By Rudina HOXHA
On the eve of “Study in Europe Fair”, organized by the European Commission, in Tirana on October 26, Mr. Adrian Veale from the European Commission told Rudina HOXHA, Editor in chief of FOLLOW BUSINESS ALBANIA that the idea of this fair – and the Study in Europe project more generally – is to raise awareness of what Europe has to offer in the higher education area.
“Just in 2019, the Erasmus+ programme will fund university exchange projects with scholarships that will bring more than 2000 Albanian students and staff to 26 different European universities, in all the corners of Europe, including Portugal, Finland, the UK and Greece – as well as the middle: Germany, Italy, Austria!,” Veale said, adding “Ask your university how to get involved: some 30 Albanian universities have these exchange agreements with scholarships.”
The fair will be featuring not only the EU and its scholarship programmes, but also what individual European countries and universities have to offer to Albanian students and teachers.
The fair will consists of 27 booths representing 34 institutions from 18 countries. The European Union will have its own booth with European Union Representatives. It will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Tirana on October 26, from 10am to 6pm.
Full interview below:
Why Study in Europe Fair, which will be held on Oct. 26, in Tirana, is an opportunity for a lifetime experience for Albanian students and teachers? What are the benefits out of this Fair?
Our Study in Europe project shows students worldwide the range of higher education programmes which are on offer across Europe. More and more students are interested in studying their first or second degree at a university in a different country. We think you should consider Europe if you are considering studying abroad. The countries of the European Union have long traditions of quality higher education. You probably know of the larger countries such as France, Germany, the UK, but there are higher education institutions with high-quality innovative programmes that represent excellent value for money. Many of their programmes have been developed for international students and are offered in English.
Coming to the fair you will be able to speak to universities and also national agencies from a range of these countries and hear their presentations. On top of this you can find out more about the scholarships offered by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, which attaches great importance to creating stronger links and more exchange between universities in the EU and those in Albania.
Has the interest of Albanian youngsters grown in such Fairs through years? How do the figures look like? How many fellowships have been awarded to Albanian youngsters?
The European Union is promoting European higher education in a number of countries. Albania is of great interest to our higher education sector, with highly qualified and motivated students ready to apply. So we hope to raise their interest still further in studying in Europe.
We’ll also be ready to answer all your questions about scholarships to study in Europe. Some of these are offered by university exchange partnerships. Just in 2019, the Erasmus+ programme will fund university exchange projects with scholarships that will bring more than 2000 Albanian students and staff to 26 different European universities, in all the corners of Europe, including Portugal, Finland, the UK and Greece – as well as the middle: Germany, Italy, Austria! Ask your university how to get involved: some 30 Albanian universities have these exchange agreements with scholarships. Albanian students are of course also able to pitch for EU-funded scholarships to follow one of our 123 Erasmus Mundus joint master degree programmes, offered by partnerships of universities all over Europe. While there are no scholarships earmarked for Albania, students from here are very competitive: on average around 10-12 Albanian students win one of these all-in scholarships for a full two-year master degree course.
Europe is famous for its traditions in education, but also for innovation. Figures say that 26 out of 100 most innovative universities are in Europe. Can you mention some of these universities that are going to be offered for the Albanian youngsters?
At the fair you will able to talk to universities, embassies or academic exchange organisations from 18 different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. They’ll be able to tell you about their programmes, universities and what it’s like to move to and live there. But there’s much more information out there on the web. Our Study in Europe website contains lots of information a total of 34 European countries, as well as lots of tips, tricks and testimonies about how to study in another country. We’re also pushing out this information on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudyInEurope.Welcome/
Do such events make Albania more well-known in different EU countries where we are not very well-known?
These events can work both ways. From our side, we want to get all these countries and their universities better-known among Albanian students as potential study destinations. Together, Europe is much more than the big, well-known countries such as UK, Germany, France. We have 34 countries taking part in the Erasmus+ programme, all with strong and innovative traditions and qualities.
At the same time, university education is becoming more and more international, and Europe’s universities are diversifying more and more to welcome students from all over the world. These events can help our universities get to know the nature of Albanian higher education, and get to know how qualified and motivated Albanian students are. This can build bridges and help European universities better host Albanian students.