29th January 2014: WUS Austria celebrates 15 years in Pristina

 

were not allowed to pursue their studies at home and when Austrian universities opened their doors, accepted their certificates and allowed them to study in Austria. High quality education is the key for a positive development of a society. Also  Mrs. Fetije Zhushi  head of the National Accreditation Agency,  is watching over the quality standards and thus fulfilling an immensely important task referred to that as did other speakers.

 

© Photos Roswitha Brieger

More Photos you can find under: http://www.oekg-ks.org/?cid=2,8

or more Information about WUS underhttp://www.wus-austria.org/news/0/433.html

 

Rede vom österreichischen Botschafter:

Honorable Minister Buja,

Vice-Rektor Tahiri,

Ms. Fetije Zhushi, Chairperson of the Board, National Accreditation Agency,

Mr. Kovacevic

Honored guests!

 

It is an enormous privilege to be here today and share a few thoughts with you, some of them of a quite personal nature. 

My dear wife and I have arrived in Kosovo in January 2011, more than 3 years ago and it was in fact already at the very first reception, then organized by my previous consul, Mr. Hubert Beidinger to welcome us in Kosovo, where we heard about WUS Austria. Present at that evening were Mr. Enver Hoxhaj, then Minister for Education and Mr. Bud Dedaj, head of WUS Austria - both persons who shaped the work of WUS Austria and thus the image of Austria in Kosovo for many years.  

The government of Austria and its people have been committed to supporting the people of Kosovo in every respect possible. This support was even more emphasized during the difficult times Kosovo was going through in the last two decades and in particular after the conflicts of 1999. We are proud to remember that this support includes Austria being part of a wider effort for providing security for all in Kosovo, but also support and investments in important sectors such as economy, agriculture or human development. One segment of Austrian support in Kosovo of specific importance was and still is, however, education. 

It were those dark days when one of the most visionary decisions ever was taken in Austria by Mr. Erhard Busek, Vice-Chancellor and good friend of the region, - the decision to open Austrian Universities to kosovar students when they could not pursue their studies back home. Today they are the basis of excellent ties between our two people. 

Today we are proud to say that Austria has been the key supporter in the field of higher education and science for almost a decade facilitating the communication and cooperation between academic and research communities of Kosovo and Austria. Dozens of academic and research units and hundreds of academics and professionals were able to cooperate in curriculum development, basic and applied research, doctoral studies, institutional and staff development, staff mobility schemes and many more during the last decade alone. 

Numerous Austrian government and non-government institutions and organizations have been actively involved throughout this process like Ministries of higher education and research, ADA, University of Vienna, University of Salzburg and the Technical University of Vienna to mention only a few. However, in this context we have to mention the most notable role played by WUS Austria in providing support to Kosovo higher education institutions and in building and strengthening bridges between two peoples and academic communities. 

Having its headquarters in Graz, (we learnt that) WUS Austria has been present in Kosovo supporting Kosovo academia since the difficult times of 1998, through the challenging years of transition until today’s efforts to promote partnerships and quality education and research. Without the excellent administrative and academic services provided by WUS Austria, it would be difficult to have the strong impact Austrian support has had in Kosovo so far. It makes us feel proud to see that so many individuals, academic units, organizations and institutions have successfully managed challenges of transition to turn into what they are today: able professionals, credible institutions, and competent authorities providing quality services and helping the development of the Kosovo society. 

It is up to you, up to us altogether, to ensure that these high quality standards are also adhered to in the future. The necessary parameters and institutions to watch over it, such as the Kosovo Accreditation Agency, have been put in place. Let us continue to keep them strong and independent and thus ensure the quality of higher education services that each and every student deserves. 

To conclude, let me therefore congratulate WUS Austria for this 15th anniversary in Kosovo and 30 years since its founding and look forward to working together in further advancing the close cooperation between our two countries in the future.  Thank you,  Mr. Adi KOVACEVIC and your team for your great work.

Thank you

 

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