The University of Tirana joins the WBESS

The University of Tirana has decided to join the WBESS network bringing a strong added value to the regional cooperation, promotion, and advocacy efforts around ESS.

The University of Tirana (UT) was established in 1957 being the oldest one in the country. Currently, the UT is the largest university, and it consists of six faculties and two institutes and offers 174 programs in all three cycles of study, with 779 full-time academic staff and approximately 28,550 students.

We talked to Dr Ledjon Shahini, Head of Scientific Research and Projects Unit at the University of Tirana about the decision of the UT to join the WBESS and future activities.

According to Mr. Shahini: „One of the main goals and objectives of the University of Tirana is its recognition at international levels. In this context, in some of the dependent institutions, bachelor and master programs in English have been introduced, aiming at a continuous increase. At the same time, UT is expanding its presence network. In this regard being part of WBESS is a good opportunity to increase its cooperation and role in the region and at the same time the quality and diversification of the research fields in the UT.

He also adds that ESS survey in the Western Balkans „will be an added value not only for researchers at the academic level but also to draw conclusions that can interact with the country’s strategic documents. Having a unified survey between all countries is a very good opportunity to make it possible to compare specific aspects or divergences that exist between countries at different or the same stages of development.“

Mr. Shahini has also listed future plans and activities of the University in the context of the WBESS network:

  • Establishing a group of young researchers from academic staff of the UT that belong to different faculties to work on the promotion of the network and at the same time to follow all the activities in the framework of the project;
  • In cooperation with local and international partner, distribution of all materials related to the network and its benefits to all academic staff and students;
  • Organising training sessions for familiarization with survey data (ESS) and how to use this data for research purpose.

In the long run, the plan is to:

  • Involve PhD students to make their PhD theses with databases from the ESS;
  • Make concrete steps towards cooperating with other actors to ensure the participation of Albania in the next round of the survey;
  • Support regional initiatives for joint studies.