some progress in implementing the 2011 agreement on diploma recognition between Belgrade and Pristina and the parties agreed to extend the scope of the agreement to pre-university education. Education remains a high risk sector for corruption and political influence, especially in higher education.

Kosovo* has taken limited action to develop its research and innovation capacity.

The quality of post-graduate programmes is very limited. The budget for research remains insufficient and is still below 0.2% of GDP. The law on scientific research activities is not being properly implemented due to lack of funding. Kosovo* should also strengthen its administrative capacity on research and innovation. Concerning participation in the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, Kosovo* bodies were involved in more than 50 proposals, of which 9 have been retained for funding. This is a positive development compared to previous years.

Geographical focus
  • Kosovo*
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Anna Sirocco on November 16, 2016
Modified on November 16, 2016