The conference “Education for the Future” aimed to address the missing link of cooperation between Kosovo’s Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and the economy. The main focus of the conference was on reducing the mismatch between knowledge, skills and the competence that the HEIs are providing to the graduates and the needs of the labor market.
The Conference gathered around 181 participants for two days representing: media, higher education institutions, the business community, academia, and government. On the first day of the Conference, welcome speeches were delivered by:
- Greg Delawie, U.S. Ambassador in Kosovo
- Shyqyri Bytyqi, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology
- Visar Ramajli, Business Representative
In order to Introduce Kosovo HEIs with examples from the United States of cooperation between universities, industry, and government (U.S keynote speaker) Dr. Jason Lane, The State University of New York at Albany, delivered a presentation. His presentation was about “Universities and Colleges as Economic Drivers: Learning from the Triple Helix of Higher Education, Government, and Industry”. Dr. Jason Lane was met by the Open World Alumni during the study visit hosted by MERCY College and was identified as a potential speaker.
In addition to the plenary session, there were parallel sessions (4 per day) organized on the following topics:
- Curriculum Design and Labor Market needs
- New skills for new jobs
- Intellectual Property Rights in the Academic Setting
- Fostering University – Business cooperation
- The transition of the graduates from university to the labor market
- Student-centered Learning, Teaching, and Assessment
- Integration of new technologies in the teaching and learning processes
- Continuous improvement of the study programs based on the needs of the economy
Dr. Sheila Offman Gersh, Mercy College, had an interesting presentation on “Aligning the Mercy College Curriculum with the Job Market: Locally, Globally and Glocally”. Dr. Offman Gersh participated in the Conference, financed my Mercy College as a follow-up communication with the Open World Alumni in this regard to further strengthen cooperation with Kosovar HEIs. In this regard, Mercy College and the University of Prishtina signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on April 27, 2018.
In order to further get a different point of views on the targeted topic of the Conference, there was a panel organized on “Strengthening cooperation among Kosovo higher education institutions, government and private” with the following representatives:
- Safet Gerxhaliu, President of Kosovo Chamber of Commerce
- Arian Zeka, President of the American Chamber of Commerce did not participate
- Burim Gashi, Acting Director of the Higher Education Department at MEST
- Egzon Osmani, President of Kosovo Student Union
The final report consisted of recommendations from the plenary sessions can be found in the link below.