Kosovo Education

The indicators that z. B. the education statistics of the Kosovar statistical office are worrying. Access to pre-school education services is extremely limited. Only around 10% of children in Kosovo attend pre-school facilities, although there are clear regional differences here. Exclusion in education is significant for rural girls and minorities, with the Serb minority being an exception. Up to 10% of young women (16-19 years) in rural areas cannot read or write. The quality of education is generally to be assessed as comparatively bad. The essential prerequisites for adequate education are not met. There is a lack of teaching materials and the infrastructure is inadequate. As a report by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network notes, the level of violence and substance abuse in schools is another significant problem. Many young people leave school without adequate preparation for the world of work. A lack of qualifications hinders the successful transition between school and work, which young people in Kosovo need an estimated five years to achieve (in the sense of a job).

On December 6, 2016 the results of the PISA study, in which Kosovo participated for the first time, were published. As expected by most experts, Kosovo is at the bottom of the 72-country ranking. Only Algeria and the Dominican Republic score worse. The results of the PISA study 2019 showed no improvements.

Since 1999, the parallel worlds in the Kosovar education system have solidified, but under reverse ethnic signs. The Kosovar education system is completely boycotted by the Serbs in the northern part of Kosovo. Instead, it is fully integrated into the Serbian education system. In the 2018/19 school year, a total of 466,375 people in Kosovo attended either pre-school institutions (7.0%), primary schools (57.0%), secondary schools (18.5%) and institutions of higher education (22.4%). The capacities of the few preschool facilities are very limited. The share of private institutions is insignificantly low. The same applies to the proportion of private schools in primary and secondary levels (10 out of 1,079 schools). The number of enrolled students was 104,579 in 2018/19.University of Pristina as the largest institution; there are also the University in Prizren, the University of Peja, the University in Gjakova, the University in Gjilan, the University in Mitrovica and the Ferizaj University of Applied Sciences) while 39.3% are enrolled in private universities. Since 1999, the number of licensed private providers of higher education has increased to a total of 24. The three largest institutions are AAB University, Fama College, and Illyrian University while the smallest institutions are Americanos College and Design School. One of the (international) private universities in Kosovo is the Rochester Institute of Technology (American University in Kosovo) with around 500 students. At private universities, fees of € 900 to approx. € 5,000 per year are incurred, from which a market volume of approx. € 26.5 million can be calculated. The limited capacities of public tertiary educational institutions are pushing many young people towards the alternatives of private universities, the labor market and migration. In 2017/18, public spending on education was 4.1% of GDP, a regional perspective average value. However, when Kosovo’s specific demographic situation is taken into account, the significant funding gap manifests itself in the regional context.

According to SOFTWARELEVERAGE, the secondary vocational education in Kosovo prepares students on the one hand occupationally specific to the working life before but also allows the acquisition of university entrance qualification. The duration of the higher secondary vocational education is divided into three parts: training as a semi-qualified specialist, as a qualified specialist and as a highly qualified specialist. In addition, there is the opportunity to acquire a professional diploma and a professional high school diploma. In Kosovo there are 61 vocational schools in the competence area of the Ministry of Education and 8 vocational training centers of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, in which mainly competence-oriented training courses for the unemployed are carried out. Inadequate decentralization, the involvement of the social partners and the interlinking of theory and practice are seen as problematic in vocational education and training in Kosovo. A major problem is limited financial resources, according to a report – The European Training Foundation (ETF) has only budgeted 23 euros per year and student for vocational training.

Almost 30% of the Kosovar population (513,000, 2013) are pupils and students. Approx. a third of all young Kosovars, however, do not attend school, training or further education or work, so-called NEET (not in education, employment or training). This figure illustrates the immense challenges in the reform of the education sector, especially with regard to the status passage between (higher) school education and the labor markets. The shortage of well-qualified and educated young Kosovars remains one of the greatest obstacles to development for Kosovar society and especially for the Kosovar economy. The problem of the poor employability of Kosovar workers is essentially due to the lack of alignment of the curricula with the needs of the labor markets. Career planning based on rational criteria is rarely done. This can be exemplified by the number of students at the University of Prishtina. While around 70% of all students were enrolled in the social, linguistic, legal, philosophical and educational faculties, the number in the technical and natural science faculties was below 25%. As a consequence, this leads to a paradoxical situation on the Kosovar labor markets: Despite youth unemployment of around 50%, vacancies, particularly those relating to engineering, cannot be filled with Kosovar workers.

Kosovo Education