Kosovo education minister addresses concerns about promotions at UP

Minister of Education Bajrami confronts public concerns about promotion practices at the University of Prishtina following an investigation by BIRN Kosovo’s programme Jeta ne Kosove.

Kosovo’s Ministry of Education is addressing media and civil society concerns about unjust promotions at the University of Prishtina, UP, according to a letter sent from Minister of Education Arsim Bajrami to UP Rector Marjan Dema.

“The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has received complaints and concerns from NGO representatives, civil society members and journalists in Kosovo about the failures in the application of academic standards, principles and transparency in practicing the legal responsibilities of the University of Prishtina ‘Hasan Prishtina,’ with special emphasis on the application of academic criteria in the process of choosing and promoting academic staff,” Bajrami’s letter states.

The minister’s letter was sent less than a week after BIRN Kosovo’s television programme Jeta ne Kosove published an investigation into academic promotions at UP’s Faculty of Medicine.

The television programme shed light onto the suspicious voting practices of UP senators on the promotion of academic staff at the Faculty of Medicine.

Whistleblower Rozafa Koliqi said that she was unjustly rejected for the position of teaching assistant at this faculty.

Prior to the minister’s letter, a group of civil society organizations sent a letter to Bajrami to display their concerns regarding academic integrity at the UP.

The civil society letter, initiated by the Organization for Increasing the Quality of Education, ORCA, and signed by 12 other organizations that deal with education, states that “cases of promotion in the last few weeks as well as last year’s promotions have raised concerns among the public about abuse of office and violation of the UP statute and other regulations in power.”

The Anti-Corruption Agency also requested the Kosovo Police to investigate the rectorate for corruption allegations with regards to academic promotions at the university.

Bajrami’s letter to Rector Dema emphasizes that the UP – the largest public education institution in the country – needs to ensure the application of higher academic principles and standards of transparency and responsibility.

The letter requests the UP to take “all measures” to ensure the application of standards and criteria of quality.

“We request that you take all adequate measures in accordance with the law to ensure the application of standards and criteria of quality and merits in the process of selecting and promoting the academic staff of the University [of Prishtina],” the letter says.

The letter closes with the minister offering support and encouraging UP bodies to apply the highest standards for ensuring quality in the selection and promotion of academic staff.

09/03/2017 - 16:06

09 March 2017 - 16:06

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