Increased Training in Albania convention

Minister, distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen.

The British Embassy in Tirana and the British Council have supported higher education reform in Albania since its inception. We are delighted to have been able to assist the Department of Education in its efforts to restore the chaotic higher education market in Albania by providing UK expertise and by facilitating links between Albanian and UK higher education institutions.

We are very pleased that we are now at a stage where, after the necessary legal basis for a better functioning sector in Albania has been created, we are in a position to offer support to the Ministry of Education and its agencies in building capacity. It was a process aimed at restoring public confidence in the education sector and in its institutions, including its universities.

University conference

This process of supporting the higher education reform went through several phases:

First. We were able to help the ministry draw up the necessary roadmap to plan steps to restore the legitimacy of the system and ensure the quality of the university offer. We were pleased to be able to contribute the highest quality expertise of the British Accreditation Council in the UK. This initial work led to the Ministry’s actions to close 18 colleges that were operating outside of the admission criteria, private and public, in order to achieve the right level of quality assurance. This was an important milestone in the process. We look forward to the completion of this process in the coming months, which will also strengthen the capacities of the Albanian Quality Assurance Agency.

University conference

Following the passage of the new Higher Education Act, two new agencies were created along the lines of the UK. Exchange programs between our countries have brought in key skills in higher education funding and other educational services from leading agencies in the UK higher education sector. We hope that through these contacts we will not only exchange knowledge about organizational structures, know-how and the legal basis for operations, but also create permanent institutional connections that will benefit everyone involved, including the universities.

This important conference today is another opportunity to share experiences between the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency and the newly created Albanian Agency for Education Services, as well as other European partners. We hope that through your joint work we will find solutions that meet the needs of the Albanian education authorities and of course, above all, help to meet the needs of the Albanian students, which ultimately really matter.

Thank you and good luck for the conference.

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