Greater transparency in the Albanian higher education sector
The Albanian Ministry for Education and Science, too, wants prospective students to be able to find independent information about the country’s HEIs in the future. The CHE was commissioned to carry out a project (supported by the World Bank) to develop and test a concept with the Albanian Public Agency for Accreditation of Higher Education (APAAL) that would enable comparisons of Albanian HEIs on the basis of different indicators. The results of this project, a first ranking of four subjects, were presented at the closing conference in Tirana today.
The comparison of HEIs in Albania is intended to provide prospective students with the information and guidance they need to help them find the right HEI. It has to date been very difficult for those interested in taking up a study programme, or the general public, to find out information about Albania’s rapidly expanding higher education system, which currently comprises 9 state and 53 private universities.
The Albanian government sees the principles of the CHE ranking – mostly the multi-dimensional presentation of a variety of indicators and the comparison of individual subjects – as a suitable approach for reducing this lack of transparency.
The CHE’s ranking experts have not only taught APAAL staff the methods of comparing performance, they have also, in less than a year, developed with APAAL a ranking concept for Albania’s higher education situation. “It was not easy to transfer the CHE’s ranking methodology nor the data acquisition methods from Germany to Albania,” said CHE project manager Gero Federkeil. “We had to move beyond the familiar territory of analysing publications and carrying out student questionnaires and tread new paths in terms of presenting research and teaching performance. In a country the size of Albania, it is even possible to monitor data acquisition by visiting the HEIs themselves. Given the current situation in terms of lack of data, this is an important step.”
The concept was tested out on four subjects and has proved to be workable. The results of the project provide all the foundations necessary for implementing a subject-related, multi-dimensional ranking in Albania in the long-term. “This ranking will enable Albania to link to developments in Europe in terms of the transparency in its higher education system,” said Gero Federkeil at today’s project closing conference in Tirana.