Impact of Higher Education and Human Capital on the Economic and Political Development in Kosovo

IDM-project supported by the Austrian Science and Research Liaison Offices (ASO) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF)

Ivan Damjanovski, Jana Bacevic and Bekim Baliqi, IDM project partners and referees, and Enver Hoxhaj, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Kosovo at the conference held on January 22nd, 2010 in Prishtina.

This project dealt with the role of the higher education and the human capital in the current and upcoming economic development processes, but also on (future) political reforms in Kosovo. The quality of the (higher) education system and the efficient use of human capital represent crucial factors for the development of a country. In view of the economic and political transition processes and the demographic situation in Kosovo – about 50 % of the population is younger than 25 years old – dealing with the above mentioned issues appears to be especially significant for this country and its future development. In this connection, due to different circumstances which Kosovo faces today, such as the post-conflict-situation/consequences of the conflict during the 1990es, the connection of the higher education system with politics and the ensuing still existing (at least two) parallel structures, the deficient Kosovan higher education system is a major obstacle for a successful nation/state building process of the country.

Furthermore, education in tertiary level is a key factor of increasing and improving human capital, which on the other side enables the economic development and democratization of the Kosovan society. Consequently, the (higher) education system and its implications on the socio-economic and political reform processes is accredited with great importance by the Kosovan government, which is spending around 15% of the total government expenditures on education.

Subject area:
Higher education, human capital (flight), skilled mobility, economic and political transition.

Main objectives:
The examination of the relationship between higher education/human capital and economic/political development processes in Kosovo, the identification of the challenges and the chances arising from the reformation of the higher education system, networking and cooperation between the participating partners, exchange of know-how based on existing research data between the partners, further elaboration of the results in the topical framework of the research project, creation and strengthening of a network as base for further cooperation, expansion of the research base and provision of new insights into the relationship between higher education and political/socio-economic development processes, broad dissemination and public discussion of the research results as well as publicity through media and publication. Brief description of the activities: Research results of the project partners involved to be further elaborated and discussed in a joint publication (the IDM academic journal “Der Donauraum”) and at a public conference.

Friday 22. January 2010 in the National and University Library of Kosovo, Prishtina

Project Partners:
University of Prishtina – Department of Political Science, Bekim BALIQI, PhD, Kosovo
University of Prishtina – Faculty of Economy, Avdullah HOTI, PhD, Kosovo
Centre for Education Policy (CEP), Jana BACEVIC, PhD, Serbia
Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje (IDSCS), Ivan DAMJANOVSKI M.A., Republic of Macedonia

Project Duration:
June 2009 – January 2010