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Cross-Sector Internship Program: Seminar on Institutionalization of Internships at UP Faculties

Prishtina, On October 14th, 2010 WUS Austria in cooperation with the University of Prishtina organized a one Day Seminar with the topic “Institutionalization of the Internships at the Faculties of Economics, Law, Civil Engineering and Architecture of the University of Prishtina”. The seminar was held at the premises of the Faculty of Economics.

Prof. Dr. Bajram Berisha, Vice –Rector for Teaching and Scientific Research at the University of Prishtina emphasized the importance of internships for the UP: “Internships will serve as a serious and very accurate indicator to measure the quality of the studies that the UPniversity of Prishtina offers and  to the students it offers the possibility to implement in practice their theoretical knowledge”.  Prof. Dr. Avdulla Alija, Director of the Higher Education Department at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology stated that: “No doubt that the institutionalization of internships will help students in many aspects; among others, it will help them to better understand areas in which they are interested to work in the future”

Present at the Seminar were also Mr. Safet Gërxhaliu, Head of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and the Deans of the respective benefiting faculties. Mr. Gërxhaliu put a strong focus on the linkage between the Higher Education sector and Economy, “We think that the institutionalization of internships for the UP students will be beneficial in many aspects, it will contribute to create the necessary relationship between Higher Education and labor market in Kosovo. Thus, it would create the connection between employers and employees”, he said. The Deans of the Faculties participating in the project presented the current situation at those institutions regarding internships offered within the existing curricula. They emphasized the need that internships should be part of the curricula so every student who graduates should  conduct an internship which would be granted with ECTS.

Mr. But Dedaj, Regional Manager of the WUS Austria Prishtina Office stressed the importance of institutionalized internships and the benefits that students and the companies/institutions gain through them. He said that “it is important to prepare the students to be sufficiently competitive with their colleagues in the region and the European Union and competently respond to the requests of the economic sector in Kosovo and elsewhere. In addition to this, not only students and the university would benefit  from such a process - such a reform would be beneficial for all parties involved, including the different companies/institutions where the internship would be conducted”.

The seminar was organized within the framework of the project “Cross-Sector Internship Program”, financed by the USAID – Kosovo Private Enterprise Program and implemented by WUS Austria.