University of Prishtina rectorate. | Photo: BIRN.

University of Prishtina’s suspended accreditation programs

BIRN presents a list of university branches, departments and programs that failed to meet the criteria set by the National Council of Quality, NCQ.

In the absence of any other decisions made, youngsters wishing to study at the “Hasan Prishtina” Law Faculty at the University of Prishtina will not be able to graduate with a PhD in one of the basic law programs, on Constitutional Law.

BIRN secured a list of additional university branches, departments and programs that failed to meet the criteria set by the National Council of Quality, NCQ.

This is the body tasked with providing accreditation for study programs. The list is not final, pending on the appeals process.

A total of 24 University of Prishtina programs failed to meet the criteria of the NCQ, cutting the number of its accredited programs to 122.

Those who planned to study Journalism, Political Science, Geodesy or Nursing at the university in the next academic year will need to seek other solutions if the decisions brought by the NCQ remain in force.

Thirteen programs on the list do not meet the criteria of having three or four closely related PhDs for a study program at Bachelor level.

It is the same for Master programs that are lacking one or two related PhDs and three associate professors for PhD programs.

A total of 23 new programs at the Hasan Prishtina faculty will be able to enroll new students in the new academic year.

Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary

The Business Management in Farming program failed to obtain accreditation at Bachelor of Science degree level. The new Food Science program at Master level also failed to obtain accreditation.

Accredited programs are: Agricultural Economics at Bachelor degree level; Agriculture and Food Economics at Master level; Field Crop and Vegetables at Master level; Plant Protection – Phytomedicine at Master level; Veterinary Medicine, Pomology and Viticulture at Master level; Plant Production at Bachelor level; Applied Sciences in Zootechny at Master level; and Food Technology with Biotechnology at Bachelor level.

Urban Agriculture at Master of Science degree level was accredited as a new program.

Faculty of Civic Engineering and Architecture

The NCQ suspended accreditation of the Geodesy program at Bachelor of Science degree level in this faculty.

Five programs obtained accreditation: Architecture at Master level; Hydrotechnics at Bachelor and Master level; and Construction Engineering at Bachelor and Master level.

Faculty of Economics

The Marketing program at all three levels – Bachelor, Master and PhD – failed to obtain accreditation.

The Banking, Finance and Accounting program was accredited at all three levels – Bachelor, Master and PhD.

New programs accredited in the faculty are: Applied Economics and Management (in English) at Bachelor level; Economics (in English) at Master and PhD level; Accounting at Bachelor level; Economics at Master level; and Management at all three levels – Bachelor, Master and PhD.

The fate of the Economics program at Bachelor level was postponed for a discussion due on February 4, 2019.

Faculty of Education

Several programs were suspended from accreditation: General Pedagogy at Bachelor level; Primary Program at Bachelor level; the Preschool at the Bachelor level; Leadership in Education at Master level; Education at PhD level; and Early Childhood Education and Development (0-3 years) at Bachelor level.

The NCQ accredited six programs: Inclusive Education at Master level; Subject Teaching at Master level; Pedagogy for Vocational Schools at Master level; Teaching and Curriculum at Master level; Teaching in Albanian Language and Literature at Master level; and Pedagogy at Master level.

Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering

All eight of its programs were accredited: Computer Automation and Robotics at Bachelor level; Electro-energetics at Bachelor level; Electronics at both Bachelor and Master level; Computer Engineering at both Bachelor and Master level; and Telecommunications at both Bachelor and Master level.

Three new programs were accredited: Environmental Engineering at Bachelor level; Geodesy at Master level; and Efficiency in Energy at Master level.

Faculty of Law

One of the faculty’s basic programs, Constitutional and Administrative Law at PhD level, failed to obtain accreditation. Financial Law at PhD level also did not pass the accreditation standard.

Eight law programs approved for accreditation. They were: Civil and Property Law; Financial Law; Constitutional and Administrative Law; International law at Bachelor and PhD level; Penal Law; Law; and Contracts and Commercial Law.

The Penal Law and Civil Law programs at PhD level degree were approved as new programs.

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences,

All programs have been accredited. They are: Biology at Bachelor level; Biology of organisms and ecology at PhD level; Ecology and Environment Protection at Bachelor and Master level; Physics at Bachelor and Master level; Geography at Bachelor and Master level; Chemistry at the Bachelor and PhD level; Analytical Chemistry & Environment at Master level; Physical & Inorganic Chemistry at Master level; Chemical Engineering at Bachelor level; Organic Chemistry at Master level; Financial Mathematics for Banking and Insurance at Bachelor level; and Computer Science at Bachelor level.

New programs approved for accreditation are: Biology at Master level and Mathematics at Bachelor and Master level.

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Two programs did not meet the criteria from this faculty: Industrial Engineering and Management at Bachelor level and Road Traffic at Master level.

The NCQ accredited these programs: Traffic and Transport at Bachelor level; Mechatronics at Bachelor and Master level; Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering Management at the Master level; Manufacturing and Automation at Bachelor level; and Thermoenergetics and Renewable Energy at Bachelor and Master level.

A new program, Building and Mechanisms, at Bachelor level, was accredited.

Faculty of Medicine

Programs that failed to obtain accreditation are: Nursing at PhD level; Pharmacy at PhD level; and Obstetrics at Bachelor level.

Ten programs were granted accreditation: Experimental Biomedicine at PhD Level; Education in Health Care at Master level; Pharmacy at Integrated Masters level; Physiotherapy at Bachelor level; General Medicine at PhD level; Clinical Medicine at Bachelor level; Preclinical medicine at PhD level; Public health at PhD level; and Dentistry at PhD and dental practitioner level.

Faculty of Philology

An interesting case occurred at the Faculty of Philology where accreditation of the basic level Journalism program was suspended, while the Master program in Journalism was granted accreditation.

The Orientalistics, Oriental cultural studies program at Master level was suspended as well.

The NCQ accredited these programs: English Language and Literature at Bachelor and Master level; French Language and Literature at Bachelor level; German Language and Literature at Bachelor and Master level; Turkish Language and Literature at Bachelor level; Albanian Language at Bachelor and Master’s level; Linguistics at PhD level, Literature at PhD level; Albanian Literature at Bachelor and Master level; and Orientalistics at Bachelor level.

New accredited programs are: Journalism and Public Relations at Master level; French Language and Literature at Master level; and Turkish Language and Literature at Master level.

Faculty of Physical Education and Sports

Accredited programs are: Physical Education and Sports at Bachelor and Master level and Sports Coaching at Master level.

Faculty of Arts

All programs were postponed for the next meeting, due on February 4, 2019.

Turbulent History of Accreditation Process:

The NCQ, working within the Kosovo Accreditation Agency, KAA, met in January to decide on the accreditation of new programs, the re-accreditation of existing programs and their suspension at both public and private universities and the University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”.

At this meeting, the NCQ accredited 98 valid programs and withdrew accreditation from 13 at the University of Prishtina.

In this initial phase of evaluation, a green light was given to the University of Prishtina for 23 new programs, while 11 other new programs were suspended.

The NCQ said the reason for the suspension and rejection of accreditation was due to the lack of related doctorates available for these programs.

However, in case of failure to accredit, the university may apply again for the accreditation of these programs.

This is based on the Law on Higher Education, Article 15, Accreditation and Quality Assurance, which says: “Failure by a licensed provider of higher education to obtain institutional accreditation or re-accreditation will result in the re-organization of the accreditation process no later than one year.

The Kosovo Accreditation Agency also granted two more weeks to 41 University of Prishtina professors who had faced technical problems in becoming part of the e-Accreditation online system.

This system contains data on the academic staff of each public or private university.

The KAA informed the NCQ that it had encountered such problems only with the professors of the University of Prishtina.

Article 30 of the Administrative Instruction within the Declaration of Academic Staff for Engagement, Item 1, reads: “Higher Education Institutions must submit statements of academic staff that are engaged no later than October 31.”

During certification, the NCQ assessed the credentials of professors who had submitted their data on this platform based on Article 30, Item 3, which reads: “Only confirmed and approved academic staff by KAA will be taken into consideration in the accreditation/re-accreditation process for the next academic year.”

An example of accreditation suspension of a study program in University of Prishtina was Leadership in Education, within the Faculty of Education, at Master level.

This was because the two bearers of this program had PhDs in History and Psychology.

Another example came from the General Pedagogy program at Bachelor level in the Faculty of Education, whose bearers had PhDs in Economics and Sporting sciences.

Accreditation was suspended for the Political Science program at Bachelor degree level in the Faculty of Philosophy because the bearers of this program had PhDs in History and Philosophy.

These NCQ decisions prompted six rectors of public universities, including University of Prishtina Rector Marjan Dema, to issue a joint statement demanding that the NCQ, members be dismissed and their decisions annulled.

The rectors accused the NCQ of favouring private universities over public ones, and said the decision to withdraw or suspend the accreditation had a “political” background to it, reflecting Minister of Education Shyqyri Bytyqi’s wish to close new public universities.

In response to the statement of the Rectors’ Conference, the NCQ said it had told each of these universities why programs were not granted accreditation.

The “war” of the Rectors went to the Kosovo Assembly’s Committee for Education, which supported their demands. The committee met with the NCQ to seek explanations about their decisions. Meanwhile, members of the council asked the universities to submit any complaints to the KAA Appeals Commission if they suspected violations.

After the NCQ met the Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, she offered her support to the council in its decisions.

The Rectors’ Conference then announced that as of January 29, they would go on strike until their demands were met. Another demand was to dismiss the Minister of Education Bytyqi.

As well as the head of the EU Office in Kosovo, the US ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett, the British ambassador, Ruairi O’Connell, and the German ambassador, Christian Heldt, all offered their support to the NCQ.

BIRN has consistently reported on the developments that arose from the 61 meetings of the NCQ, whose decisions drew these varying reactions.

06/02/2019 - 14:36

06 February 2019 - 14:36

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