Dear Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Albin Kurti,
Honorable Minister of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Ms. Arbërie Nagavci,
Honored President of EQAR, Mr. Stéphane Lauëick,
Honorable Vice President of ENQA, Ms. Cristina Ghitulica,
Respected Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Science, Technology, Innovation, Culture, and Youth, Mr. Enis Kervan,
Honorable Members of the Kosovo Parliament,
Respected Ambassador of the Republic of Austria,
Representative of the Embassy of Croatia,
Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Deans, colleagues,
Education and learning are among the greatest blessings of humanity. Despite the fact that humans are not the only beings privileged to pass on information from generation to generation, they are the only ones who do so rationally and with the purpose of individual and societal development. When said in this manner, the responsibility that comes with achieving this goal seems daunting.
The question of whether the ways in which generations are educated and taught are suitable for the youth finds its answer in the expectations and goals that justify the existence of formal and non-formal education systems, institutions, organizations, and the vision of what kind of citizens we wish to have in the face of the challenges of our time and development. It also relates to our responsibility towards global peace and security and the highest values of a free and democratic country.
Quality education is the foundation for shaping a secure future for humanity with responsibility and vision. It contributes to the development of well-rounded, informed, morally upright individuals who are open to change and aware of the importance of global processes, all of which are essential qualities for addressing the complex challenges and opportunities that await humanity.
The primary mission to achieve a society where happy citizens coexist to create common goods is not utopian. Realizing this mission involves developing thoughts, theories, and ideas; rational communication and debate; the transmission of information and knowledge; the prevention and reduction of violence; the exchange of cultural values; the creation of space for innovation; and providing answers to the most subtle needs of society. In short, it is achieved through quality education.
This is why mechanisms for quality assurance in education are highly important for the entire education system. As the needs and expectations of societies change, these quality assurance mechanisms will continue to play a crucial role in promoting global connectivity and ensuring that education remains a priority in an ever-evolving world.
The role of accreditation agencies in this regard is twofold: first, in holding educational institutions accountable for their role in providing quality education, and second, in promoting continuous improvement in line with a broader vision, which is to prepare individuals for a future where they can grow, contribute, and address challenges and opportunities.
In countries where the field of education is not sufficiently developed, improving the quality of higher education is a complex and long-term effort that requires cooperation among governments, institutions, international organizations, and other interested parties.
It is a complex and multidimensional process with a clear vision and implementable strategies tailored to the specific needs and context of each country, while also prioritizing sustainability, excellence, collaborative and long-term efforts, both regionally and internationally.
The Kosovo Accreditation Agency has strategically focused on three main priorities to continuously enhance the quality of higher education:
- Internationalization through inclusion in European quality networks and registries, and beyond;
- Dialogue with all relevant local stakeholders, creating and maintaining national cohesion for the orientation and development of higher education in Kosovo;
- Close regional cooperation to implement European standards and achieve a meaningful and balanced level of diploma quality, enabling easier mobility of young people from these countries towards the labor market and the fulfillment of their aspirations, thus enhancing the brand of this region.
To achieve these priorities of the Agency, cooperation, first and foremost with higher education institutions, political representatives, the international community, donors, civil society representatives, and the media is essential. Your presence here, and of those who were unable to join us today, shows that the direction and path we have taken, a path filled with challenges for a small yet ambitious country, is the right one.
Thank you for your support, and I wish you all a successful day and productive discussions during this conference.