Higher Education and Research

Governance of higher education
Tirana, 16-17 January

The Council of Europe was invited by the Albanian Ministry of Education and Science to attend meetings with different stakeholders with the purpose of providing advice on proposed amendments to the higher education legislation regarding the governing bodies of higher education institutions and the election of academic leaders.

The experts met the Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister, the Director General for Higher Education, the Ministry’s working group charged with developing proposals for the legislative amendments, the chair and deputy chair of the parliamentary committee for education, media and culture, the Prime Minister’s advisor for education and research, the national conference of rectors, and the leaders of one of the student “governments”.

The proposed amendments centre around two key strategic issues. The first of these is the creation of governing boards within each higher education institution, with the primary purposes of encouraging closer links between higher education and society through the inclusion of external stakeholders, promoting university autonomy and ensuring greater mutual accountability and responsibility. The second amendment concerns the election procedures for academic leaders (rectors, deans, heads of department, etc) within each higher education institution, following the creation of governing boards.

In addition to the proposed legislative amendments, the authorities plan to launch a national higher education “master plan”, the creation of a National Council for Higher Education and Research and the integration of the research functions and personnel of the National Academy of Sciences into the university structures, with a view to speed up the integration into the European Higher Education Area.