IDEA “Inclusive tertiary Education in the West Balkans” project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and coordinated by Polis University brings together a consortium composed of 16 partners altogether: of which 10 HEIs from partner countries (6 HEIs from Albania, 3 HEIs from Kosovo and 1 HEI from Montenegro), 3 HEIs from EU member countries with outstanding expertise and practical knowledge (Czech, Greece, Ireland), and 3 NGO organizations from partner countries dedicated to the advocacy of rights of Persons with Disabilities (in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro).
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
- Polis University – Tirana (ALB)
- University “Aleksandër Moisiu” – Durrës (ALB)
- University of Medicine, Tirana (ALB)
- University “Luigj Gurakuqi” – Shkodra (ALB)
- Catholic University “Our Lady of Good Counsel” (ALB)
- Epoka University (ALB)
- University of Pristina (KS)
- International Business College of Mitrovica (KS)
- Universum College (KS)
- University of Donja Gorica (MNE)
- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GR)
- Masaryk University (CZ)
- University of Limerick (IE)
Organizations / CSOs / NGOs
- Albanian Disability Right Foundation (ADRF)
- Association of Paraplegic and Paralyzed Children in Kosovo (HANDYKOS)
- Association of Youth with Disabilities in Montenegro (AYDM)
Polis University (U_POLIS) is an institution supporting a focused range of core disciplines in the field of architecture, design, civil engineering, urban planning and environmental management. U_POLIS delivers education by the highest academic standards and through applied and scientific research it develops and promotes “scientific excellence and innovation” in three main units Faculty of Research and Development, Faculty of Architecture and Design and Faculty of Planning, Environment and Urban Management, as well as through its dedicated research departments, centers and inter-departmental units (Department of Scientific Research, Department of Applied Research, Sustainability_LAB, MAD_Centre, Observatory of Mediterranean Basin and Innovation Factory). POLIS has an extensive network of domestic and foreign partners and very internationally oriented, as well as a good track record and experience in various project partnerships of national and international nature, as well as leading partner, including H2020, Erasmus+ and Tempus projects.
Established in 2006, it is the fastest growing public university in the country with approximately 20,000 students in the three study cycles and six main units: Faculty of Business, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Information Technology, Faculty of Political Judicial Sciences, Faculty of Professional Studies, and Faculty of Integrated Studies with Practice (FASTIP).Degrees are offered in two languages (Albanian and English) and the evaluation system is based on the European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) and the American Credit System (USCs). UAMD’s external institutional evaluation was conducted by UK-based experts selected by the British Accreditation Agency (BAC) and Albanian experts of the Public Accreditation Agency of Higher Education (PAAHE) who, at the end of the process, considered that UAMD offers among the best programs in Albania. Despite institutional accreditation, UAMD is undergoing the process of programs’ accreditation.
The University of Medicine, Tirana (UMT) is a public higher education institution which has its origins in the Higher Medical Institute, founded in 1952, and became part of the University of Tirana, as its Faculty of Medicine, in 1957, until it separated in 2013. It has three faculties: the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Technical Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Dental Medicine which offer first cycle, second cycle and third cycle programmes delivered in Albanian. The University of Medicine, Tirana puts a great emphasis to collaboration with EU countries in order to improve the quality of higher education, to develop new and innovative education programs, to modernize higher education systems through a systematic collaboration with different regions of the world through joint initiatives, as well as exchange of experience and knowledge between the academic staff and students.
As one of the oldest higher education Institution in Albania and the largest teaching, research and scientific center of Northern Albania, it was established on in September 1957 as a High Pedagogical Institute. Now the University “Luigj Gurakuqi” – Shkodra now 6 Faculties: Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Foreign Languages) offering study programs in 3 study cycles: Bachelor, Master and PhD levels. Among its mission it wants to ensure and improving the quality of higher education and the links between higher education and the labor market through research orientation, internationalization, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and also to discover, preserve and disseminate scientific knowledge and produce creative work.
It is a private, non-profit Higher Education Institution, established in Tirana – Albania in 2004 and operates on the basis of the principle of internationalization, as an institution of excellence for Albania and the region. In harmony with the spirit of its founder, Foundation “Our Lady of Good Counsel”, present in Albania from 1993, it aims at offering a high-quality university and post-graduate education at EU level, in order to support the integration of the Albanian University Education in the European Space for University Education and in the Bologna Process. UKZKM is structured in 4 Faculties: Medicine; Pharmacy; Economic, Political and Social Sciences and Applied Sciences and collaborates with several Italian partner public universities, implementing qualitative joint and dual study programs and awarding joint and/or dual degrees valid in Albania and in Italy, and recognized in EU countries. UKZKM is member of the European Federation of Catholic Universities and the International Federation of Catholic Universities.
Accredited international higher education institution located in Tirana – Albania, the university comprises three faculties: the Faculty of Architecture and Engineering; the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences; the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences – offering education in English in three study cycles, respectively Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD. All institutional strategies of Epoka University are built on the “Education, Research and Contribution to Society” triangle. It is oriented to scientific research and to promote further R&D, as well as contribution to society, Epoka University has signed several cooperation agreements with international and national institutions. In the context of internationalization, EPOKA University is one of the most active universities in Albania to conduct student and staff exchange programs with foreign universities and is partner institution for several Erasmus + KA 2 Capacity Building projects and Horizon 2020 project.
It is a public and largest Higher Education Institution in the Republic of Kosovo with 13 different faculties offering several programs in Bachelor, Master and PhD programs. University of Pristina is the most important educational, scientific and cultural institution in Kosovo which has two innovation centers: the Venture UP and Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As the vanguard of scientific and artistic research in Kosovo, it has established The Office for Research and Sponsored Projects – ORSP, whose service offerings consist on providing comprehensive assistance in research administration to researchers, professors, and teaching assistants who pursue externally funded research. The ORSP is responsible for administering research and projects sponsored by government, industry, foundations, institutions and international initiatives, developed by the academic staff of the University of Pristina.
IBC-M is an education institution of higher education founded in 2010 by the Dutch NGO SPARK at the request of Kosovo’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), with donations also from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss Development Cooperation, DFID, the European Commission, and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. IBC-M offers practice-oriented professional education in Bachelor and Master level taught in English with mandatory internships. Even though IBC-M is a business school, research activities are the core activity of the school through projects implementations, and lecturers’ active participation in national and regional research activities. IBC-M holds international institutional, as well as program accreditation from the German accreditation agency Evalag and the Kosovo Accreditation Agency. It offers double diplomas with the University College Denmark and Lithuanian partner, VIKO and is a member of the SPACE European Network for Business Studies and Languages as well as of EURASHE network.
A center for scholarship, research, and creative activity involving the creation, testing, and dissemination of knowledge, understanding, expressions, and techniques, UC aims to provide education and training to enable individuals to realize their full potential. As a higher education Institution, UC has a particular responsibility to address societal issues and needs through scholarship, research, and creative activity. UC strives for excellence in fulfilling its central and primary purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research and places particular emphasis on the quality of teaching. Thus, the faculty aims to enhance the level of education offered and improve the teaching/learning environments. With the ever-increasing emphasis in globalization, Universum College has enshrined internationalization and regionalization into its development perspectives. Today, Universum College is recognized as the most internationalized higher education institution in Kosovo, proudly establishing cooperation with some of the most respected educational institutions in the world.
University of Donja Gorica is a unique interdisciplinary institution founded in 2007 offering courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level of education, including Bachelor, Specialist, Master’s and PhD level of studies. Today, UDG includes 13 faculties, 6 of which registered as scientific research institutions. Also, UDG has two sister institutions: Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis. UDG participates in many different national and international projects as Tempus, IPA Adriatic, Erasmus Mundus and other. All programs at UDG are designed according to the principles of the Bologna Declaration, which ensures students’ mobility, international recognition of diplomas, as well as the possibility of partial independent profiling of the programs through a wide range of elective courses, in accordance with personal affinities and interests.
NKUA is a public university located in Athens, Greece. Inaugurated in 1837, it has been the first university in the newly established Modern Greek state, as well as in the Balkan and the Eastern Mediterranean area. Its role has been historically and socially decisive for education and promotion of cultural life in the country and beyond. The oldest and largest university in Greece, highly involved in numerous National and International funded research and development projects with 33 Departments, where the faculty and researchers continuously challenge the boundaries of knowledge. NKUA provides the highest quality learning opportunities for students embellished by the new knowledge they discover. Its policy for students with disabilities is to actively realize coequal access to academic studies and social life inclusion, through built environmental modifications, advanced Assistive Technologies and access services – via the important entity of Accessibility Unit for Students with Disabilities.
Established in Brno in January 1919 the university has a multidisciplinary approach in 10 faculties. The research facilities work to achieve better results in scientific excellence in the field of life sciences, advanced materials and technologies. They have lately achieved 3 ERC grants. Adjusting to the digital age, they provide study materials and courses online (e-learning) through electronic solution. While, the Center for International Cooperation actively participates in a wide range of study projects in Europe and beyond. Since 2000, they operate the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs to provide equal opportunities to learn and as such services for all students of Masaryk University with sensory impairments, limited mobility, and other disabilities. In order to provide maximum accessibility, the basic activities and services offered consist of: personal counselling, personal assistance, individual education, lending and supervision of the use of technological compensation tools, sign language interpreting, speech-to-text reporting, Braille publishing, etc.
The University of Limerick is an independent, internationally focused university with over 15,000 students and 1,528 staff. The University offers programs across a wide range of disciplines, including arts, business, engineering and construction, health, including medicine, information and communication technology, law, mathematics and natural sciences. With focus on inclusion and mainstreaming, the University has number of divisions and departments specifically delivering services to enhance and support the student through college. Disability Services was established in 1995 and sits within the Student Affairs Division with eight other support units. DSS was a very early adopter of Assistive Technology, recognizing that it is the key to unlocking the social and academic potential of people with disability in both the educational and work environments.
ADRF begun as an operational Oxfam GB program (The Disability Unit in Tirana) in January 1994 and gradually developed and grew into a local registered independent NGO (foundation) in October 1996, with the head office in Tirana. Its activities address and cover the needs of people with disability around Albania (especially through wheelchairs provision, but also indirectly through interventions especially in pushing for legislation improvement and its implementation as well as awareness raising activities). ADRF has been committed for a long time to foster strategic projects and actions to promote disability rights in Albania. The strategy of ADRF includes continuous monitoring of the whole social, economic, political and cultural developments leading to day-to-day respect and equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities as well as provided concrete recommendations, among others, for inclusive education, inclusion and accessibility and non-discrimination based on researches on the disability issues.
HANDIKOS is a Kosovar NGO of People and for People with Disabilities, which works in: Prevention of disability, Promotion, Advocacy/Lobbying, Providing of services and in Recognition and Full Participation of People with Disabilities in our Society. It was established in 1983 as the response to the difficult situation of people with disabilities in Kosovo and is the oldest organization in the country, with the uninterrupted implementation of activities since 1983, and the most widespread organization in Kosovo, with an active presence in 90 per cent of the territory. The main objective “to improve the rights and living standards of people with disabilities in Kosovo and empower them to participate in society”, while at the same time, it is also very influential organization in the field of disability. With a vision for inclusive society, with the full recognition and realization of the equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities their mission is to achieve positive and sustainable change in the lives of people with disabilities through representation, protection of their rights and their support.
AYDM is a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded on 22 October 2001 and licensed with ISO 9001/2015 for Quality Control of work and service delivery. The Association is dedicated to providing support, opportunities and programs to strengthen the personal, educational and professional development of all persons with disabilities, especially young people with disabilities. The Association operates in numerous fields and through its six programs: Program for Education, Program for Independent Living, Program for Employment and Development of Human Resources, Program for Accessibility, Legal program and Antidiscrimination and the Program for International Cooperation. They carry out various activities related to appropriate legislative solutions including the participation in the process of preparation of legislation, monitoring of compliance of domestic legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, awareness campaigns, support of persons with disabilities in the process of education with particular emphasis on activities in the field of higher education, preparation for employment and employment of persons with disabilities, provision of various support services such as legal counselling and legal representation of persons with disabilities in proceedings before institutions, personal assistance, psychological counselling, accessible transportation, a guide or an assistant dog, etc.